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Paleto

Posts: 243
Joined: Jul. 29 2003
From: San Diego, CA

Classical guitarists and flamenco 

Hey all,

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I guess I am curious how others think about classical guitarists playing flamenco.

There are quite a few classical guitarists here in San Diego who advise visitors to their website that they play flamenco. Then when you listen to a sample, it is clear that they barely have a clue, and worse. This has me pissed off today because people who hire them - wedding coordinators, hotel catering managers/sales people etc. - also do not understand it as a fraud. There are a few who play both well, but very, very few.

Few people recognize the things flamenco guitarists have to endure and learn that classical guitarists almost totally miss out on - accompaniment. I wish there was a way to gently convince them to back off flamenco unless they are willing to dedicate the necessary time to really get what flamenco is all about. I do not claim to know it all by any means, but I do know the feeling of making mistakes in compas with a dancer or singer, and the necessity of being right on, suppressing the desire to play something highly musical for the need of the moment to just play straight, clean rhythm, something probably 1% of classical guitarists have experience with.

I am someone who respects classical guitarists, all guitarists really. But I don't go calling myself a classical guitarist just because I know a Bach piece or two. As a matter of fact, I respectfully defer the performance of classical to classical guitarists, I wish they would do the same. Their attempts at playing "soleares" are something to be endured, not enjoyed.

How do you guys handle the misimpression most of the public has about flamenco and classical guitarists?

-Anthony
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 0:16:53
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

I have played flamenco my entire adult life but I've loved classical music since I was a child. My two older sisters were both classical pianists. After playing flamenco guitar for about 15 years I decided to study classical. I spent 15 or so years studying and taking master classes and ended up with probably 3-4 hours of professional level classical pieces that I could perform. I loved playing duets and ensemble music and did a lot of transcriptions of Chopin, Bach, Turina, etc. However it was always clear to me and to my friends and fellow players that I was a flamenco guitarist playing classical.

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John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 0:50:55
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Being a bull I simply love when people wave a red flag at me, especially when it gives me the opportunity to collide with other bulls stampeding from the opposite direction.

Honestly though I personally dislike hearing music played badly regardless of the style of the piece or the background of the player. A classical guitarist making a hash of flamenco is no more offensive to me than a 'pure' flamenco player making a hash of it. Or for another example a flamenco player pretending to play jazz when he knows no standards is just as annoying as an incompetent jazzer in his home style.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 1:25:53
 
val

 

Posts: 800
Joined: Apr. 4 2007
From: London

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

quote:

How do you guys handle the misimpression most of the public has about flamenco and classical guitarists?

I was a classical guitarist first (student level) and was given a practice piece from Juan Martin's Solea which got me hooked. With no Flamenco teacher on hand, I persevered alone for about a year with only JM's book to guide me and SORT of got the hang of compas. Before that, I didn't even know what compas was or how flamenco was supposed to sound. It wasn't a problem because I enjoyed what I was doing anyway. It wasn't until I found a dance teacher and had danced for about 4 years that I started to realise that I could recognise the different forms when I heard them and had really got to grips with timing.

For the general public, a good classical soloist dabbling in Flamenco is probably going to produce something very different from the usual restaurant repertoire and probably the punters would find it enjoyable. Who knows - it might even inspire some of them to pick up and listen to a couple of flamenco cds and get them interested in the real thing.

I'd be disappointed now if I went to hear someone who was billed as a flamenco guitarist only to find that he/she really had no idea. However, the majority of people at a restaurant, wedding or corporate function wouldn't know the difference, so from that point of view - good luck to them - if they're playing such venues they're trying to earn a living and the majority will do whatever it takes.

I don't often express opinions so hope this doesn't get me into trouble.
Val
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 1:30:16
 
nhills

Posts: 230
Joined: Jul. 13 2003
From: West Des Moines, IA USA

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Where's Grisha?

Norman

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 1:50:31
 
Tim

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Jun. 12 2007
From: Los Angeles, CA

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Hmmm... Grisha Goryachev and Adam del Monte are classical guitarists, and they play flamenco beautifully! I enjoy watching Grisha and Adam every bit as much as Paco and Sabicas.

