Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvir, Philip John Lee and Craig Eros who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: [1] 2 3    >   >>
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
nickgonzalezbrown

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov. 27 2020
From: London, UK

RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone wanted to discuss the American "flamencolugo" Brook Zern, who died last year. I'm sure some people on the Foro knew him, in person and/or through correspondence. I myself shared a brief, but memorable, correspondence with him back in 2016.

Brook maintained the website Flamencoexperience.com, which contained thousands and thousands of words' worth of interviews that he conducted and translated himself over the decades - including with Diego del Gastor, José Menese, and the widow of Manolo de Huelva.

It seems now that Flamencoexperience.com is GONE NOW!?!??! and it seems like the best place to read his surviving articles is on deflamenco.com.

So, my story: In 2016 I was starting to research Flamenco, and having trouble because of how few books are written on the subject. Brook's site was a wealth of material, so I reached out to him to thank him for his contributions.

I was living in New York City at the time and thought he did too, so I asked him about good venues in NYC, and whether he would be doing any lectures about Flamenco that I could attend.

Three days later, I got a really nice, long response from him that started with "Your writing style is lovely; impeccable and unobtrusively elegant. In my book, that counts for a lot".

He said he lived in Martha's Vineyard now (off the coast of Massachusetts), but next time he was in NYC he'd buy me a glass of vino tinto at Alegrías club on 14th Street.

On the subject of good books, Brook said he had some in digital form and could arrange to send me a thumb-drive - as well as tons of 'bootleg' recordings he himself made at juergas in Andalucía. He also offered to show me 'unknown' falsetas that Diego made up during lessons.

The message was also sprinkled with his characteristic self-deprecating humor:

"I was not invited to a recent conference about flamenco at NYU, probably because my resistance to fusion earns me the insider's clever epithet of "Taliban" while my special reverence for the Gypsy component of the art earns me the epithet of "racist" (it's a long story.)"

Brook and I exchanged another message, then I never heard back from him. Unfortunately, I never did get to meet him, receive the thumb-drive or hear the falsetas. (However, I did start going to Alegrías, and saw some amazing performances there).

I would check in with Flamenco Experience every so often, and was surprised to see reports of Brook's death the last time I Googled him this year. Sad news indeed.

_____________________________

"En la vida, amigos van y vienen, mujeres van y vienen, pero la guitarra siempre sigue."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 11:23:48
 
rombsix

Posts: 7607
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to nickgonzalezbrown



Perhaps some of his family members are still around?

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 16:05:16
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to nickgonzalezbrown

Hola

Brook and his wife used to rent a piso en Jeréz, being friends with Serva, Estela etc, so I used to go up to see them and have a meal together. He certainly knew a lot about flamenco and was a devout aficionado de La Niña de los Peines[;). I preferred La Perla, so we had many friendly arguments.

Once, everybody came to Cádiz to see me and I was astonished when Brook stopped before a heladería de Tom and Jerry: I don´t think I have ever tasted a worst ice cream but he loved it!

I, being a professor of Trout and Salmon fly fishing in a former life, had been an aficionado of his father, who was famous in this field, so we started on the right footing.

I imagine that Estela would have much more to say.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 16:27:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to nickgonzalezbrown

I had read and enjoyed his articles over the years and found them very informative, if extremely opinionated. For a long time I had lumped him in with all the “moronies”, ie, people that had once come from America to hang out with Don Pohren at his Ranch after reading his books (the only ones readily available on the subject in USA for many decades) where a soda straw view of flamenco centered firmly on Diego del Gastor and his friends.

But my opinion changed when I attended an event by chance in Washington DC Art Museum where a viewing and lecture of Rito y Geografia was held. I was just in the right time frame to catch it on the way to a gig. I was there early and talked to Brook about Rito DVD cleaned up series that I considered Gold....he admitted he was pushing the project along himself but the people involved got a promotion that permanently ended the project before completion. He had brought his Ramirez and asked me if I would do some playing demonstration instead of himself which I gladly did. He showed Pericon episode first, and a few of the Juerga in jerez clips and Diego of course, fernanda etc...his favorite stuff. He was a fantastic communicator, and as mentioned he is not afraid to put “himself down” as mentioned. In this occasion, after he showed a clip of Pepe Marchena, he stated that he felt his singing was not “puro” flamenco like he thought of his favorites like Fernanda etc...I remember squirming in my chair “oh here we go...”...but then he said he admitted his opinions to Fernanda herself and she told him that he was an idiot!

