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ARCHIVODELCANTEFLAMENCOTRANSLATIONOFNOTESBY

J.M.CABALLEROBONALD
Translatorsnote:TheArchivodelCanteFlamencoof1968,originally
releasedasasixLPsetonVergaraandlaterinCDformat,isa
monumentaldocument.Itwasimportantnotonlyforthecaliberof
theartists,butbecauseitwasrecordedinthefield(thatis,inhomes,
barsandventas,ratherthaninastudio),tradingaslightlossinsonic
fidelityforalargegaininemotionalandexpressivefidelitytothecore
aspectofgoodflamencothespontaneoustransmissionofemotion,
Hereisthecreationstory,astoryofthepeopleandplacesandtheera.
FernandaandBernardadeUtrera,stillyoungandfresh;JuanTalegaand
ManolitodelaMaraandLaPiriacadeJerezandTomsTorre(sonofthe
immortalManuel),oldbutverymuchalive;andothergiantsaswellas
extraordinarylittleknownnonprofessionals.Andanilluminatingreport
fromMorndelaFrontera,featuringLusTorresJoselerowithDiego
delGastor,hisbrotherinlaw,backinghimup.Allinthecontextofatime
andplacethatIwasfortunatetowitnessasanobviouslyconfusedbut
respectfuloutsider,aworldthatwouldsoonvanish.
Theorganizer,andwriterofthenotes,wasJ.M.CaballeroBonald,who
wrotethefirstbookIboughtonflamencoinSpain,in1961atwopeseta
(threecents)thinbookletthatwasfulloftheusualmisinformationthat
characterizedthematerialofthatepoch.
Hereisatenparttranslationofthebookletthataccompaniedtheoriginal
sixLPset.SomesectionsreflectmyindebtednesstoBradBlanchard,
whosetranslationappearedinJaleomagazinesin1981.
Therearesomefascinatingassumptionsatworkhere.First,the
concentrationontheGypsyraceasthesourceofmanykeyformsof
flamenco,includingthecentralcantejondoordeepsongforms.This
entailsawiderangeofstereotypes.(Whilethatunderlyingattitudeisunder
intensivequestioning,anddoesnotenjoyextensivedocumentarysupport,
thisdoesnotnecessarilymakeiterroneous.)

Anotherunusualfactoristheemphasisonseekingoutsomenon
professionals,whoareimplicitlyviewedashavingakindofauthenticity
thatsomeprofessionalsmaylack.Thisissimilartotheassumptionthat
characterizedtheimportantbutnotreallysuccessfulGranadaConcursode
Flamencoof1922,inwhichculturedfigureslikedeFallaandLorcaand
Segoviaactuallydisqualifiedprofessionalsintheirsearchforatruerfolk
expressionthatcouldonlyemergefromthenonprofessionalrealm.The
resultswereinteresting,butnotoptimalflamencoisnotanartthat
shouldnotdisqualifythosewhobecomeprofessional
Heregoes:
PARTIINTRODUCTIONPREPARATIONS
Thisdocumentisintendedsimplyasaninformativeguideforthelistener,a
sortofliterarycomplementtotherecordingsthatconstitutethisArchivo
delCanteFlamenco.Wewantedtoofferalivingchronicleofthework
behindtheproject.Inaway,wehavewrappedourowninformationabout
thecomplexmoralandmaterialworldofflamencoinasortoftraveljournal,
payingspecialattentiontotheexperiencesthatmarkedoursearchfor
sourcesandtheactualrecordingsessions.
ClearlyandevengrantingdueCREDIT tosomepartial,praiseworthy
effortsachievedtodatethetaskofcollectingandorderingthediverse
andwidelydispersedgamutofcanteflamencostillremainsahead.Despite
thegrowingbibliographyproducedinthelastfewyears,andthe
enthusiasticattentionofavariedpublic,flamencoremainsamusicthatis
fragmentedandnotdeeplyknown.Thereisnodoubtthatthemosteffective
andcompleterecordedarchiveisyettobecreated,andthatthiswouldbe
thetruestandbestwaytofixthepurityoftheolderforms,accurately
conservingthegreatestknownexamplesofcantesothattheycouldbecome
knownwithconfidentprecision.
Werealizedthatourparticulartaskpresentedanumberofseriousobstacles.
Fromthebeginning,therewastheticklishproblemoffindingcredible
sourcesinthenativezonesofthespecificcantes;inaddition,therewasthe
stumblingblockpresentedbytheincreasingdegreeofprofessionalismon
thepartoftodayssingers.Thecharacterofourarchivecouldnotstray

fromthefundamentalideaoffindingnonprofessionalinterpreters,inmany
casesanonymousandinothersonlyknownintherestrictedareaoftheir
birthplaces.Oncethegeneralapproachwasestablished,itwasnecessaryto
carryoutanadvanceexplorationoftheambientethecontextofthe
performances.Ourpersonalexperience,orthatofthirdparties,guidedus
throughacarefulanddetailedsweepoftheareathatrunsfromSevilleto
Cadizandthatconstitutestheregionwhereflamencodeveloped.
Intheseinitialtrips,wewereabletoprovesomethingthatwealready
suspected:theincreasingabsenceofthecantaoresintheirnativezones.
Littlebylittle,thesocialfoundationofthecantehasbeenundergoinga
seriesofpredictabletransformations,resultingfromthenormalchangesin
thelifestyleofthesingerandthegrowinginfluenceofprofessionalism.
Flamenco,whichbeganasanintimatewayofexpressingcountlessepisodes
ofhungerandpersecutionthatareatavisticallyburiedinthememoryof
AndalusiasGypsies,hasbeenalteredbythepassageoftimeintoafew
initiatedrepetitionsofthoseprimordialexperience,nowverydifferentin
boththeircausesandtheireffects.
Thesingerofacenturyagolimitedhimselftonarratinghisownpersonal
andpainfulhistory;hewastheinterpreterofhisownlife,andcouldrarely
transmutehisartintoacommercialphenomenon.Butitwouldbeabsurdto
supposethatintheimmutabilityofthesecommunicativeformulas,rootedin
thematerialandspiritualmiseryoftheculture,offeredtheonlypossibility
fortruegreatnessinthecante.Todaysperspectivesaresimplynotthe
same,andthesingerhastypicallybecomeaprofessional,linkedtoother
spheres.Heisnolongertheprotagonistofthattouchingintimacythat
flamencomanifests;ratherhetransmitsanexpressiveheritagelatentin
certaincornersofAndalucia.Wearespeaking,ofcourse,ingeneralterms
andonlywiththeintentionofillustratingthedifferentcircumstancesofour
work.Itishardlynecessarytostatethatnowalmostallofthegood
interpretersofflamencoareprofessionallylinkedtocertaincompanies,or
regularlyperformwithincertaintroupesthatpresentflamencospectacles
aroundtheworld.Totrackdownandarrangetorecordaworthyselection
oftheseindispensableprofessionalsingers,wenaturallyexperienceda
numberofcomplicationsandreadjustmentsthatdisruptedouroriginal
plans.