As a counter-example to your post, I submit:

http://www.youtube.com/user/mininocurro

http://www.youtube.com/user/NewLearningVision

I mean, I know what you're saying and all, but just because someone has a classical background doesn't mean they should necessarily written off as a flamenco artists.

Bad flamenco is bad flamenco, regardless of the background of the player. You should probably focus on the player, and not their affiliation. Here the old mantra applies -- Correlation does not imply causation.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 2:27:01
 
TANúñez

Posts: 2559
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
From: TEXAS

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Tim

quote:

Bad flamenco is bad flamenco, regardless of the background of the player. You should probably focus on the player, and not their affiliation. Here the old mantra applies -- Correlation does not imply causation.


Very well put Tim. Welcome to the foro.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 2:32:05
 
Tim

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Jun. 12 2007
From: Los Angeles, CA

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to TANúñez

Thanks. Glad to be here! It's nice to finally find an oasis to hang out with some fellow flamenco junkies!

Until I found this foro, I really didn't know anyone outside of Andalucia that had a "flamenco habit". Nice to know there are so many of us.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 2:47:07
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Tim

Welcome Tim it's good to have more people who know that respect for one style need not be built on contempt for another. I had been expecting this thread to take a really different direction, boy am I relieved.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 10:56:44
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

I know exactly what you mean. They say they can 'flamenco', but they actually have no idea. I think this comes from thinking of flamenco as inferior folk music, which they dont have to "know" anyways. Some classical guy said to me once, that the great composers (of course CLASSICAL composers; flamenco composers are inferior) used flamenco elements and made great pieces out of it - before it was just folk music.

Correlation is no causation - true. But if there are only 2 classical examples who can flamenco as is should be, then there is something to think about. For example - as a german saying goes - exceptions proove the rule.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 12:58:12
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to XXX

I think that is one of the most commonly abused sayings in the English language . To 'prove' means (in archaic English ) to test, ie exceptions TEST rules. In this case showing them to be false.

Certainly though it is very common for peopl to show that they do not understand what the saying means by attempting to use it to strengthen weak rhetoric.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 14:42:39
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to guitarbuddha

I understand the saying like this: The fact that there are exceptions, and exceptions are always few otherwise they wouldnt be exceptions..., prooves the (general) rule. How you YOU understand it?

(btw. the "rule" does not mean that there is NO exception. ie NO classical can play flamenco, there are at least 2 that can. but generally(!) this is not the rule)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 14:53:46
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to XXX

Very well thank you .
D.

JOKE

What do Brigitte Bardot and Margaret Thatcher have in common ? Well in their youth the were both very beautiful........except for Margaret Thatcher.

....

I suppose I get a little tired when it seems fashionable to approve of a questionable performance by a gitano and to trash an earnest ( if uninformed ) performance by a young classical guitarist. It's all a bit tribal for me.

I remember at a guitar festival being very bored by the flamenco instructor's tedious and sustained attacks on the nature of classical guitar and also by one of the (rather talentless) classical teacher's mirror image negativity on the nature of flamenco. I couldn't help but think that if they were a little bit more secure about their own abilities maybe it would be easier for them to respect others.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 15:55:49
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

quote:

people who hire them - wedding coordinators, hotel catering managers/sales people etc. - also do not understand it as a fraud


Funny here is that in most cases people hiring them expect exactly what the guitarists are offering - flamenco pieces classical style without rhythm, maybe a couple of rumbas.

If we from the forum get pissed at this (which I do too) it's because we feel offended that somebody is playing what we play without putting in the effort that we did and knowing they're doing it wrong or not as well. Though I admit to getting pissed at this too it actually is a bit egotistical if you think about it. Basically there's only one important thing, the audience should hear what they want and like, and few are gonna play soleáres like PDL, just like few are gonna play the 24 caprices like Elliot Fisk. How well you do it is not the point if the audience enjoys it, that is the only service the guitarist is offering.