I find that attitude very rare in the flamenco aficionado world and my opinion of him went WAY up in that moment as the audience laughed with confusion. Anyway I talked to him more after the show and gave him my email and thanked him profusely for accomplishing what he was able with the DVD reissues. Not long after, when Esperanza Fernandez came to do Amor Brujo, the orchestra conductor who had been in attendance at the Rito lecture asked me, on Brook’s recommendation, if I would play for her a couple short recitals. So I have him to thank for that connection. Kitarist managed to dig up some articles of his somehow, but for sure he and his writings will be sorely missed.

Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 17:32:10
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Kitarist managed to dig up some articles of his somehow, but for sure he and his writings will be sorely missed.


Here is the link again, from archive.org:

https://web.archive.org/web/20171103072412/http://www.flamencoexperience.com/blog/

It is far from the whole website content because these snapshots appear to go only a level or two deep. However, because of the 100 or so captures through the years, there are still quite a number of articles.

To see that another way, go to https://web.archive.org/web/sitemap/http://www.flamencoexperience.com/blog/ and click on 2016 or 2017.

In the graphic (static image below), the outer disk has tiny slices representing all the archived webpages. As you hover over that outer disk, you will see all the webpages that are named like cat=xxx, and a few named p=xxx. Clicking on any brings up the content.

Each 'cat' page seems to have all/some of(?) the articles that were in that particular category. For example, cat=33 is 'women in flamenco' and it has 5 different articles in the 2017 version of that webpage. Or cat=257 is 'flamenco aesthetics' and has about ten longish articles on that subject. Other categories may have just one, like cat=7 'welcome', as do all the 'p=xxx' webpage.

Once you are on a particular cat or p webpage, you can see all the category names in a column on the right-hand side (easier to browse than by number).



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 17:51:08
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Kitarist managed to dig up some articles of his somehow, but for sure he and his writings will be sorely missed.


I posted a couple up that I had saved on my hard drive. I spent hours on that site reading his articles, and some I saved and/or printed to read offline.

quote:

after he showed a clip of Pepe Marchena, he stated that he felt his singing was not “puro” flamenco like he thought of his favorites like Fernanda etc...I remember squirming in my chair “oh here we go...”...but then he said he admitted his opinions to Fernanda herself and she told him that he was an idiot!

I find that attitude very rare in the flamenco aficionado world and my opinion of him went WAY up in that moment

great anecdote! I never heard that before, but I got that impression of him from his articles he wrote and posted on his website.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 17:57:31
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

I posted a couple up that I had saved on my hard drive.


Oh that's right. Mark, could you link here to the thread where you did this? (I can't quite recall the subject line or when it was.)

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 20:12:41
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Oh that's right. Mark, could you link here to the thread where you did this? (I can't quite recall the subject line or when it was.)

yikes! no idea! Whatever it was I will still have it on my hard drive though.... but also probably accessible through the wayback links you posted.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 21:11:12
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1136
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Oh that's right. Mark, could you link here to the thread where you did this? (I can't quite recall the subject line or when it was.)


http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=327891&p=2&tmode=1&smode=1

_____________________________

Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 22:01:38
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3324
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Oh that's right. Mark, could you link here to the thread where you did this? (I can't quite recall the subject line or when it was.)


just remembered, it was Aurelio Sellés, and I threw in Manuel Agujetas for good measure

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=327891&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=agujetas&tmode=&smode=&s=#328045

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 22:18:07
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo

quote:

Oh that's right. Mark, could you link here to the thread where you did this? (I can't quite recall the subject line or when it was.)


just remembered, it was Aurelio Sellés, and I threw in Manuel Agujetas for good measure

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=327891&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=agujetas&tmode=&smode=&s=#328045


Thank you Mark; and no, both of these were not in the archived webpages on archive.org/wayback machine.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 23:01:41
 
Steelhead

 

Posts: 88
Joined: Nov. 20 2014
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Morante

As a fellow fanatic fly fisherman, I also read Ed Zern and have his books. For his part, Brook, who had no interest in such things, once said to me, "So, my father named me after a fish [brook trout] -- ya wanna make something of it?"
Somehow I seem to have chosen a similar sobriquet.

