By Cherry, 15-Feb-2012 18:31:00
It’s been a slow seduction. Starting with a bit of flamenco ‘fusion’ (Ketama) and ‘chill’ (Chambao) bands in the car in Spain. Followed by my partner’s playing of these and some guitarist albums (Vicente Amigo, Tomatito) at home – for years, he says, with no comment from me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, I protest, but they were just warm Spanish background music; I was into musical theatre at the time.
But maybe there was some subliminal education going on there, because when I went to my first Flamenco Festival at London’s Sadler’s Wells I was so inspired that I decided to use flamenco as a resonant element in my new novel. Research was needed, so I started flamenco dance classes (read August 2011 post!) and had to take a course in Granada – where I… well, started to turn flamenco.
The music took over my iPod and car, the classes intensified; I became entranced by the complex rhythms, the excruciating beauty of those exotic chords, the discordance, the sensuality of it all. Nowadays, even some of the wailing cante (singing) – that used to have me giggling and fast-forwarding – hits me in the gut with its raw emotion.
It isn’t just the music. I also seem to have been taken over by flamenco’s live-in-the-moment ways, where the only things to worry about are being fuera de compás (out of time) or being told ‘no me dice nada’ (you’re not saying anything). I write flamenco: I have ideas as to where the story will go, but let the characters come in and do what they will with it – as long as they keep to pace. Strangely, this creates more truthful and intricate plots than I could devise with my brain. I’ve even started to think flamenco, with less fretting over the future…
Is all this a good thing? Probably – thanks to my tolerant and equally crazy loved ones – but there are drawbacks. Such as an increase in dust, clutter and unopened letters round the house. And I’m more easily distracted than ever; there are powerful tracks in my car – like ‘Dos Punales’ (Two Daggers?) on Josemi Carmona’s ‘Las Pequenas Cosas’ CD – that often have me ending up in the wrong town.
But one thing’s for certain: my flamenco seduction will have the happy outcome of the birth of my new novel, FLAMENCO BABY. Olé!
You are viewing the text version of this site.
Need help? check the requirements page.