I like to talk to these type of guitarists and rather than point out errors "discuss differences" and maybe show him/her a few things I know, maybe they'll get it on their own.

Any classical guitarist can be a "flamenco guitarist" and play soleares out of compás at a wedding, he/she just needs to make sure the audience doesn't know the difference. When I play solo I don't call myself flamenco or classical, I call myself "Spanish Guitarist" so I can play other things too and everybody knows what they're getting. My repertoire is all Spanish (maybe they could expect a guitarist born in Spain though, haha)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 16:01:08
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Why arent there so many (if any) Jazz-guitarrists that label themselves with being able to play flamenco? Rock/Metal guys call it sometimes flamenco-LICKS, to describe a certain sound, but not flamenco. The difference between a flamenco guy and a classical guy, both out of compas, is that the flamenco guy knows that it actually should sound better, and that hes nowhere near the original.

@buddha: You somehow missed the intention of the thread(maker). Here, classical guitarrists were in discussion, such guitarrists that mislabel themselves. It was stated that this is (obviously) a general problem, and what could be the (general) reasons for this. It was not about a specific guitarrist, nor was the claim here that no classical guitarrists can do it properly.

How many flamencos call themselves classical guitarrist? Why is it so few (is there any?) compared to the other direction?

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 16:57:28
 
Mark2

Posts: 1891
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to guitarbuddha

quote:

ORIGINAL: guitarbuddha

Very well thank you .
D.

JOKE

What do Brigitte Bardot and Margaret Thatcher have in common ? Well in their youth the were both very beautiful........except for Margaret Thatcher.

....

I suppose I get a little tired when it seems fashionable to approve of a questionable performance by a gitano and to trash an earnest ( if uninformed ) performance by a young classical guitarist. It's all a bit tribal for me.

others.

D.



Are you writing about the rather expressive Russian playing Paco's Tarrantas? If so, I couldn't disagree with you more. I really have no problem with the fact that the guy took major liberties with the phrasing, but IMO he did to cover the fact that his technique was not up to the challange, not because he never heard the piece. I really think he's heard the piece. Probably a lot. I think he developed a very personal interpretation based on his background, and his technique. And it was unsatisfying, although interesting, to me based on my long time familiarity with the original. Contrasted with the flamenco, who's performance, which was not really a performance, was not questionable in the least if you were able to take it in context. Both players were over reaching technically, but the flamenco was simply not warmed up. The Russian guy was calculating in his lack of technique. Aside from the fact that the Russian put a lot more effort into his presentation, he is simply not in the same league as the flamenco when it comes to ........flamenco.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 17:59:20
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

I know Tilman Hoppstock, a truly great classical guitarist, played tarrantas from PDL. Could it be the same interpretation? Anyway, Tilman Hoppstock says this:

"C.G.: It is interesting that you play the cello in this way (Baroque) and yet you play the modern classical guitar and not the lute.

T.H.: No, it's too much. Like flamenco music - you can't do everything. I also used to play the piano but I've stopped because it's too much. When I adapt Baroque or - for example - flamenco music for my instrument I always try to figure out the typical idiom and sense of that piece which I play, to transform it on guitar as authentically as possible. I like to do that very much even though I know it will never be the same as it can be with original instruments."

I think that's well put.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 18:30:59
 
Paleto

Posts: 243
Joined: Jul. 29 2003
From: San Diego, CA

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to guitarbuddha

I worry that some of you have missed my point that there are guitarists who play both classical and flamenco very, very well, and Adam del Monte is a primary example, the first one that comes to my mind and one of the most talented guitarists I have ever seen. The thing is that they are very, very few.

I am more just ranting because the public gets misled, and people develop a concept of flamenco based on a poor model. For some reason, I feel the need to give the public a sharper picture and understanding of what I think most aficionados believe flamenco to be. I also know that I and every other moderately accomplished flamenco guitarist have had to work hard to feel the compás and tempo changes, listen to the singer, be aware of all the cuing going on to do traditional flamenco. You have to suppress the desire to play musically gorgeous stuff to produce what is needed at the moment, crisp, clear rhythm. Only a select few people are successful at playing both classical and flamenco accurately. Most of the classical guitarists here in San Diego cannot play flamenco, but get gigs doing so, even though they really have no idea how far off the mark they are.