_____________________________

Steelhead
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2020 23:04:25
 
Brendan

Posts: 261
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to nickgonzalezbrown

I found myself enjoying the spat he had with Carol Whitney in 1978 in the pages of Jaleo magazine about the last days of Diego del Gastor: http://www.elitedynamics.com/jaleomagazine/index-jaleo_issues.htm

Even then, under extreme provocation, his writing kept the same qualities. Impressive.

Is Whitney’s PhD thesis available online? I can’t find it, I can only find the reference to it.

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2021 8:48:40
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Brendan

quote:


Is Whitney’s PhD thesis available online? I can’t find it, I can only find the reference to it.


The first 24 pages of the ~185-page 1974 dissertation, including the table of contents (ToC), are available here:

https://www.proquest.com/openview/52d53a6823ceb7d62650deee4722d570/1?cbl=18750

However, looking at the ToC from a 2021 vantage point, I doubt there would be anything truly interesting in the full text.

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2021 10:27:52
 
Brendan

Posts: 261
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

Oh sure, I’m not expecting to learn anything about flamenco from Whitney. But reading Juerga from the late 1970s, I got interested in the way that community (and foreign enthusiasts generally) thought about flamenco. There’s unabashed expression of the Morony outlook—juergas good/tablaos bad, obscure local performer good/international star bad or at least compromised, limited technique and repertoire = authenticity, purismo, benign racism re. gitanos, strict gender roles indicating flamenco’s expression of life’s fundamentals, etc.. This outlook is so coherent, unchallenged, unqualified and relentlessly insisted upon that you could call it an ideology. There’s still plenty of it about now, but it’s in competition with other ways of thinking about the art.

I also got interested in the internal politics of the Moronies. Whitney accuses Zern of encouraging DdG to party on against medical advice. Zern replies, plausibly I think, that DdG was an adult and made his own choices. The thing that strikes me is that none of them wonders about the role of Pohren, who seems to have built a little industry that depended on the willingness of an old man to stay up all night at parties.

All of this is before my time, so I’d be interested to hear from foro folk who know more about that scene, both in Morón and California.

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 12:14:35
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Brendan

quote:

The thing that strikes me is that none of them wonders about the role of Pohren, who seems to have built a little industry that depended on the willingness of an old man to stay up all night at parties.


That's a great point!

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 18:27:13
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1893
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

If you had ever lived flamenco, you would realise that old men and women who can sing and play just love to stay up all night at juergas
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 18:37:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Morante

And liberal use of cocaine to counter act the drunkenness and lack of sleep!

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 21:13:48
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:


Is Whitney’s PhD thesis available online? I can’t find it, I can only find the reference to it.


The first 24 pages of the ~185-page 1974 dissertation, including the table of contents (ToC), are available here:

https://www.proquest.com/openview/52d53a6823ceb7d62650deee4722d570/1?cbl=18750

However, looking at the ToC from a 2021 vantage point, I doubt there would be anything truly interesting in the full text.


Can’t see anything…where are the 24 pages or table of contents? The link only shows the title.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 21:18:56
 
kitarist

Posts: 1441
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:


Is Whitney’s PhD thesis available online? I can’t find it, I can only find the reference to it.


The first 24 pages of the ~185-page 1974 dissertation, including the table of contents (ToC), are available here:

https://www.proquest.com/openview/52d53a6823ceb7d62650deee4722d570/1?cbl=18750

However, looking at the ToC from a 2021 vantage point, I doubt there would be anything truly interesting in the full text.


Can’t see anything…where are the 24 pages or table of contents? The link only shows the title.


You should be seeing a preview window with buttons to save etc. Maybe your browser does not execute whatever code does that. Try this more direct link. The 24 pages get through almost all of the intro (save its final page).

