Today, this first day of February, a letra from Manuel Machado along with a video of Paco de Lucía, La Tana, Duquende, Montse Cortés, Niño Josele, Antonio Serrano, Alain Perez, and El Piraña.
Las penas que tú me das
son penas y no son penas;
que tienen cositas malas,
y tienen cositas buenas.
I'm still in a bulerías mood as I prepare to head to Jerez for the Flamenco Tour in a couple of weeks.
And so, today I have a video clip to share with you of a little girl from Jerez named Triana dancing bulerías (her signature dance of course) for Rafael Amargo. She starts off by singing the following letra then dances while her dad sings and plays guitar for her. You're going to love it.
From Veo Amanecer
Imposible me parece de creer,
que me enamoré de ti cuando solo te vi una vez,
y ahora te recuerdo y te recordaré,
como aquel bello gitano que me hizo enloquecer.
If you like exploring how letras can vary, if you're looking to practice bulerías to cante at a comfortable speed, or if you just want to get better at bulerías, then consider today's post a treat. You'll find a video with examples of one letra interpreted in two different ways along with a short activity to help you train your ear and get better at improvising.
First, the letra:
El sitio donde te hablé
ganas me dan de volverme
y sentarme un ratito en él
The great flamenco guitarist Juan Habichuela, 'Tío Juan,' known as the best cante accompanist, passed away last week.
You can see a video of him playing below along with an interview where he talks about his life as a flamenco guitarist. He says he is a guitarist who plays for cante, who loves accompanying cante, who loves cante, who loves flamenco, and that he'll die with all of that.
But first, a poem.
I saw this on Facebook, written and posted by guitarist Paco Cepero, and I wanted to share it with you:
You already know about the two main settings for flamenco.
Today I want to discuss the five main elements of flamenco,
I’ve chosen to share one video and discuss the five main elements of flamenco within it.
Let’s take a closer look:
Dancing to the cante. It is what every dancer from Jerez does, professional or non.
It is the dancer conversing with the singer.
In order to dance to the cante,
You must become familiar with the letras (song verses) and engage with the singer when dancing.
To gain familiarity with the letras:
1. Listen a lot.
2. Take a cante class, and study the letras.
To engage with the singer when dancing:
1. Observe what other good dancers do. (Hint: Notice the way Carmen responds to José in the video.)
Awhile ago I posted the first letra of this alegrías by David Lagos along with an unbelievably wonderful video of him singing it live accompanied by his brother Alfredo Lagos. Today find one more not to be missed video of David performing it live along with the first letra.
Que es chiquita y salerosa
no le pongáis tanta falta
que pa navegar yo tengo con mi barquita que me basta y sobra
She is small and charming
don't underestimate her
to sail I have my little boat who more than fills me
My main obstacle to bulerías has always been fear.
Not trusting my instincts.
It's no different from my main obstacle in life
I know indecision well.
No wonder bulerías has always been so hard for me,
Not enough trust.
In a moment I'll tell you how I've let go of a lot of my bulerías fears (and how you can do the same).
Because the truth is, now I kind of can't get enough of bulerías.
It is not that the fear has been eradicated, it's that the excitement and fun usually slide it over to the side now. Gracias excitement and fun.
But before I get into any fear eradication techniques, let me give you a bit of background:
Si tú piensas que me caigo
con un pie yo me mantengo
si tú tienes quien te quiera
también tengo quien por mi pase duquelas.
If you think I'm falling
I'll hold myself up with one foot
If you have someone who loves you
I also have one who suffers for me.
When we're on the FlamencoTour, we hear Santi practicing. A lot.
Santiago Lara, that is.
We're in the studio dancing. He's either in the bathroom or upstairs practicing.
When it's time to play for us Mercedes calls for him,
I can hear her saying it now.
Actually, if you listen carefully you can hear her saying it in the video below at about 1 minute 50 seconds...
I first interviewed him in the spring of 2013. Unfortunately, I lost all of that footage. I know, back up.
So, I interviewed him again last fall.
A letra por bulerías and a video of Paco de Lucía & Camarón de la Isla.
Tú le estás pidiendo a Dios
que mi madre se muriera
ya mi madre se murió
ya no hay quién te quiera
que menos te voy a querer yo.
You are asking God
that my mother should die
now my mother has died
and there is nobody left to love you
and I'll love you even less.
A letra for today ~
La guitarra que no suena
es lo mismo que la mar
que nunca besa la arena
Another story from Jerez...
Somehow I convinced everyone to go to bulerías class with me
I told them how it terrified me. I told them I was terrorized by it. But they still wanted to go.
I took them there even before our first class with Mercedes.
I needed for them to see it. I was hoping they would want to take it too. I was worried they might think it was too much on top everything else.
Physically it is not demanding. So, that would be no issue.
But mentally, well...
I had told them about it the night before
They were ready for certain things.
Today a video of Vicente Amigo and Diego el Cigala along with a letra and a discussion. Enjoy!
La Tarde es Caramelo
Cerca del río hay un sendero
donde la tarde es caramelo
cerca del río yo me pierdo
me encontraré cuando me encuentre con tus besos.
I left almost immediately after the show ended last night.
And people said, ¿Te vas Laura, Ya?
"You're leaving, now?"
Sí, me voy.
Even though the show just ended. I wasn't even waiting to see if something exciting happened next. I wasn't even staying to socialize some more. I was going home as early as 12:30 am...
It was a peña show last night. At Peña La Bulería.
What motivates you to continue? You, and dancers and artists like you who find the art form exciting and challenging and this in turn makes you want to improve “your art.” I guess to be fair, it’s also the art form itself. Sometimes I hate it because it can be so unforgiving, and sometimes I love it when I see beautiful dance or hear beautiful music and cante. Lots of contradictions with this art form.