Oncewehadrejectedtheideaofrecordingsongsoutsideoftheirnatural
regions,wefounditnecessarytomakerepeatedvisitstoAndalucia.After
extensivereconnaisance,wewenttothefollowinglocalesinflamencos
fundamentalorbit:Sevilla,AlcaldeGuadaira,MairenadelAlcor,Puebla
deCazalla,Morndelafrontera,Osuna,Arcos,Lebrija,Jerez,Sanucarde
Barrameda,PuertodeSantaMara,PuertoReal,SanFernandoandCadiz.
WealsoconsideredotherAndalucianlocalities,detouringfromourplanned
routewhencircumstancesmadeitadvisable.Ineachofthementioned
places,wehadalreadylocatedthecantaoreswhowouldbepartofthe
archive.ThefinalcycleoftapingtookpartinMadrid,duetothecustomary
residencethereofsomeprofessionalswhocouldhardlybeomitted.Inall,
wegatheredmaterialthatincludedmorethantwohundreddifferentversions
ofcantes.Afterthedetailedtaskofcontrastingthequalityandorderingthe
styles,approximatelyathirdwouldbeincludedinthecontentsofthese
records.
AlloftherecordingscarriedoutduringourjourneystoAndaluciaand
alsothosethathadtobemadeinMadridtookplaceincharacteristic
surroundings.Fromthefirst,itseemedvitalthatwenotsubjectthe
interpretersthemajorityofwhomwerenonprofessionalstothe
unpleasantandpossiblythreateningexperienceofarecordingstudio.We
knewthatwithoutthenormalatmosphereinwhichthesingerusually
performs,wewouldnothavebeenabletoachievetheauthenticitythatwas
partofouressentialobjective.Indeed,weoftenfounditsodifficultto
convincesomenonprofessionalstoparticipatethatitwouldclearlyhave
beenallbutimpossibletoinducethemintoasterilestudio;andnaturally,
theresultswouldhavebeenquitedifferent.
Asexpected,thesuccessivesettingupoftherecordingequipmentin
locationswithunusualacousticconditionsgaveusplentyofheadaches.We
hadtokeeptheequipmentworkingproperlywithoutinterruptingtheflowof
thegathering.Onsomeoccasions,wedidnotbeginrecordinguntilnearly
dawn,despitethefactthattheriteofthefiestaflamencahadbegunaround
midnight.Theimponderablesinthesecaseswereasfrequentasthe
surprises:Oneneverknewwhichmomentwouldproduceasuddenoutburst
ofbrillianceandwhichwouldcreatehopelessfrustration.Thetruecante,
thatwhichgrabsusandfillsuswithawe,thatobscurerootofthecryof

whichLorcaspokecanarrivesuddenly,likelightning,oritcannever
arriveatall.Attimesthecanteshutsitselfinandbecomessomething
impossibletoexpress,andtherearesomewhowillfightdesperatelywithit
whileotherssimplygiveupwithouttrying.Theredoesnotexistthere
cannotexistanyinbetweensinanartlikeflamencowhosesecretof
communcationliesinsurpassingitsownlimitations.
Inthefirstreviewofthecollectedmaterial,wewerefacedwithtwokey
problems:backgroundsoundsthatweresometimesquitenoisyand
distracting,andthedifficultyofchoosingfromalongseriesofstylesofa
specificcantethosethreeorfourthatwouldbemostappropriateforour
archive.Howtoeliminatetheanecdotalcommentsthatcouldbedisturbing;
andhowtotietogetherandgivetheguitaradequatecontinuitywhen
extractingafewexamplesfromamongagroupofcloselylinkedcantes?
Asidefromsomewellknowntechnicalsolutions,wehavestayedtruetothe
goalofavoidingthefamiliarcharacterofsoundthatisassociatedwith
studiorecordings.Thetermarchiveissufficientlyselfexplanatoryinthis
respect.Itmeansfilingallofthislivingandexpressivedocumentationof
flamencoasfoundinitsoriginalhabitat,andtakingadvantageofunusual
momentsandoccasions.Onetruefragmentofcanteoranisolatedmoment
ofbrilliancestandingoutfromtheusualconfusionofthefiestathese
wereespeciallyvaluableforourpurposes.Itwouldhavebeenpreposterous
totrytocarefullyplantheperformancesortoselecttheguitaristsvery
badinsomeinstanceswhowouldbestservetosupporteachcante.From
themomentwebegan,wewereprimarilyconcernedwiththetruthfulness
andtheimpactofthematerialwewouldrecord.Fromthisstandpoint,we
contendthatthisarchiveincludesthemosttraditionalrepertoireofcantes
thatcanstillbefoundintherinativesetting:InataverninTrianaorJerez,
inahomeinPuertodeSantaMariaorMairenadelAlcor,inaroadside
taverninCadizorAlcaladeGuadaira,inasmallrestaurantinArcosor
Utrera,oracourtyardinMoronorLebrija
Itshouldnotbenecessarytoalludetothefactthatthehugeundertakingof
groupingallthecantes,eachofthemanyknownvariantsofflamenco,
wouldhavemadeourambitiousprojectpracticallyimpossible.Withthe
hundredsandhundredsofstylesofcantethatcouldbeclassifiedin
AndalucianottomentionExtremadura,LaManchaandMurciaand

thecountlessindividualstylesanddistinctionsmadebyeachinterpreter,the
hugetaskofrecordingthisfloodofdivisionsandsubdivisionsofflamenco
wouldhavedemandedmeansfarinexcessofwhatthisprivateventure
permitted.Ourarchiveisintendedasnothingmorenorlessthanabasic
panoramaofthemostgenuinecantesthathavesurvivedtoourtime,
authenticatedbytraditionandbythereliabilityoftheartistswehave
chosen.Butweinsistthatthislaborofcompilationwouldnothaveattained
itsvaliditywithouttheinsistenceonrecordingwithinthezoneofflamencos
birth,andinthenaturalclimateinwhichitthrivesandisperformed.We
wantedtomakeausefulandnecessarycontributiontosupportthispopular
culture,tocreateanarchivewithgenuineintegritythatwouldpreservethe
mostauthenticexpressionsofflamenco.
ENDOFPARTI
HeresthesecondinstallmentofthenotesfortheArchiveflamenco,
writtenbyJ.M.CaballeroBonaldtotellthestoryofthatimportant
anthologyreleasedin1968.(Asanaside,notethereferenceheretoTriana
asopenonothersidestothegreatpasturesoftheBeticaplainortoward
theendlessricefieldsinthemarshesofAznalcazar.NowonderIcould
recallfloodinginthatareaduringonelongagorainyseason.)Again,
thankstoBradBlanchardforhisoriginal1981translationthathashelped
thiseffort:
PARTIISEVILLA
OurfirsttripswerenecessarilytoSevilla,andwedreturntheremany
timesasitofferedthemostreliablecenterofoperations.Wehad
alreadyrealizedthatthecante,sociologicallyspeaking,isarealitythat
isvirtuallyarchaeological.Wearenotreferringtoitspresumed
corruptionwiththepassageoftime,butrathertoitstransplantationfromits
nativeareastovariousotherregionsachangewhichentailsthelossof
itsoriginalsocietalfoundations.Onecannotdenythat,duetothe
gradualpopularizationofflamenco,theartistodaymuchbetterknown
and,ofcourse,morethoroughlymasteredbysomeinterpretersthanat
anyotherstageofitsdevelopment.Butthisgeneralizedprogressinvolves
turningitsbackonthehistoricandgeographicnucleusfromwhichit
emerged.Doesthismanifestuprootingimplysomeimmediatedanger?Itis