TOC is this (image captures):







Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (3)

_____________________________

Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2021 21:51:53
 
Brendan

Posts: 261
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to kitarist

Here is the whole thing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ntYqSBBGm2aR8cu-GlNbTKA_jsYCEnrr/view?usp=sharing

_____________________________

https://sites.google.com/site/obscureflamencology/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2021 18:16:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Brendan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brendan

Here is the whole thing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ntYqSBBGm2aR8cu-GlNbTKA_jsYCEnrr/view?usp=sharing


Wow great find! I read the whole thing. To summarize, the first part is the perspective of a foreigner in the flamenco world, with a special emphasis (resentment??) about the American perspective. She goes as far to describe people coming into flamenco as “parasites”, ouch. I feel that in general, this thing is normal for people that immerse into the art form. She was 10 years in writing this, I guess I was lucky to shed or “grow out of” those thoughts much earlier than 10 years in. The feelings and discussion on “cultural appropriation” certainly I have had over the years (how can I charge for my “art” when gitanos in spain sing or play better than me and have to work construction?). I grew out of this inferiority complex and embarrassment when I started getting HIRED by Gitanos themselves. The other thing about Americans specifically I have noticed (people like Estela or Romerito and others have been quick to dispel Americans specifically and constantly refer to foreigners as “us or them”), and admit that early on it was a little embarrassing. But I have come to realize that this thing is felt by all groups, and perhaps she fails to point out the worst group of all…Spaniards themselves. PDL cancelled a concert due to the ignorance of his own country men, so for sure stupid entitled Americans don’t own the monopoly on ignorance about the art of flamenco.

The second part of her paper is the interesting part for me, the transcriptions of cante. Very useful to visualize, and contrary to her own inferiority complex about being an academic analyzing this stuff, it actually DOES have value for someone like me that is working professional in the art form. Sure many don’t read music but that is totally beside the point that by seeing it in that dimension adds to understanding at a deeper level, the cante. I am ready to argue with anyone about that point. Anyway she doesn’t do as accurate work rhythmically as the magazine article we discussed previously (Juan Talega and Eduardo Malena solea), but it is nice to see different performances analyzed than what she did before. Like Faucher, I already trust her work. The debla and tona have me thinking that the songs origins might not have been so much “modal” as I used to think, rather, harmonic with the use of the accidentals implying chord changes, not unlike the Cabales I described recently. The fact the guitar can’t seem to get the chords together for these tricky melodies is obviously the reason why we have these group of cantes “sin guitarra”. By that I mean the singers must have discouraged the guitarist from accompanying these songs due to the difficulty of harmonizing them AND keeping compas.

The siguiriyas is a melody I am super familiar with…it seems she missed several G# that she let go as G naturals. You can hear this example yourself on Norman’s site under Paco la Luz 1, Juan Talega. THe Solea melody seems to be the Frijones 4 style, and Mairena delivers the same lyric Whitney transcribed for Piriñac, although on Norman’s site she uses those lyrics for Juaniqui 4. So it is still useful if you follow frijones 4 either her version with different lyrics, or Mairena with the same lyric if it helps, with a slightly different delivery. (That was from the super famous singular performance of PDL and Mairena live in Utrera in 1974!).

The bulerias is interesting too, and I recognized the melodic ending as (not his intro portion) normal buleria essentially (ABC with no repeat starting there). After this she skimps on the meaning of the lyrics too much (this doesn’t need explaination…..or …. The flamenco artists feel the same as “us”…etc). But overall very interesting work.

The final portion of the paper take aim at politics of academia….not very interesting for my purposes and I sort of feel bad for her in this regard, that she felt a need to address that stuff and publish it for posterity. Hidden in her rant however, is an anecdote about Diego del Gastor being able to read music, and sort of approving of her transcription and sight singing of a siguiriyas letra. Again, her insecurity about it was more due to her level and experience, that is, she had not yet “grown out of” that inferiority complex of feeling like an intruder.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2021 19:39:25
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 134
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I grew out of this inferiority complex and embarrassment when I started getting HIRED by Gitanos themselves. The other thing about Americans specifically I have noticed (people like Estela or Romerito and others have been quick to dispel Americans specifically and constantly refer to foreigners as “us or them”), and admit that early on it was a little embarrassing. But I have come to realize that this thing is felt by all groups, and perhaps she fails to point out the worst group of all…Spaniards themselves. PDL cancelled a concert due to the ignorance of his own country men, so for sure stupid entitled Americans don’t own the monopoly on ignorance about the art of flamenco.

