This week's letra comes at the request of a reader. She is learning a soleá to this music and wanted to know the words.
Here is the first letra:
Por qué no te levantas tempranito
que al castillito quiero ir
me han dicho que con el alba
se oye el eco de Joaquín el de la Paula
In the first installment of the flamenco cuplé series I'll explain what a cuplé is and show you a video example. But let's begin by looking at this one that Ani sang one day during bulerías class on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. It was so pretty, so I asked her to tell me the words:
¿Quién se ha llevao mi amor?
¿Quién me ha dejao sin nada?
¿Quién se ha llevao todo el sol
que entraba por mi ventana?
The other day a friend of mine shared with me the video you see below of Niña Pastori and her husband Chaboli. She is singing a letra written by her father in law, El Jeros, and it is SO beautiful. So, I share it with you today. Enjoy!
From 'Somos Dos'
No somos dos, somos doscientos
Somos el mundo, el universo
Somos los mares, somos los vientos
Somos la nieve, somos la escarcha
Somos la luz que brilla en el alma
Today a video of Emilio Ochando (who will be in Portland next month for workshops!) dancing alegrías and a letra.
Alegrías de Cádiz
A Cai no le llaman Cai,
que le llaman relicario,
porque por patrona tiene
a la Virgen del Rosario.
One year comes to an end, another begins. Which means ... It's time to party! Read Manuel Machado's words on how we might do this flamenco style, and watch a video of Montse Cortés and Chonchi Heredia singing it live with Paco de Lucia below.
Then check out the end of this post where I share four flamenco events I'm looking forward to in the coming year.
Una fiesta se hace
con tres personas:
Uno baila, otro canta
y el otro toca.
Ya me olvidaba
de los que dicen ¡Olé!
y tocan palmas.
I'm currently in Prado del Rey in the Sierra de Cádiz where I've been walking and hiking and exploring like crazy. I came after the Flamenco Tour ended, and it is magnificent! (A perfect place to be to nurse Flamenco Tour withdrawals. In fact, I'm dreaming of a Flamenco Tour add-on trip, or just a tour of its own, to visit these white hill towns and walk in the Sierra de Cádiz... You can see some pictures below.)
In honor of the Concurso Nacional de Cante Por Serranas held right here in Prado, a serranas this week:
Yo crié en mi rebaño
de tanto acariciarla
se volvió fiera.
Y las mujeres
de tanto acariciarlas
fieras se vuelven.
Below find a letra that David Lagos sang during our private show on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez.
That night David sang granaína, rondeñas, caña, fandangos por bulerías, alegrías, bulerías... I was in HEAVEN. We all were. The piece including the letra below happened like this: Santi set it up with a beautiful intro, David sang a letra por granaínas, then they immediately transitioned into rondeñas. I wish you could have been there. (You can find out more about that show and how it was the highlight of Julie's summer following the letra.)
Por momentos mis martirios
se estaban doblando
de noche y de día,
I want to share a story with you about how I messed up dancing bulerías last weekend, how it left me feeling not so happy about my dancing, eight important lessons about flamenco (and life) I learned in the process, and how those lessons served me when I applied them to a sticky situation in my life.
So last weekend I took a workshop with Alfonso Cid. He shared bunches of bulerías letras with us (you'll find one below) and gave a very informative introduction to flamenco, with a focus on cante. He had us all singing and doing palmas and even got some of us up dancing.
Toward the end of the workshop someone asked Alfonso to address how to dance bulerías por fiesta, how to dance to the cante. (As you know, this is one of my favorite things.)
Yay! (and Olé).
Some people got up to dance, mess up or not mess up, and learn along the way.
I was one of those people.
And here is what I learned:
Mercedes Ruíz, our teacher on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez, was awarded the 'Flamenco Hoy' prize for the Best Flamenco Dancer of 2015 (Mejor Bailaora). You can watch a new video of her below as well as read a flamenco letra on love.
Today marks two weeks since my return from Jerez.
Of course it feels good to be home, but I do miss the daily dance classes, shared meals and community, the immersion into the Spanish language, hearing and seeing flamenco everywhere, the southern Spanish sun, the pace of the day, and the escape, the simply being away.
Thankfully I got to come home to my absolutely amazing friends and loved ones, our incredible flamenco community here, and the beautiful state of Oregon. And thankfully I had flamenco already built into my schedule with our summer workshops and teaching at the Oregon Ballet Theatre.
If only I could still have class with Mercedes every morning . . .
I'm in Jerez.
One by one the Flamenco Tour students are arriving. It's so exciting.
Tonight we get to know each other at the opening night tapas reception. Then we'll go to the Peña los Cernícalos to watch Ana María López's Fin de Curso. Tomorrow we begin our workshop with Mercedes Ruíz. The next day we start our bulerías class . . .
And so, a letra por bulerías.
Below find another tangos from La Niña de los Peines followed by a recording and a palmas activity for you.
A mi madre abandoné
por tu querer solamente
Ahora me veo solita
sin madre y sin tu querer
I abandoned my mother
just for your love
Now I am alone
without a mother and without your love
It's worth posting another version of this letra.
Quisiera ser como el aire
y tenerte yo a mi vera
sin que lo notara nadie
I would like to be like the air
and have you by my side
without anybody noticing
A Letra from Otra Galaxia (Other Galaxy)
Antonio Humanes, José Monge Cruz (Camarón)
Yo me pregunto mil veces
mi paso por este mundo
y a quién le debo mis alegrías y mis penas
¿Será al cielo y a la tierra
o a los senderos ocultos de la esfera?
I ask myself a thousand times
my path in this world
and to whom do I owe my joys and my sorrows,
to the sky and the land
or to the hidden paths of the globe?
I am sitting on my bed looking up at the Alhambra. (No, I am not joking.) It is almost 1am, and I am in Granada. I was doing almost this exact same thing at almost this exact same time last night.
In a moment I'll get to this week's letra along with a great raw video of Junco singing and playing guitar for the camera.
But first I want to tell you more about yesterday
I began writing this note to you in my little book yesterday evening at the Mirador de San Nicolás while listening to two guys playing rumbas with (once again) the Alhambra as my back drop.
Will 2015 be the year to go to Spain? More on that below, but first a letra:
Qué dolor de mi mare
tengo la camisa sucia
no tengo quien me la lave
The sorrow of my mother
I have a dirty shirt
I have nobody to wash it for me
You can listen to it here.
Stay tuned next week for the final letra of 2014 and the final installment of this series of bulerías shared by Zorri. (Don't worry, you'll see more letras from him here and there in the future.)
It's week two of bulerías shared by Zorri.
No sé lo que te han contao
que hasta vuelve la cabeza
cuando pasa por mi lao
I don't know what they told you
that has you turn your head,
when you pass by my side
I am in the province of Málaga, so I am thinking of malagueñas. which I love.
Apparently the original malagueñas had folkloric and rhythmic origins from here in Málaga. It would make sense to share one of those letras with you.
But I don't want to.
(Anyway, I posted a verdiales last week.)
Today I want to share this Malagueña del Mellizo with you.
It is said that Enrique el Mellizo's influence transformed malagueñas into the cante libre style we hear today. (He was not from Málaga.)
Here's another one from the little book that Melinda gave to me,
Dicen que no siento nada
y las carnes de mis huesos
a pedazos se me van
They say that I don't feel anything
and the skin from my bones
falls off in pieces
The MGA (Mystery Guest Artist) supplied me with today's letra. Una letra por tangos and a coletilla.
hay una fuente de oro
donde lavan las mozuelas
los pañuelos de los mozos
que yo no tengo dinero
que no que no,
Cariño es lo que yo quiero