There are also some guitarists who do nothing but Ottmar Liebert, Jesse Cook, Gypsy Kings style music and are thought of (and sometimes claim to be performing) as flamenco, but it is not true, even though the artists above imitate or are inspired by flamenco.

This kind of thing happens in many fields, and fortunately in music, no real harm is done, in comparison with say medicine, or a contractor accepting work he really doesn't know how to do correctly and then a building collapses.

Please do not take this thread as general disrespect for classical guitarists, I love classical and am studying a Bach piece for a wedding at the moment. But I have taken some classical with one of the best players in town and also work at some classical technique studies. I am also informed about Bach's life and a little about Baroque music (I have read Christoph Wolff's biography of Bach). I have been listening to a lutenist play Bach for several years now and I think I know enough about it to do a decent job. But, I do not advertise that I play classical to potential clients because it is simply untrue, and I cannot play Baroque like someone who also plays de Viseé, or S. L. Weiss or another Baroque composer.

My respect for flamenco does not depend upon contempt for another style, I love classical, the problem I have is in misrepresentation and bad execution of flamenco for ignorant audiences.

When I am asked to play a gig doing classical, I have a list of good, respectable, professional classical guitarists I send to clients (people I know and respect), so the client gets what they are asking for, rather than accept the gig, and ruin it, or give a false impression.

Respectfully,

-Anthony
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 18:41:53
 
Mark2

Posts: 1891
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Paleto,
I have witnessed what you are talking about in my area too, but it doesn't bother me. It's a holier than thou situation. There is a gitano flamenco singer who says no Americans have the right to call what they do flamenco. So, it's a matter of where you are on the totem pole. I don't take classical guitar gigs either, but I do play a few simple pieces and have no problem saying that. A classical guitarist could play pop, some jazz, and yes, even a bit of flamenco and cover the kind of gig your talking about(casual, wedding) very well.

What you should concentrate on, IMO, is your own playing, and not worry about what others, better or worse, less qualified or more, do. Most of these type of gigs come through contacts and marketing, not sheer ability. If you want more of this kind of work, look into that aspect of it. I think it's also true that the "casual flamenco" type of gig might be better covered by a guy who plays some classical, some pop, some other known music, than by the guy who plays solea, bulerias, sig, alegrias, etc. And for the gig for the flamenco guitarist who must know how to accompany dance and cante, those guys you write about are not in the pool.
I saw a quote years ago that went "A lot of people promise flamenco, but few deliver the goods" It's as true today as ever. And a challenge for anyone not born into the art to live up to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 19:52:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14960
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

This thread is not really about classical vs flamenco. It is yet again about how do we all feel about folks that don't know what flamenco IS. "people" means performers and audience alike. Point being there are different levels to how deep people are going to understand flamenco. Agents have to give people what they want, no more no less. Can't blame the classical guy for selling his brand when that is EXACTLY what the ignorant people want. Recuerdos or leyenda is flamenco to some, others it is ottmar, others Gypsy Kings, others Sabicas, others PDL and Co., others only Agujetas is the living example of flamenco.

So if they wanted leyenda for the wedding and Agujetas shows up with Morao, how is that going to work out do you think? And NO Spanish gitano wedding happening in USA is going to accidently contract a hack classical player because of his false advert.

Having got that out, regarding classical and flamenco guitarists trying out each others stuff, there is and always will be a close connection because the intrument is essentially the same. Nylon string acoustic you play with nails. So you have comparisons, and you have "novel" pieces in the repertoire. No big deal. I would say for what ever it is worth, that no aficionado will accept a classical player's novel interpretation as exemplary flamenco. But a lot of classical musicians WILL accept say PDL's Rodrigo or De Falla as valid classical interp. with be it with a flamenco twist, yet still exemplary and to the score.