A point I make in my dissertation is that ethnicity/race, lingusitic group, or nationality are something one is born to. Culture is something one learns and embodies (or not). This is not a popular opinion in ethnomusicology. Culture, according to many social scientists even now, is a complex whole tied to these kinds of groups. To be fair, most social scientists do not view culture as static, homogenous, or holistic, except when situating the researcher - then suddenly there is a boundary, part ontological, part epistemological, and part ethical. You can feel the tension in Whitney as she tries to justify her views. I do the same but with much more theoretical backing. She is trying to legitimize/justify being a cross-cultural musician. But, can we feel/be/live exactly as gitanos and flamencos andaluces? Do we need to be Andaluz to be authentic? Can cross-cultural musicians be anything but authentic? Where is the line?
Check this out:
There is some wisdom about whether we can be gitano or Spanish, but not whether or not we can be flamenco.

Anyway, Ricardo, I point out that there is no such thing as cultures except as an analytical construct. But like the particle in physics (especially in the double-slit and related experiments) culture must be measured before one can see what it is. If you have been accepted by Gitanos from Spain, that is exceptional. Even players as great as Juan Carmona (Borboreo is one of my favorite CDs), has noted that it is difficult to make it in Spain as an outsider. Possible but difficult. My "dispelling" of Americans has more to do with the oblivious attitude some (in my experience, white/non-hispanics) have concerning full-on dedication or immersion (not talking about people who have full time jobs and recognize it just as a limited past time however serious they might be).
quote:

The final portion of the paper take aim at politics of academia….not very interesting for my purposes and I sort of feel bad for her in this regard, that she felt a need to address that stuff and publish it for posterity. Hidden in her rant however, is an anecdote about Diego del Gastor being able to read music, and sort of approving of her transcription and sight singing of a siguiriyas letra. Again, her insecurity about it was more due to her level and experience, that is, she had not yet “grown out of” that inferiority complex of feeling like an intruder.

That is an interesting point. If I had gone into music theory or music history I think that I would have finished my dissertation long ago. Thinking about the "politics of representation" and what "culture" means can be very useful but, in my opinion, they can also be detrimental. Fortunately, the fields (anthropology/sociology/ethnomusicology) are experiencing some push back. I hope that my work contributes because I feel much the same as Whitney. Both of my teachers were interested in theory and had no problem reading, incorporating, and then forgetting, analytical concepts. They were not interested in the abstract or discursive aspects of theory like when or why tritone substitution is actually a tritone substitution. They could figure that out in practice through intuition, exploration, and composition. (Hint: in theory, phrygian tonality before Paco is devoid of tritone substitutuion i.e. in the solea or seguiriya).
Anyway, Yes, a great big thank you to Brendan for that Find.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2021 21:37:04
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

How can you charge for it when Spanish gypsies can do it better? Because they aren't here.

My first teacher said it was a good thing Sabicas could only be in one place at a time, or else no other guitarists would work.

She raises some interesting points, but I think she was obsessed with the whole fish out of water thing.

I live in a city that people move to from all over the world. Some play American music, be it blues, rock, or jazz. It never occured to me to disrespect them and claim they have no right to gig where I grew up because they aren't from my culture.







quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brendan

Here is the whole thing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ntYqSBBGm2aR8cu-GlNbTKA_jsYCEnrr/view?usp=sharing


Wow great find! I read the whole thing. To summarize, the first part is the perspective of a foreigner in the flamenco world, with a special emphasis (resentment??) about the American perspective. She goes as far to describe people coming into flamenco as “parasites”, ouch. I feel that in general, this thing is normal for people that immerse into the art form. She was 10 years in writing this, I guess I was lucky to shed or “grow out of” those thoughts much earlier than 10 years in. The feelings and discussion on “cultural appropriation” certainly I have had over the years (how can I charge for my “art” when gitanos in spain sing or play better than me and have to work construction?). I grew out of this inferiority complex and embarrassment when I started getting HIRED by Gitanos themselves. The other thing about Americans specifically I have noticed (people like Estela or Romerito and others have been quick to dispel Americans specifically and constantly refer to foreigners as “us or them”), and admit that early on it was a little embarrassing. But I have come to realize that this thing is felt by all groups, and perhaps she fails to point out the worst group of all…Spaniards themselves. PDL cancelled a concert due to the ignorance of his own country men, so for sure stupid entitled Americans don’t own the monopoly on ignorance about the art of flamenco.