difficulttoventureanobjectivereply,butthereisnodoubtthat,whereits
socialinvolvementisconcerned,thecanteinitspresentformretainsonly
isolatedconnectionswiththeprimitivecante.Thatoriginal,miserableand
painfulandintimateexpressionoriginallysealedwithinafew
anonymousGypsyfamilieshastodayoverflowedintothemostfarflung
arenasoffame.
Trianawas,withJerez,themostimportantanddefinitivesitefromwhich
thecantesprang.WenowknowthataroundtheEighteenthand
NineteenthCenturies,thehiddenseedsofflamencoexpressionbeganto
filteroutfromthisdomesticconcealmenttowardsitsfirstpublicdebut.And
thisoccurredinTriana,theveryneighborhoodofSevillewherethecitys
obscureGypsycommunitieswerelocated.Theabsolutelackof
documentationpreventsusfromreconstructionwithanycertaintythe
familyhearthatmosphereinwhichthehiddenseedofthecanteflourished
initially.Therefore,letusenterintothefolkatmosphereofTriana.After
crossingtheriverfromSevillapropertothisoppositebankofthe
Guadalquivir,theurbanlandscapeseemstochangeitscharacter.Trianais
likeavillagepushedupagainstSevilla,yetopenonothersidestothegreat
pasturesoftheBeticaplainortowardtheendlessricefieldsinthemarshes
ofAznalcazar.TheriveralsoseparatesTrianainawaythatismorethan
simplyphysical.Trianamaynotappeartohaveanyspecialdistinction,but
itnonethelessformsauniquenucleusthatincludesGypsy,moriscoand
countryfolk.Trianashumbleyetpowerfulpersonalityisnotexternal,but
comesfromthehumaninteriorofthisneighborhood.
WewalkedthroughTrianabothdayandnight.Welostourselvesinthe
deep,lightalleysofLaCava,ofelAltozano,ofelArcodelaPureza.Right
hereinsomeofthesepoortenementhouses,attheendoftheeighteenth
century,livedinanonymousmiserysomeofthoseillustriousGypsyfamilies
whoweretheonlyrepositoriesoftheheritageofthecante.Inthispoor
andunstablecradle,thedazzlingartisticrealityofflamencowasborn.
Trianamustnothavebeenverydifferentfromwhatitislikenow.We
knowverylittleaboutthelivesofthosefirstinterpretersofthecante
elPlaneta,elFillo,FrascoelColorao,JuanEncueros,losCaganchos,
losPelaosalthoughweclaimtoknowsomethingoftheirstylesoftonas
andsiguiriyas.Althoughdistantlylinkedtotheirlonghistoryof

persecutionsandwithunclearrelationtotheMoorsoftheregion,itisstill
notclearwhytheseGypsiesweretheoneswhowereentrustedwithcarrying
outthatfusionofelementsofintenselyorientalAndalusianmusicthat
wouldcometobecalledflamenco.Theoldestknownversesofthesecantes
invariablyspeakofmisfortunesandoutrages,ofprisonanddeath.It
reflects,indeeditwas,thelifeoftheGypsies,whoareoftenviewedasnon
humanzeroesamongtheworldswanderingpeoples.Fromthebeginning,
thecentralthemeofflamencogatherstogetherallthatdesolatefloodof
experiences,adaptedineachcasetoindividualsufferers;andwithno
relationtotheusualthemesofpopularAndalusiansong.
AndwhatremainsofthatmoralandmateriallandscapeoftheTrianaof
1800?Onlysomevaguetraceisseeninthesurroundings;theresthas
beendiluted,associetychangeditsoutlinesduringtheknownhistroyof
thecante.Thereisnodoubtthattheconditionoflife,andthedailyups
anddownsoftheflamencoartist,haveradicallyalteredtheingredientsof
theart.Thepresentdayinterpretersareremovedfromthosespecial
humanconditionswhichmadepossiblethegenesisofflamenco.The
majorityoftodayscantaoresappeartobeassociated,activelyand
competitively,withthemanyopportunitiesthatareofferedbythegrowing
internationalpopularityofthecante.Theproductiveallureof
professionalismorthenewwaysoflifehavepracticallycaused
thecantaortovanishfromthelandofhisbirth.
DuringourvariousexplorationsoftheflamencosceneofSevilla,we
countedextensivelyontheindispensablehelpofAntonioMarienathe
bestlivingprofessionalcantaorandonAmsRodrguez,aconscientious
expertonflamencoandanexcellent,thoughsporadic,interpreter.The
orientationanddirectcollaborationoftheseirreplaceableadvisorswas
essentialtoourwork.
Mairenahasanexceptionalknowledgeofthehistoryofflamenco.
Hespeakstousoftheoldcantaoresthathemetwhenhewasachild,of
theunforeseenartisticbaggagethattheycarriedontheirshoulders,of
themiseriesandthegreatmomentsoftheirwaysofbeing.Mairenahimself
isresponsiblefortherescueandthepersonalreelaborationofmany
forgottenstyles,andhislonelyexamplehasimposed,beyondanydoubt,a
demandingstandardofperformanceonthedenseprofessionalpayrolllistof

