Corollaries of the Backstage has developed within the ‘Flamenco In The Backstage’ project I have been directing since 2013. I have long felt the need to capture my vision of flamenco accompaniment through my own instrument, the piano, without imitating the usual patterns of flamenco guitar.
This new work has allowed me to dig deep into the very guts of flamenco cantes (vocal patterns), unravel little by little their many threads, and bind them to the piano strings, with all the gentleness and caring they deserve. My goal is to achieve what has already been done magnificently on guitar: the development of a flamenco piano language with its own identity, making full use of the abundant resources offered by this king of instruments. In my view, using the piano to imitate the guitar is to belittle it.
This first DVD release contains 11 videos in which two generations of flamenco artists have participated. The choice of the cantesincluded here has been quite deliberate. I wanted to offer a different vision of the basic pillars of flamenco, so we have done our best to perform them with maximum freedom, ingenuity, and freshness. I must add, and I believe I am not mistaken, this is the only available audiovisual recording presenting the most relevant cantesof flamenco in which the accompaniment is provided by an instrument other than the guitar.
Spontaneity is, in my view, the most remarkable source of this art’s richness; the performer’s freedom is its foundation; and the risks taken in each performance are the incentive for the artist’s constant nourishment. Flamenco cante (vocals), baile (dance) and toque (instrumental performance) all have these virtues, but current recording practices have tended to play them down, favoring instead other elements of lesser value.
In my understanding, most of the albums released in the last three decades – my own included – are partly lacking in these qualities, with all of its pros and cons. I have been longing for the freshness of live performances, of improvisation, including all those magicalflaws (if you wish) which are also featured in this DVD and which for me, I should admit, embellish it. Such is the charm of this and many other artistic expressions, since imperfection is part of perfection. Having recorded this audiovisual release, both live and in my studio, is one of my dreams come true. I feel in my heart that this voyage has taken me somewhere I wanted.