The second part of her paper is the interesting part for me, the transcriptions of cante. Very useful to visualize, and contrary to her own inferiority complex about being an academic analyzing this stuff, it actually DOES have value for someone like me that is working professional in the art form. Sure many don’t read music but that is totally beside the point that by seeing it in that dimension adds to understanding at a deeper level, the cante. I am ready to argue with anyone about that point. Anyway she doesn’t do as accurate work rhythmically as the magazine article we discussed previously (Juan Talega and Eduardo Malena solea), but it is nice to see different performances analyzed than what she did before. Like Faucher, I already trust her work. The debla and tona have me thinking that the songs origins might not have been so much “modal” as I used to think, rather, harmonic with the use of the accidentals implying chord changes, not unlike the Cabales I described recently. The fact the guitar can’t seem to get the chords together for these tricky melodies is obviously the reason why we have these group of cantes “sin guitarra”. By that I mean the singers must have discouraged the guitarist from accompanying these songs due to the difficulty of harmonizing them AND keeping compas.

The siguiriyas is a melody I am super familiar with…it seems she missed several G# that she let go as G naturals. You can hear this example yourself on Norman’s site under Paco la Luz 1, Juan Talega. THe Solea melody seems to be the Frijones 4 style, and Mairena delivers the same lyric Whitney transcribed for Piriñac, although on Norman’s site she uses those lyrics for Juaniqui 4. So it is still useful if you follow frijones 4 either her version with different lyrics, or Mairena with the same lyric if it helps, with a slightly different delivery. (That was from the super famous singular performance of PDL and Mairena live in Utrera in 1974!).

The bulerias is interesting too, and I recognized the melodic ending as (not his intro portion) normal buleria essentially (ABC with no repeat starting there). After this she skimps on the meaning of the lyrics too much (this doesn’t need explaination…..or …. The flamenco artists feel the same as “us”…etc). But overall very interesting work.

The final portion of the paper take aim at politics of academia….not very interesting for my purposes and I sort of feel bad for her in this regard, that she felt a need to address that stuff and publish it for posterity. Hidden in her rant however, is an anecdote about Diego del Gastor being able to read music, and sort of approving of her transcription and sight singing of a siguiriyas letra. Again, her insecurity about it was more due to her level and experience, that is, she had not yet “grown out of” that inferiority complex of feeling like an intruder.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2021 22:42:12
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

I love Juan Carmona's Borboreo CD too. I have the transcription book. Tough stuff to play. I'll bet it is hard to make a living even at his level. Antonio Rey was playing house concerts in N. California last week. Jeez.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2021 22:44:59
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Hint: in theory, phrygian tonality before Paco is devoid of tritone substitutuion i.e. in the solea or seguiriya


The leading tone always disguises its function. I know you like Paco as the divisional line, but Montoya and Sabicas used Augmented 6th leading tone chords….however the definition Aug6 chord implies the tonicization of the V chord as per classical use, and the tritone sub is closer as a concept because the leading tone is referring to tonic (F7 replaces B7 to cadence on E via D# leading tone misspelled as Eb). In our flamenco case it is Phrygian tonic, which already lies outside of the scope of either concept (Aug6 OR tritone sub), only because it is not recognized as a BORROWED FUNCTION from Phrygian (weird to me since they use the “phrygian half cadence” for analysis but don’t recognize the slight alteration that transforms those devices into Aug6 chords????). Returning to Paco, he doesn’t necessarily need the leading tone at all to modulate, as we have seen. The flamenco system has already allowed replacements for the dominant function in Phrygian (and any tonicization out of key) as the familiar simple II-I from Phrygian, and many other devices. I have looked into old voice leading rules and such and I finally have a better grasp on how exactly the Phrygian cadence phased out due to these rules of voice leading and dissonance avoidance etc….things even very old flamenco guitar practices embrace. The G#-Bb-D of very old siguiriyas IS the same thing function wise as an ital6 in inversion and predates Paco of course. The cante of Taranto and Granaina require it, etc.