thecante.HiseagernesstorevitalizeadegradedheritagemakesMairenaan
essentialpointofreferenceforanyexaminationofthesourcesofflamenco.
AmsRodrguez,forhispart,representsanimportantsectorofnon
professionalcantaoreswhoblendsolidinvestigationwithpersonal
interpretiveabilityararecombination.Hispointsofviewaresomewhat
differentthanMairenas,anddefineadifferentattitudeinrelationtothe
expressivecanonsofthecante.
WehadveryinterestingconversationswithAmsRodrguezandAntonio
MairenaduringourwalksthroughSevillaandourramblingsthroughUtrera,
AlcaladeGuadaira,DosHermanasandMairenadelAlcor.Wemetmany
timesinSevilla,inthebarofPepePinto,whosewife,laNiadelosPeines,
alwaysattendedinsilence,theexhaustedsymbolofanotherepoch,listening
tothediscussionsofthathistoricalperiodofthecanteonwhichshe
imprintedherownindeliblestamp.LaNiadelosPeinestodayoffersno
opinons,andshecannolongersing.Butsuddenlywefeelthatthroughthis
narrowbarofPepePintotherecirculates,nowfragmented,anenormous
currentofhistoryofthecante
Mairenabelievesinpersonalstylesastheonlypossibilityforenrichment
ofthecante.Purityisthereforemeasuredbytheimportancewegiveto
theoraltradition;thatwhichfollowstheoldflamencotraditionispure.
AmsRodrguez,ontheotherhand,believesthatcreationsattributed
toindividualcantaoresmustalwaysbesuspect,sincetheywillbeadapted
anddeformedbythosewhointerpretandtransmitthem.Theamountof
truthinthecantecorrespondstotheamountoftruthintheperson
communciatingit.
Theabilitiesofthecantaorshouldbesubordinatetohispowertocaptivate;
hewillcommunicatepaintoothersonlyashefeelspaininsidehimself.
AndthiscanonlybeachievedifthecanteisadaptedtohislifeFlamenco
couldturnouttobeinoperativeifthemoderninterpreterweretoreproduce
inhiscantestructuresthatnolongerhaveanythingtodowiththeworldin
whichhelives.Themostlogicalthingwouldbeforthecantaortoadjust
histhemesandexpressiveintentiontotherepertoireofhisownexperience.
Ithasalreadybeensaidmanytimesthatnoartpopularorotherwisecan
losetouchwithitshistory.Andflamencowasengenderedbyhuman
juncturesandsocialcircumstancesthatnolongerexist.

InSevilla,ondifferentoccasions,AmsRodrguez,TomsTorre,
LuisCaballeroandAntonioCalzoneswererecorded.Wescheduledthe
meetingsinthebestandmostnaturalsurroundings:inataverninTriana,in
aventaorroadsideinnoutsideofSevilla,inahomeontheoutskirtsof
AlamedadeHercules(alegendarysiteforflamencountilabout25years
ago).Sometimesthecantecamequickly,beforemidnight;onothernights,it
wasslowinarriving,asifitwerestrugglinghelplesslyagainstitsown
destructionuntildawn.Theinnerritualofthecantedependsonthedegree
ofabandonoftheinterpretersomethingweneverforgotduringourwork.
Themajorityofnonprofessionalsingersonthisarchivearepeoplewho
haventtried,foronereasonoranother,toearnalivingfromtheirart.Ina
way,someofthemarethelastrepresentativesofthatalmostlegendarycaste
ofcantaoreswholimitthemselvestonarratingthedramaticburdenoftheir
lives.Wereallybelievethatbeforelong,whentheseillustriousfiguresin
thehistoryofflamencohavedisappeared,theywilltakewiththem
thepossibilityofdirectlyexperiencingthattragicchapterofflamenco
historywhichisalreadychangingtoadapttopresentconditions.Thereis
nodoubtthattheusualmethodofcontractingandthenrecordingtheartistin
thestudio,insomesetorderandatapredeterminedtime,wouldhave
squeezedoutofthisarchiveitsmostessentialcharacteristictheauthentic
andspontaneousdocumentaryvalueofcantesgatheredfromtheirown
sourcesinthemostauthenticsurroundings.
ItwashardforustoconvinceAmsRodrgueztoparticipateinthisarchive.
Heonlysingsonspecialoccasions,andinthisinstancehe
sangunexpectedly,whenthegatheringhadreacheditsclimacticmoment
anditsmaximumcommunicativelevel.Forthisunpredictableartist,not
eventhemediocrityoftheguitarwehadtosettleonthisoccasionforthe
onlyavailableplayerdiminishedthevalidityofAmssgushing
expressivepassion.
TheloneascendancyofTomsTorrenowconfersonhimspecialvalidityas
aninterpreter.SonofManuelTorreoneofthemostimpassionedartists
inflamencohistorythishumbleandnowelderlyGypsyisnow
consideredtobenotsomuchacantaorasatransmitterofmemoriesofthe
oldstylesofJerez,learnedfromtheTorrefamilydynastythatculminatedin
hisfather.

ItdoesntreallymatterthatTomssabilitiesaresomewhatlimited.The
broken,darkvoice,thetonalstridency,thelackofpower,havenothing
todowiththesupremetruthofthecante.Itissomethingverysimilarto
whathappensinjazz,especiallywiththekindofexultationrepresentedby
LouisArmstrong.Inbothcases,perhapstheonlytrulyindespensable
attributeisaspontaneousemotion,usuallyburiedbutbroughttothesurface
bytherhythmthecompsofthemusic.
Flamenco,inlargemeasure,isamatterofcomps.Rarelycanitslight
shinethroughifthesingerisnotintimatelyattunedtothatdemandingnorm
whichmarkstheluminousunfolding,thespiritualjolts,ofthecante.Toms
Torreknowsthesecretofthecomps,andthesecretofthetruestGypsy
depthsofflamenco.Whatbetterdocumentaryguaranteecouldweoffer?
Tomsspeaksofhisfatherasamythicalfigure.ThelifeofManuelTorre
offersamodelofthedifficultandenigmaticpersonalitiesoftheGypsies
whoforgedflamenco.
Tomsconfirmsmanyoftheanecdotesconcerningtheproud,impenetrable
andmasterlyflamencocreatorthatwasManuelTorre.Whenhesings,
Tomssdarkeyesbecomemoistandfromhisthroatleapsthehoarse
tremblingofhisownexposedmemories.Hesaysthathe,likehisfather,
sometimeshastosingpoorlythatitisimpossibletoalwayssingwell,
andthatthosewhoalwayssingwellhavebecomemeretrainedcanaries.
Tomasonlyfeelsatrueexpressiveimpulsewhenheremembersthechillsof
hisfamilyexperiences.
Thesiguiriyasandthesolearesthathesangforusthatnightwereworthall
thathehasntbeenableorhasntwantedtosinginhisunstableand
difficultlife.InTomssstrugglewithdarkshadowsofhisvoice,inthe
desperaterootofeachoneofhisbrokenlaments,inthetragicGypsyechoes,
residesthedeepesttruthofthecante:itsfurioussocialmeekness.
Anapparentcontradiction,yes.Butflamencoisonlyacry
withoutrebellion;aresignedprotest.TomsTorremaynotknowit,butall
ofthisisheartrendinglyimplicitinhisexemplarysenseofthecante.
LusCaballero,forhispart,isjusttheoppositeofaflamencoprofessional.
BelongingtothepetitbourgeousieofSevilla,withoutcontactsbeyondthe