Grisha does not have novel pieces, nor Delmonte, they actually use a flamenco instrument and "change clothes" so to speak when doing flamenco pieces. And not just a few, they have entire concerts worth of either style I assume.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 31 2007 21:15:57
 
eccullen

 

Posts: 97
Joined: Aug. 14 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

Hello,

I am new to the forum here and have really enjoyed it- learned alot and have come to check it near daily for the last few weeks. Thank you to all.

This thread caught my attention and triggered some thoughts - so here they are.


...and this thread is probably a good one for me to reply to because though I work at both classical and flamenco and have each kind of guitar and listen to both (alot) I am so poor at both that I'm pretty sure noone would make the mistake of including me in any category yet. The dream fullfilled would be for someone someday to say regarding flamenco "hey, he get's it !"- but I'm not holding my breath...)

re the thread:
Part of it is about clarifying what we mean by certain words and where the use reaches into areas of diasgreement regarding the use, and how we want to resolve disagreement. The points about misrepresentation: I share the feeling. Part of it is about the pervasiveness of dichotomous thinking: like its somehow key to think of things in terms of this or that, us or them, in or out. Tribalisms. This kind of thinking justifies a ton of the hostilities in the world and generates the vicitimization that leaves some "on the outside"... like gypsies. So some part of the issue here relates to tolerance and to how important it is to define groups, create group idenities, and how to keep the purpose of this benevolent.

I always recoil when I read Segovia's dissmissive scorn of PDL; and feel some sense of appreciation at breaking down boundaries of classification, a bit of a heroic thing, when I hear PDLs rendition of part of the core of the classical repetoire. Or when I hear about Vicente's work with Leo Brouwer. I mean if these men transcend boundaries why would anyone want to hold too tightly to them? We all accept the variety that exists within Flamenco and we all would group Vicente with Albeniz before
grouping him with John Cage. So seeing variety, and spectrums rather than definitive dulalistic categories seems worthwhile and vital while holding too tight to groupings seems both to give clarity of definition and agreement but also to make us vulnerable to the consequences of intolerance.

I would love to be able to do it all but would be happy even with a part !
((after I reread it it sounded a little pedantic- so apologies, sent it anyway, figure I better dive in...))
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 4:01:06
 
HemeolaMan

Posts: 1514
Joined: Jul. 13 2007
From: Chicago

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to eccullen

word to that. welcome to the foro. as for being pedantic, sometimes ya gotta come out of left field lol. after all, we're all "experts" here, some more than others. street cred not withstanding lol

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 4:15:42
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to eccullen

quote:

ORIGINAL: eccullen

I am new to the forum here and have really enjoyed it- learned alot and have come to check it near daily for the last few weeks. Thank you to all.


Welcome Clark. Yep I'm a Foro junkie too! It's just great to share with other people who also love flamenco.
quote:


sent it anyway, figure I better dive in...))


Great - that's what the Foro is for! And your post was very thoughtful. Look forward to more.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 10:47:39
 
HemeolaMan

Posts: 1514
Joined: Jul. 13 2007
From: Chicago

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto)1 votes

believe me this sounds angry, but its not. I'm not makin fun, I'm not trying to piss razors and broken glass on anybody.

I hadn't realized it myself until this thread, but man, I really dislike this kind of argument. It seems everyone on this forum is part of one tribe or another.

The categorical purist tribe: thinks that flamenco should only gain exposure by a select few Really profficient players who can accurately produce a really spectacular piece to steamroll even the most unwilling audience. because the listener has no choice whatsoever in determining the quality or authenticity of the performance they see, there must only be super authentic performances, lest the listener should have to use their judgment to ACTUALLY DETERMINE SOMETHING FOR THEMSELVES. there must be no flamenco other than that which is approved by this tribunal.

The flexible guys: this tribe says hey man, maybe theres some top notch classical players out there who can nail a bulerias. maybe its not so bad, and there is hope for diversity. Maybe human beings are capable of being moderately good at more than one thing. MAYBE

the "i'm no good at this type of thing but I'm sure the effort is worth something" tribe: these guys are the opposite of the puro tribe. they feel that as long as you make an effort to respect a tradition you should be commended and there's no need for scrutiny. You did the best you could, there's alot of nobility in that.