About culture and gitano…again…flamenco is not exclusive to Gitanos. There is no need to be assimilated or immersed into gitano lifestyle to be a confident artist. In the book by Russel de Maria he relates that in Sevilla Paco was invited to a Gypsy wedding but in the middle, Paco respectfully slips out and forces his friend to do the same. Being an immersed flamenco artist is one thing….watching people hold up a bloody handkerchief that the brides Dad just pulled out of his daughter’s who-ha is a different story. There are lines of course, but in the end, the foreigners make way more out of those divisions than gitanos themselves. I’ve been lucky to be involved in many Gypsy events…but music and singing is different than getting it on with someone’s daughter! Those types of lines are universally understood, or should be. I often relate the story of how sony music gave jimmy Rosenberg a huge advance on a recording project…as if he was just a regular dude with unusual talent. THAT kind of thing I think is a big disrespect of gypsy culture. Learning their music and performing it is the opposite of that, it is hugely respectful. Really the music IS the thing that opens doors. In the end it is actually OK that outsider tourists only respond to the superficial “fire and passion” or whatever they get out of it, while others go down the rabbit hole.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2021 16:51:43
 
tf10music

 

Posts: 104
Joined: Jan. 3 2017
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Anyway, Ricardo, I point out that there is no such thing as cultures except as an analytical construct


Setting the word "culture" to the side, what does it mean when a given community consolidates an ontological inside for itself? And what if that inside has a lot to do with linguistic practices and historical constructions of ethnicity and race?

I agree that the whole disciplinary discourse surrounding "culture" is gauzy and vague, since much of it seems to be a disagreement over semantics.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2021 23:17:40
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 134
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to tf10music

quote:

Setting the word "culture" to the side, what does it mean when a given community consolidates an ontological inside for itself? And what if that inside has a lot to do with linguistic practices and historical constructions of ethnicity and race?

I agree that the whole disciplinary discourse surrounding "culture" is gauzy and vague, since much of it seems to be a disagreement over semantics.

Most social science blends insider knowledge with outsider/academic analysis. Anthropology's history is tied to the refinement of the culture concept so there have been debates about whether to "put it aside" or not. What Whitney seems to object to, although she was not critical (in the sense of reflexive meta-analysis of the discipline), is the anthropological (ethnomusicology is an interdiscipline that fuses anthropology and musicology) practice of remaining outside, of not "going naitve," or of "not seeking the aesthetic experience for oneself."

Since what social scientists study is culture and people, one would take into account how a community constructs that "ontological inside." I for one am part Geertzian and part Barthian. Geertz said that culture is a context, don't reify it. Culture comes out of the analysis, not before. Barth said that ethnic boundaries are not the cultural stuff they circumscribe. In other words, a large portion of the culture of a "community" can circulate across social divisions in a plural society. So, take the communities social construction into account but realize that in plural societies, many cultural elements flow freely.

@Ricardo
quote:

In our flamenco case it is Phrygian tonic, which already lies outside of the scope of either concept (Aug6 OR tritone sub), only because it is not recognized as a BORROWED FUNCTION from Phrygian (weird to me since they use the “phrygian half cadence” for analysis but don’t recognize the slight alteration that transforms those devices into Aug6 chords????).
I don't know who "they" are.

Aside from that, there is no single phrygian cadence. iv6-V is one phrygian cadence, the prototype. But phrygian cadences come in many guises. bII-i is found in Bizet and Beethoven and Paco Solea (where paco uses it to tonicize iv). II-i is found in Riqueni and Amigo Solea. And although Montoya and Ricardo use aug6th chords on 2, they are almost always treated as chords. It is not until Sabicas that you see individual lines where someone is actually thinking of how distinc voices might connect (not just intuitive chord to chord). As for leading tone, I am not sure why you are emphasizing that. The whole point of the phrygian cadence is that it is the only one that descends by half-step rather than emphasizing the leading tone. And it is found in the descending tetrachord going back to Foscarini. It might go back even further.
A very important point is that "cadence" only covers a fraction of what we are talking about. The DT a-g-f-e is found in fandangos, jacaras, passacalles in the Baroque guitarists material and there it sometimes is juxtaposed with a plagal i-V progression that can at times seem like a plagal cadence from i-V and at other times a full cadence from V-i. Cadences do not gie the full picture. At any rate, a II-I cadence goes back to a very distant Spanish Baroque past as part of the Andalusian cadence and on its own.