dailyhappeningsofthecante,hehasnonethelessremainedclosetohis
artisticcircle.InSevilla,asinanyothersouthernSpanishlocality,the
averageAndalusianneverconsidersflamencotobeapopularmusicthat
identifieswithhisownpreferences,hisowntaste,hisowntraditions.Itis
viewedinsteadasalogicalphenomenon,producedbytheindependent
genesisofflamencowithinaparticularminoritygroupanddefinedbythe
unusual,semiclandestinepathsofitsdevelopment.Thereisnodoubtthat
thesehistoricalcircumstancesprovokedanevidentlackofinterestand,at
times,evenacertaindisdainforflamencoonthepartofmostAndalusians.
Formanythismusicwassuspiciouslylinkedtoadarkbackground,and
conveyedadarkandstrangemeaning.Generally,thepopularityofthetrue
flamencosongresultedonlythroughitsallianceswithotherkindsofpopular
regionalfolklore.
WealludetothisbecauseLusCaballerorepresents,withsomespecial
characteristics,thatslavishattractionforflamencothatsometimesarisesin
peoplewhoarefarremovedfromtheatmosphereinwhichitwasborn.
Despitehispersonaldistancefromthetightprofessionalworldofthecante,
LuisCaballerogenerouslyagreedtoparticipateinthisarchive.Lucidand
passionateatthesametime,hisamplestylisticcommandrevealedextensive
knowledgeandaprofoundcalling.
ThecaseofAntonioCalzonesisquitepeculiar.Stillayoungman,
notsubjecttotheburdensofprofessionalism,hiscanteisatextualresponse
tothatpreviouslymentionedwayofseeingitasanexpressivenecessity.
Wecouldntpindownexactlywhatcircumstanceswerecausing
certaindifficultiesaswepreparedtohearthisintroverted,ferventand
almostanonymoussinger.Werecalledthatsamemorning,whenwewent
lookingforhimandwhen,unaskedandwithoutaguitaronhand,heburst
intoalong,tremblingsiguiriyas.Thesurroundingswerehardlyappropriate
amercilesssunfellonthepatio,thereweredistractingbustlingsaround
us,peoplewereshoutingrightnearby.Butsuddenly,Calzonescrytore
throughthepatiolikeanunexpectedmeteor,hushinganddepopulatingit.It
wasonlyanannouncement,amomentarytestofpowerandintegrity
indeliblyimplantedinourmemory.Butitwasntthenpossibletotake
advantageofthatpromisingcommunicativegust;wehadtowaitforthe
quietofearlymorning,inaventaonthehighwaytoJerez.Wewereableto

findagoodguitaristAntonioSanlcarwhostilldragshisnobleold
agethroughsomeofthelittleknownflamencohauntsinSevilla.Twofine
scholarsaccompaniedus:FernandoQuiones,whosedirectcollaboration
wouldprovequitevaluable,andJosCabaPovedano,whoknowsmorethan
almostanyoneabouttheheartofflamencoinSevilla.Thatnight,Calzones
sangawiderangeofstyles:siguiriyas,soleares,tangos,tientos,buleras,
cantiasgaditanas,fandangos,tarantoandpetenera.Thesingergroped
andstubbornlystruggledinhisdesperateeffortstoovercomethehidden
obstaclestohisart.Surroundedbyaperfectclimateintheblacknessof
night,Calzonesfeltmorerigidthanhehadinthenoiseandthedissolving
sunlightofthatmorning.Wehavealreadyalludedtotheunpredictabilityof
thecante:eitheritannulsandcancelsitself,withoutanyevidentreason,or
itsurgessuddenlyoutofitsownashes.Inflamenco,Calzonestellsus,
theonlythingworthwhileisthefloodofemotionthathurtsyoufrom
within;tosingbetterorworse,accordingtotheabilitiesofeachperson,isnt
soimportant.AntonioMairena,forexample,alwayssingssowellthathe
nolongerpleases.Calzonesis,clearly,atypicalcantaorbuffetedby
fate;inhisownexhaustingstrivings,theshininghonestyofhiscanteis
clearlyvisible.
ENDOFPART2
HeresthethirdinstallmentofthistranslationofthebookletbyJ.M.
CaballeroBonald,ontheinsidestoryofcreatingtheArchivoFlamenco,
releasedin1968;(acknowledgementtoBradBlanchardforhis1981
translationthatranintheAmericanflamencopublicationJaleo.)
PARTIIIALCALADEGUADAIRA
AlcaldeGuadaira,situatednotmanykilometersfromSevilla,isapueblo
ofdeepandpowerfulpersonalitythathasbeenadecisivesiteformany
keychaptersinthehistoryofthecante.Naturally,wehadtoenter
itstwistingstreetsoften.Here,aselsewhere,itisnoteasytodiscover
therootsofflamencoonfirstglance.SincetheEighteenthCentury,the
GypsysectionofAlcalahasbeenonthehillsidebelowtheoldcastlethat,
likeaproudmemory,dominatestheopensettingofthepueblo.Wewalked
throughthissectionmanytimes.Adisorderlyclusterofwidehovels,

unsanitaryandexcavatedpartlyfromthelivingrock,arehalfbarracksand
halfcave.
Betweenthelabyrinthofsmallpaths,theweedsgrow,waterruns,and
lifepassesinmiserableconditions.HerelivedJoaquneldelaPaula
andAgustnTalegaandlaRoeznagreatcreatorsofthecanteofthe
lastcenturyandheretodaylivetheirhumbledescendants,almost
unknown,whoarethetransmittersofthatmonumentalGypsyinheritance.
ThecantesofAlcallikethoseofallflamencoregionswerebornand
definedintheintimacyofafewGypsyfamilies,inthiscasetheTalegaand
thePaulafamilieswhoselastgreatrepresentativesareJuanTaleganow
almost80,andthesonofAgustnandManolitoeldeMara,nephewof
JoaquneldelaPaula,whodiedjustafewmonthsaftersingingafew
exemplarysolearesandbuleriasforthisarchive.
JuanTalegacurrentlylivesinDosHermanas,aneighboringpuebloof
Alcal.WethereforelimitedourselvestoseekingoutManolitoeldela
MarainthehousesoftheAguilaneighborhood.Inourfirstjourneysto
AlcalwefailedtofindhimhewasclippingsheeponafarminEl
Arahal.Later,afteraskingintheventadePlatillainfrontofthebridgethat
crossestheGuadairaattheentrancetotown,weweretoldwherehelived.
Itwaslatewhenwearrived,andhewasalreadyinbed,buthequickly
dressedandaccompaniedus,tryingtoovercomehisexhaustionwithan
affable,somewhatforcedshowofvitality.Therewasnotatraceof
bitternessinthiselderlymanwhorosefromhiswretchedfamilybedtojoin
us.AsAlcalslept,wedescendedtheslopefacingthefertilebreathofthe
river,closetotherichpinegrovesoflaOromana.
Itwasalreadymorningwhenthefiestacommenced,inaroomonthe
upperflooroftheventadePlatilla,amemorablesiteofmanygreat
flamencosessionsattheendofthelastcentury.Wealsomadean
appointmentwithtwootheranonymoussingersfromSevillaJose
TragapanesandonecalledCiegodeSanRomanofwhomwehadbeen
givensomewhatcontradictoryreportsabouttheirpossibleinvolvementin
thearchive.Wehadnotmetthembefore.TragapanesisaGypsy,getting
oninyears,cordialandfaltering,whoearnsalivingsingingintheventason
theoutskirtsofSevilla.Hepossessesastrongwilledexpressivepassion

