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recording 2005

Manuela Carpio - sublima bailaora (a sublime flamenco dancer) |

After knowing without a doubt the importance of Flamenco to any person who wants to truely understand the essence of Classical spanish music, I set about spending a month in its birth place, Jerez de La Frontera (La Cuna de Flamenco - the cradle of Flamenco). After all, If my idols of the genre - Turina, Falla thought so, who am I to argue....
so off I went. In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined the power and passion of it all, that will take over me and make me go back to the place every year, much like religious people make pilgrim to the sites most sacred to them.

I went through the streets on the first night, looking for the sound of feet and guitars. I was told there was a show in the Peña Los cernicalos, but that I would never find it, as it is deep in barrio San Miguel, and as usual in Andalucia, no one could be bothered to give exact directions, or was to tired to so do. (I have a theory which stands to prove these people were born tired... there is no other explenation to Andalucia otherwise!!!). But I did not give up, and getting lost though this part of Jerez (which I later realised was not a safe place, as most of the drug trade in jerez is done there) I eventually fell upon it.

As luck would have it, I sat next to an amazing woman, Manuela Carpio, one of the most know and loved Flamenco dancers in Jerez, a true gypsy with Compas, fuego and Alegria like no one else has!!!! (timing, fire and happiness) I asked whether I could come and have some lessons with her, and she asked me to sing her a little. I sung some manuel de Falla, which she said was Flameco for her (gypsies call flamenco any music that sounds to them truely felt) which filed me with joy and pride (Falla is my favourite composer of the Spanish genre) and from then on this connection has developed into the most amazingly strong friendship. from then on, I spent every evening in her school, taking lessons or watching others take them. most memorable are the classes of the little 5 year old girls, who could do thing with their hands and feet I could only dream of.

This exchange between the artist of nature and ear, passion and spirit -untamed, wild and free, and myself, a natural and spirited artist(or so i would like to think), but one that grew up on a diet of main stream classical music education has been of great significance for me. I have then embarked on the journey of actively searching for gypsy singers, guitarists and dancers I can have this excange with, for it has been my inspiration and my mental food ever since. I am sure the force of it led directly to the realisation of my dream CD of November 2005 (which will be coming out this spring), where I have recorded all my beloved classical spanish music, but this story will be told in journals to come.... the story of this one is - Manuela - and the force of the untamed and free!!!! Ole!!!!

Locations Visited: Jerez de la Frontera

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To my favourite futurist writer...Keep on going...Burn this site out...
Posted by: Haim Bener on 18 Apr 2006

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