September 6, 2010

Ricardo, what motivates you to play? Everything, nature,love,beauty, fellow artists, and I mean poets, sculptors, dancers, writers, even comedians.  Everybody is collaborating, but the desire to make music, play and love your instrument should be foremost.

How did you develop your sound? From trial and error plus your own instincts.  I have to confess to you that I am not really good at playing somebody else’s music, so I always played what is inside my head.  Imagination and inspiration is a plus; those are the ingredients to develop your sound.  You have to be in tune with you inner ear and make a thousand mistakes as well, which I did there are videos of me that I said huffff (what was I thinking), but I have no regrets.  You cannot be afraid be to be your own and try different alternatives, but I do not advise to do what is been done before.  Follow your ideas.  Believe in yourself.

Any advice for aspiring students of flamenco? For me it is to give special attention to the small details, the ones that get overlooked over and over.  Think about when you cross a bridge; next time think of the little guys that are sustaining that big bridge, those nuts and bolts, but they are in the right place is not a small feat…in other words build from the ground up.  Get a strong foundation that is all.

You recorded your CD in Jerez, was this intimidating for you? Yes and no.  I had the trust and the backing of Luis Carrasco the producer in the CD.  He is a very well respected musician and has performed and collaborated with many great artists including Diego del Morao, one of the premier guitarists in Spain.  To me for somebody of that caliber to believe in me and trust my musicianship gave an immense security.  Also having those big time flamenco artists walk through that door digging your music and complimenting you was very fulfilling.  The only part I really had a hard time with was when I had to record the bulerías in Jerez.  I wanted to take the train back and disappear and come back to the studio in Oakland and do it here, but Luis talked me out of it, and I took the bull by the horns. You have to be fearless or a Travieso (rascal) or both in order to survive in this complex art called FLAMENCO.