butitsamonotonouspassion,asthoughlearnedasaprofessional
obligation.
CiegodeSanRoman,forhispart,earnsapoorlivingbyhopingfor
somethingtoturnupintheflamencovenuesofSevilla.Hisowndarkness
(heisblind)haslogicallysharpenedhissenseofhearing.Buthiscanteisa
clearexampleofthatpoor,artificialmannerofinterpretingitaccordingto
dictatesthatareforeigntothecreativecoreofflamenco.Neitherhenor
Tragapaneswereabletoofferavalidcontributionthatmetthespecific
requirementsofthisarchive.
ManolitodelaMarasmemoriesofthecantewerevagueandrandom,as
sooftenhappens.Rarelywillacantaoragreewithanotherwhenspeaking
tousabouthisflamencoexperiences.Theusualthingisthat,afterweighing
andcontrastingjudgements,wefindourselvesawashinindecision.
Manolitosupportedhisideasaboutthecantewithrecollectionsfromhis
ownlife.Healwaysalludedtothejourneyshehadtomakethroughthese
fertilelandsofpoorfarmerswhereheworked,asGodhadmadehimrealize
heshould,inhumbleandsporadicoccupations.Outsideofhisownspecific
environment,hisknowledgeofthecantewasveryincomplete.Hespoketo
usmoreofsingersthanofsongsmostofall,abouthisuncleJoaqunel
delaPaula,whohadalsolivedinthecavesonthecastlesslope.Joaqun
createdhisownexemplarystyleofsoleares,elaboratedwithfragmentsof
otherlocalcantesandenrichedwiththatimpressiveartisticintuitionthat
Gypsiespossess.Flamenco,forManolitoeldelaMara,waslikeawayof
being,likeacommandmentofhisrace.Itsnotimportanttosingthecante
totheletter.Rather,onemustfeelapellizcoachillinside,and
cryout,callingtoonesownself.ThecanteofthenonGypsiesis
somethingelse;thenonGypsysingsbyear.TheGypsycreatesforhisown
kind,unearthinghispersonalexperience,transmittingfromparenttochild
thesecretofanexpressionthatusedtobelongtojustafewfamiliesand
thatisnowavailabletoeveryone.Flamencousedtoflowinspecific,
privateceremonies,butnowithasbeenconvertedintoapublicspectacle.
ManolitoeldelaMariaspokeincoherentlyaboutthis,losinghimselfin
strangearguments.Itmaybeonlylogicalthathewouldntknowtheexact
rootsofhisart,buthedidknowwhyhesangandwhenhefeltthenecessity
todoso.

Probably,whileharvestingwheatorclippingsheep,Manolitosang
forhimself,calmlyorpassionately.Hesangbecauseherememberedwhat
hehadlived,andsometimeshesangtoseekrelief,unconsciously,froma
longhistoryofafflictions.ThereisnodoubtthatthecanteoftheGypsies
is,likeitscreators,anindependentphenomenon,marginallyand
confusedlydigestedbyaliberatedinnerintoxicationandalso,attimes,
offeringakindofcatharsis.
Manolitosnameneverlefttheserestrictedflamencocircles.Hedid
performinsomeflamencofestivalsinthearea,butwasscarecelyrecognized
asanartist;itsasifhehimselfpreferredtoremaininthebackground.
Hesaid,Sometimes,Iknowinglysingpoorly.Hediedashehadlived
poorandunknown.Andhewasoneofthecleanest,purestsingerswith
whomwedealt.Heneverhadtheslightestinterestinturninghiscanteinto
awayofmakingaliving.Weareconvincedthateverythinghesangon
thatmemorablenightinAlcalwasarigorouslycorrectandunrepeatable
exampleofhistruecreativecapacity.Herememberedwhathehadlived,
andperhapsheintuitedthathislifewouldnotgoonmuchlonger.
InanotherofourvisitstoAlcala,wemadecontactwiththechildren
ofJoaquneldelaPaulaEnriqueandMercedandwithawellknown
GypsycalledJuanBarcelona.AmsRodrguezReyaccompaniedus,ashe
wouldonotheroccasionsinhissparetime,asasortofcastlekeeperforthat
nowruinedfortressthatisnativeflamenco.Enriquealsolivesin
theneighborhoodofshacksthatminethecastleslopeoverthegorgeof
theGuadaira.Withthatresignationattimesirritatingbecauseof
itsserenitythatmarksalongsubjugatedpeople,thissonofJoaqunelde
laPaulaexhibitedhismiserablelifeaswouldsomeonewhohadbeen
temporarilydeprivedofhispossessions.Hedisplayedacertainpride
thatimpreciseprideoftheGypsiesthatconsistshalfofstudieddisdainand
halfofdenseinthefacehumiliationthatservestohide,likeadelicate
curtain,somuchhumanpoverty.EnriqueeldelaPaulaisstuffedwithhis
familyintoanunwelcomingcubbyhole,buthedoesntcomplain.Helimits
himselftounderstandingthathehaschosentheseimpoverishedconditions
ratherthansubmithimselftotherampartofabsurditiesthatmarknon
Gypsylife.Itis,withoutdoubt,thereactionaryresignationoftheGypsy
beforeasocietythathasrefusedtointegratehim.Butisntthecante,inthe