HELLO when has commercial music EVER been about anything than making money? If i want to have a profound musical experience I'm not going to go see mr. Juan I'maRealSpaniardIPromise Martin. I am not going to go to a smokey jazz bar and hear standards, I am not going to expect authenticity at a wedding, I will not listen to top 40...... I'll go pick up my favorite recordings, or pick up a guitar and really get into it.

Seriously, REAL flamenco happens in very few places on the planet as it is. REALLY GOOD REAL flamenco, in the perspective of some, happens almost never. So why would you rob yourself of the opportunity to educate n00bs about real flamenco, by disparaging the efforts of entertainers to flavor things flamenco.

So a russian dude took a crack at a piece and wasn't fantastic. ****. he blew my ass out of the water, and HE MADE A BUCK. HIS FACE IS ON YOU TUBE. PEOPLE WHO ARE AIMLESSLY SEARCHING FLAMENCO (after hearing ottmar liebert) WILL FIND HIM. THEN THEY WILL FIND YOU AND BE IN AWE OF YOUR GREATNESS

people who suck at something are the gateway drug to the puro world. The development of a noob goes from total idiot-----> somewhat informed----> insistence on total authenticity.

CAN'T WE AGREE THAT IF THE PUBLIC GAVE A **** ABOUT REAL FLAMENCO THEY WOULD ALREADY BE MEMBERS OF THIS FORUM!!?!?!??!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 0:22:04
 
eccullen

 

Posts: 97
Joined: Aug. 14 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to HemeolaMan)1 votes

too funny; I agree.
And I think similarly my first response was from frustration at the kind of argument or situation, but then yikes suddenly I'm part of it! -a member of the tribe that whines about tribalism!
oh well

The misrepresentation part that started the thread: - if someone is sold a fake rolex but is totally happy in the beleif that they have a "rolex" they have still been deceived, misled; or a fake Rembrandt. When only the specialist ( who may or may not be elitist) can tell the difference for the general public, what should occur? Music with all its mergings and morphings and levels of ability is somehow different. More like language than like watches.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 1:19:53
Guest

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to eccullen

hey this is not really to do with the topic but does the classical world have a juan martin equivilent?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 2:03:20
 
Florian

Posts: 9282
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

quote:

How do you guys handle the misimpression most of the public has about flamenco and classical guitarists?


I gues i dont really care, its flattering if anything, even if some dont do it right by a flamencos standards, they think enough of it to wanna learn it and play it i think thats a testament to flamenco.

70% of the time, what is expected of us to do in a wedding gig is not flamenco

most of the time weddings is something any musicean just does for money, u dont go there hoping to get your flamenco out, u just go there hoping to get trough it with some dignity

nothing about weddings is real life, the hair looks ridiculous, the bride dress and grooms suit are out of style and out of normal , the cake looks good but tastes like crap, the speaches are over the top, the brides mades dresses are ugly.

most weedings are like circus events everyone just wants to get trough it

classical guitarists and flamenco have 50 - 50 right to it, not to mention it goes the other way too, theres also flamenco guitarists who do classical and perhaps dont do it as well to a classical guitarists ears so i gues they have just as much right to ask the same question.

the thing that counts is that classical guitarists cant steal our normal activities, playing for classes, flamenco shows etc.

and same for us , we cant steal theyr normal activities whatever they are playing for classical afficionados, recitals etc.

its simple , we are all musiceans and sometimes u have to do whatever to survive, it has nothing to do with respect, weddings are out of the ordinary events and are fair go for anyone.
after that everything goes back to normal just as they should be.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 5:17:21
 
gato

Posts: 322
Joined: Jun. 9 2007
 

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

I really should have an opinion here.....is it that bad??? Who are we to be so concearned??? I mean, if people enjoy the music.......let them, and stop living such the life. Enjoy the flamenco, don't worry about what other people do. I say, it's better to be diplomatic about the arts whatever they may be. You may find yourself a lot happier, and more excited about what you (yourself) are doing.....