As for the gitano thing, culture is never uniform. Contradictory ideas in the same social group do occur. Mairena and Pena Fernandez both see flamenco, or at least the so-called "cante gitano" as a gitano art and practice. Everything you say is logical and even commonsensical but ethnomusicology starts from the position that the scholar is an outsider. So in Bethencourt's dissertation he argues for a position that is not inside nor outside but somewhere as a scholar-practitioner or practitioner scholar.

In the end, I think Whitney was way ahead of her time for critically challenging the ethnomusicology status quo.

Good day mates! (Whatever happened to Florian?)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2021 20:26:24
 
Mark2

Posts: 1692
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

Married with two kids. Gave it all up. Smart man.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Beni2



Good day mates! (Whatever happened to Florian?)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2021 21:27:30
 
tf10music

 

Posts: 104
Joined: Jan. 3 2017
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Most social science blends insider knowledge with outsider/academic analysis. Anthropology's history is tied to the refinement of the culture concept so there have been debates about whether to "put it aside" or not. What Whitney seems to object to, although she was not critical (in the sense of reflexive meta-analysis of the discipline), is the anthropological (ethnomusicology is an interdiscipline that fuses anthropology and musicology) practice of remaining outside, of not "going naitve," or of "not seeking the aesthetic experience for oneself."

Since what social scientists study is culture and people, one would take into account how a community constructs that "ontological inside." I for one am part Geertzian and part Barthian. Geertz said that culture is a context, don't reify it. Culture comes out of the analysis, not before. Barth said that ethnic boundaries are not the cultural stuff they circumscribe. In other words, a large portion of the culture of a "community" can circulate across social divisions in a plural society. So, take the communities social construction into account but realize that in plural societies, many cultural elements flow freely.


Re: Anthropology: yeah, I mean, that question of positionality has always been the fundamental problematic in anthropological discourse. I'm not an anthropology person -- I'm in philosophy and comp lit -- but I've read enough of the anthropological interventions into continental philosophy to be aware of the way in which that anxiety about being inside versus being outside has led to a certain kind of gauzy relativism. Like, at this point few take Latour seriously outside of anthro, but the whole thing with Actor-Network Theory and all that stuff is that it seeks to place the thinking subject on equal footing with the 'object' of analysis and in doing so take the problem of the subject's/researcher's positionality out of the equation. This is clearly an unsatisfactory solution, because, as you say, part of learning or experiencing a 'culture' is precisely the 'forgetting' of that foundational problem of positionality, the phenomenon of self-abandonment in the face of communally mediated aesthetic experience (even if the forgetting or self-abandonment is only ever partial).

I'm not opposed to your framing of culture at all (though I'm not familiar with either Barth or Geertz), but I'd ask two basic questions for the sake of clarity and specificity:

What is the necessary condition for culture?
What is the sufficient condition for culture?

Your explanation seems to be focused more on what does and does not qualify as "culture" and then on how we encounter or construct it. It may well be the case that culture requires an outside (i.e. the perspective of the analysis) in order to emerge as a category -- I think that's a compelling explanation. But I could make the same argument about any subject, selfhood or ontological inside -- subjects need an outside to constitute an inside. That which is internal can only be coherent as such in the face of what which is external to it. But then you factor in the permeable and permeating character of culture (i.e. this idea of flow that you've gathered from Geertz) -- obviously the outside in its capacity as analytical gaze plays a necessary role in delineating the interiority of 'culture' as such, but it clearly cannot be the sufficient condition for culture, since that culture is also freely permeating and flowing across social, ethnic and linguistic boundaries.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 18 2021 3:20:27
Page:   [1] 2 3    >   >>
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: [1] 2 3    >   >>
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.078125 secs.