end,likeanintimateprotestthathasacceptedbeforehanditsown
conformity?
EnriqueeldelaPaulaspeaksindarkflashesofmemoryaboutthelife
andmiraclesofhisfather,ofthepeoplewhomadepilgrimagestohiscave
tohearhimtheninthelastyearsofhissickly,wanderinglife
thisembodimentofofthefamousflamencostockofAlcal.Enriqueknows
thecanteofhisfatherthepurestandmostgenuinelocalstylebut
hecannotexpressit;hisvoiceseizesupinapainfulandineffective
effortthatbarelyrevealsthedeterioratingoutlineofthe
prodigioussolearesofJoaquin.Itsalmosttheoppositeofwhathas
happenedtohissisterMerced,whopossessesanundeniableexpressive
capacitybutwhohasforgottenthenobleandincomparableGypsylessonof
Alcal.
EndofPart3
HeresthefourthpartofthebookletthataccompaniedtheArchivo
delFlamenco,releasedin1968:
PARTIVUTRERA
UtreraisaneminentlyAndalusianpueblo.Byitself,though,this
attributemaynotmeanverymuch.ItiswidelyunderstoodthatAndalusiais
notacountry,butratheracomplexunityofcountries,alldifferentiatedby
veryevidentphysicalandspiritualcharacteristics.TheAndalucaofUtrera
is,ofcourse,thatwhichfindsitsmostdefinitiverepresentationinSevilla.It
doesnotseemtofittheconceptofatragicAndaluca,butthereissomething
initscheerfuloutwardappearancethatbespeaksalargedoseofhidden
pathos.Utrera,liketheseotherpueblos,isrichinlandandlivestock
generoustoafew,andmiserlytomany.
ThelocalcantestheonesreelaboratedsomasterfullybyLaSerneta
andJuanique,byElPininiandRosarioladelColoraowereborn,asis
thenorm,inthosemiserableGypsycommunitiesthatblanketedthe
fertilelandscapeofSevilla,mixingthemselvesinitiallywithMoorsand
landlesscountryfolk.Geographically,aswellashistoricallyinflamenco
terms,Utreraissituatedonacrossroads.Itis,andwas,influencedby

thecantesofTrianaandJerez,ofAlcalandLebrijaandinacurious
waybysomestylesofcantiasandbuleriasofCadiz.Theflamenco
formsofUtreraaboveall,itsprodigioussoleareshaveincorporatedall
thepure,solemnandemotionalintensityoftheprimitivecante.Itscreative
dynamismhasbeen,inthisrespect,exemplary.
Wecametothisfortressofflamencotwiceafterourfirst
reconaissancevisit.Ourpurposewastoselectthoseexamplesthatcould
bestrepresentflamencostwobranchestheprofessionalandthemoreor
lessanonymous.
ForthatpurposewewerecountingonFernandaandBernardade
Utrera,cantaoraswhoarewellknownoutsideofthelocalarea;onMiguel
eldelasAngustias,abutcherbytradeandquiteremovedfrom
professionalism;andelPerrate,anitinerantlaborer.Aftermuchcomingand
going,weaccomplishedthefirstmeetinginamilloutsideofUtrera.We
wereinthemiddleofdeepoliveorchards,exuberantorangegrovesandthe
endlesspastures.Therewasanunspokenceremonialatmosphereinthis
millwhichhadbeenconvertedintoanimprovisedandunexpectedstage,
thankstothewarmdispositionandflamencoaficionofitsowner.The
preparationforthefiestawasratherdifficult,anditwasalreadyearly
morningwhenthefirstsignsofrealcantewereheard.Manuelelde
AngustiasandElPerratewerewithus.
ManuelisamiddleagedGypsy,darkskinned,neatandwellintegrated
intothesocietyofUtrerainspiteofconservinghisracialpurity.He
livesfreelyandsingsonlyforhisfriends.Heisoneoftheorganizersof
thesocalledPotaje,atypeofannualcelebration,likearitual
examination,wherethebestandhardesttofindgroupoflocal
cantaoresgather.ThelongseriesofsolearesthatManueleldeAngustias
sangunexpectedlyservedtolinkthestylesofAlcalandTriana,though
unmodifiedbythelocalcolorings.Hedidnotknow,ofcourse,howto
definetheboundariesinthesuccessionofthesesongs.Onemightevensay
thatitsimpossibletodrawclearboundariesthoughonecould
differentiatethestylesintermsoftheirrespectiveessentialprofiles
betweenthesolearesofTrianaandJerez,CadizandUtrera,Lebrijaand
Alcala.Inthefirstplace,wearenotevensurewhichwerethefirst
primitivesolearesofTriana.ManuelthinksthateachGypsysingswhathe

heardinhisowncircles,andthatifthecantecarriestruthwithinitself,
nothingelsematters.Itspossiblethatbythemiddleofthelastcentury,due
tothecompetitionandthecreativestimulusgeneratedbythecafs
cantantes,anintertwiningorblendingwasproducedinthediversestylesof
solearesthatwerethenknown.ThevariantsofJerez,Triana,Utrera,and
Alcalmusthaveinfluencedoneanotherthroughthemouthsoftheir
interpreters,whomayhavemixedsomeoftheirmostcharacteristic
attributes.Todayweknow,forexample,whichwerethesolearesofla
SernetaboundtoTrianabecausethatswherethisgreatsingerlived
andwhichwerethoseofJoaquneldelaPaula,fromAlcala.Weknowthis
inthesamewaythatwerecognizethesiguiriyasofDiegoelMarrurro
fromJerez,likethesingerhimselforthoseofEnriqueelMellizo,from
Cadiz.Regardingthemanybranchesofthesesongs,perhapsitisproperto
speakofpersonalstylesratherthanlocalstyles.Eachcantaormusthave
createdaformbasedonanoriginalnucleusformofflamenco.Itsclear
thatwhenthesewerecreatedtheyhadtofirstbereducedtoabasic
modality,andlaterdividedandsubdividedaccordingtothevirtueofthe
versionsexpressedbyanygiveninterpreter.
ElPerratedeUtreraisaworthyexponentofthelocalcantes.In
hisexamplesofsolearestherearenospecificdistinctions,butinthemone
canhearthefaithfullyreproducedaireofastylethathasnotyetbeen
deformedbypublicadaptations.ElPerrateisaGypsywithlegitimate
flamencocredentials.Hisgrandfatherwasapoorbutgreatcantaorwho
wasnotknowntomany,andElPerrateismarriedtoadaughterofManuel
Torre.HissisterLaPerrata,motherofJuanelLebrijanoisavery
interestingsingerfromLebrija.Thesearetheonlythingsthatseemto
mattertohimasweaskhimabouthisviewsonflamenco.Hehasgrownup
inthisatmosphere;hesingsbecauseheknowshowtosing.Whenamanis
missingthatwhichismostnecessary,thecantebecomesanintimateformof
expressingthatnecessity.Itislikethetreacherousandevasiveoldsaying,
cantandolapena,lapenaseolvida(Insingingofsuffering,thesuffering
isforgotten).
Withoutknowinghowtoexplainit,ElPerratemakesusunderstand
thatflamencowasbornwhentheGypsywastryingtofreehimselffromthe
anguishofhisdifficulttasksandhurdles,andhislongexperienceof