Gary
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 5:41:20
 
Paleto

Posts: 243
Joined: Jul. 29 2003
From: San Diego, CA

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Florian)2 votes

Florian,

Your response interests me because your experience of weddings is very different from mine. I receive emails from my website, where I know the bride or groom has specifically searched for flamenco, and although their concept may include Gipsy Kings or Ottmar Liebert, I tell them that I don't play those artist's music, but that what I do play is really, really nice. I also get referred by a few hotels and wedding coordinators and other vendors who I also refer, so when they call or email, it's usually because the bride and or groom are requesting flamenco.

The weddings I tend to get booked for, are generally not as you describe, they are mostly fairly well organized, especially if there's a coordinator. If I do the ceremony, I play some guajira (the Paco Peña one, with a few minor modifications and the Riqueni one) although I slow it down a lot. I use an introduction I created or improvise from Cambió la luz del alba (by El Pele and Vicente Amigo), sometimes I use material from Núñez's Queda la sal (especially the intro), and I play Riqueni's main theme from Y enamorarse (from his Mi Tiempo cd) for the recessional.

Then, for the cocktail reception I play what I want, usually the Manolo Franco colombiana, a bit slower than he plays it, with touches I have learned from Vicente Amigo's playing, to give it warmth, then I'll play tangos, rumba, granaína, bulerías, all very warm sounding, then I like to play Caños de la meca or Calima, it sounds really nice after sunset, as the moon and stars are coming out - people comment a lot on how much they like it, I play it less intensely than he does, again, with a bit of Vicente's feel in it.

I guess I have been fortunate to have gotten relaxed brides, who seem to be the ones who end up hiring me. I don't get pretentious, uptight ones who want to regulate everything, they mostly let me take the drivers seat, but might request things from my repertoire for the processional and recessional, otherwise they just say, you know what to do....I guess the more uptight ones want traditional classical music for the ceremony and maybe jazz and their own favorites or a mix to please the crowd.

Sometimes they offer to feed me, and more often than not, the food is good. That's probably an effect of the tough competition here, lots of caterers or hotels, many are good, some are excellent.

In my opinion, Vicente's and some of Riqueni's ideas/style fit best into weddings, they have such a unique stamp, and especially Vicente's music has a warmth that I don't see in anyone else. Núñez is awesome, but I add some of the feel from Vicente when I play Núñez and somehow it sounds warmer, and I can tell people really like it. I cover the spectrum in terms of intensity, playing a rumba at about 170bpm, then maybe some alegrías at 150bpm, then granaína, then a bulería about 212bpm, then go to tangos at 166bpm, then maybe a fandango without looped compás (I use a loop/rhythm station with sampled flamenco rhythm for most but not all stuff I play, mostly from Sólo Compás cds), then maybe some sevillanas (the Núñez ones), and I just keep going through all my repertoire, even soleá and taranta. Once the cocktail hour is underway, you can play most anything, especially for open minded people, who I think are in general attracted to flamenco. It seems to me to be key to play in a little bit warmer style, I don't think playing Felipe Maya or Morón style would go over as well for a wedding atmosphere, there's really something about playing VA, Núñez, Riqueni, Ramón Jiménez, and some other music I have selected that gives the right wedding feel.

I fit more easily in the cocktail hour/reception/dinner parts, but I like being at the ceremonies, it's nice to see people committing themselves, and to see how proud the families are. Usually, people really like hearing something other than the over-done, cliché classical stuff. I am not saying that music is not good, i am the first to admit a love of Bach, but it is so typical that there are lots of brides and grooms looking for something different.

I try to make every wedding better than the last in terms of my playing, and I think what I do adds warmth that people respond to, those that are conscious of how great music can make you feel good.

Anyway, this has been my experience so far of doing weddings.

-Anthony
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 6:58:15
 
koella

Posts: 2194
Joined: Sep. 10 2005
From: holland

RE: Classical guitarists and flamenco (in reply to Paleto

That's a nice story Anthony, and very educational for people who think about playing at weddings. Thanks for sharing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 7:15:25
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