injustice.Flamencohasneverbeenaworksong;ratherithasbeenan
anguishedmeansofoutwardexpression,springingupfromtheharshly
punishedheartoftherace.ElPerrateseemstointuitthatifflamencodid
notexist,theGypsieswouldhavetoinventsomethingsimilartoletloose
thatknotofhumanuneasethatboilsinsidethem.Perhapsforthisitwas
born.
WeagainreturnedtoUtrera,foranarrangedmeetingwithFernanda
andBernarda,professionalswhoseparticipationweconsidered
indispensableforthearchive.Fernandaisoneofthepurestandmost
qualifiedcontemporaryartistsinthecanteporsoleares.HersisterBernarda
isacantaorainalighterflamencovein,butherehercantesporfiestasand
herbuleriaswiththeflavorofUtrerawerealsoperfectexamples
ofcompsandexpressiveemotion.BothhaveperformedoutsideofSpain,
andtheyhavebeenabletobuyahousewiththeirsavings.Oftheirtravels
theyretainonlythediffuseandpicturesquememoriescommontoall
Gypsieswhohavetraveledabroadthatis,thedeformedandrudimentary
notionofaworldseenwithaninborncapacityforunderstandingand
assimilatingit.FernandaandBernardahaveattained,inthemeantime,what
theywantedmost:theirownhouseintheirownpueblo.Itismovingtosee
thesetwoGypsies,whoonlyrecentlylefttheirpoorfamilycircles,now
showingwithclearandoverflowingpridethesecure,legalevidenceoftheir
property.Thedistancebetweentheoriginalstyleoflifeinwhichflamenco
developedanditslatestconquestsareradicalalsofromamaterialpointof
view.Itisunderstandable,anddesirable,thatthishashappened.
FernandaandBernardawerewaitingforusintheirhouse,wherethey
hadorganizedasmallparty.TheyweregoingtoParisthenextday.We
arrivedatmidnight,afterpickinguptheguitaristEduardodelaMalenain
Sevilla.Thewholefamilyhadgathered,waitingforus:theelderlymother
(whorecentlydied);anaunt,MaraPea,whosangwithoutaguitarand
withoutpowersomeoldcantiasofRosarioladelColorao,halfjota
gaditana(jotadeCadiz)andhalfsolebailable(danceablesolea);andan
abundantgroupofdiscreterelativesandannoyinganimadores
profesionales,orprofessionalenthusiasts.Theparty,slowatfirst,soon
producedthatunforeseeable,intertwinedmagicthatmarksanintimate
Gypsygathering.Wehadthoughtthatthesimpleactofinstallingthe

recordingequipmentmighthavedisturbedthatatmospherewhichwasso
appropriate.Indeed,somepeopledidseemabitbotheredbytheactivities
ofthesoundtechnicianwhowastryingtosetuptherecordingapparatusina
backroomofthehouseperhapsheseemedsuspicioustothem.
Fernandahasinheritedfromhereldersalloftheprimitivepurity
offlamenco.Hersolearesaretrulyunsurpassable.Nooneinourtimehas
soadmirablyreworkedandenrichedtheshininglocaltraditionasFernanda
has.TheoldstylesofUtreramixed,attimes,withthoseofAlcaland
TrianablendadmirablyinFernandasnoble,sobbingandprofound
expression.Webelievethatmorethanacenturyago,herfamilymusthave
producedoneofthosecharacteristicGypsyfocalpointswhereflamencowas
shapedbyitscommunicativeformulasintothatwhichweknowtoday.
FernandaandBernardagrandchildrenofElPininispeakofthecante
delossuyos(oftheirownpeople),ofthegatheringsinwhichtheGypsy
girlsofUtrerahaveparticipated,ofthealmostreligiousencounterswith
greatcantaoreswhowerestillalive.Fernandacaptureswithamasterful
culturadelasangre(cultureoftheblood)thetragicandrichrootof
thatlegacy,whileBernardacangeneratethemostauthenticfestera
outpouring.Inonewayoranother,allhumanfeelingandartistic
temperamentoflocalflamencohistoryarepowerfullyintegratedinthe
expressivefervorofthesetwooptimalcantaoras.
FernandaandBernardasmotherlovedtoofferinformationaboutflamenco
toherdaughters.ShealludedwithintenseemotiontoMercedlaSerneta
andtoJauniqubornrespectivelyinJerezandLebrija,butwholivedand
forgedtheirflamencostylesinUtrera;toelPininiandtoRosarioladel
Colorao;tothecantaoresofthehousehold,whodisdainedandrejected
celebrity;andtotheostentatiousGypsyritualsoftheendofthelast
century.UncleJauniqulivedinashack,farfromthepueblos,likea
hermit.Thosewereverydifferenttimes,whentheinveteratepovertyofthe
flamencocreatorscouldstillbewieldedwithdeliberatedignityagainstthe
false,tinseledpromiseoffame.Younowsee,saidthisoldandagreeable
Gypsywoman,thosewhoarestartingtolistentotheradio.Andlater,itis
asiftheyareboredwhentheysing.Tosingthetruth,itisnecessarytolive
thattruthbeforehand.

Andshewasright.Heropinioniscloselylinkedtothealready
mentionedessentialdifferencebetweenacantaorwhonarrateshisownlife
andanotherwholimitshimselftotorepeatingthemesandconceptsforeign
tohisexperience.Weinsistthatthecreatorofthecanteisonethingand
thetransmitterofitisanother.Andthathasnothingtodowiththefact
thattodayscantemaybestylisticallybetterthanever,despiteits
havingbecomedistancedfromitssocialnurturingsothatitrunstherisk
ofchangingintoafalsifiedproductthatisstrictlyforexportationandsale.
EndofPart4thankstoBradBlanchardforhisearliertranslation,
(andPacoSevillaandJuanadeAlvaofJaleo,whereitranin1981).
HeresthelatestinstallmentinJ.M.CaballeroBonaldsaccountof
makingtheArchivodelCanteFlamencorecord,issuedin1968.My
translationusesBradBlanchards1981translationasareferee
PARTVJEREZDELAFRONTERA
JerezwasalongwithTrianathemostfertileanddecisive
foundingnucleusofflamenco.Theproofofitsimportanceisfoundby
simplyenumeratingthecitysgreatcantaores.SinceToLuseldela
Julianawholivedinthelate1700s,andwhosenameisthefirstknownin
thehistoryofthecantethelistofrenownedJerezartistsincludes
ManuelMolina,MercedlaSerneta,PacolaLuz,Salvaorillo,ElLoco
Mateo,DeigoelMarrurro,Carito,JoaqunLaCherna,MaraLaJaca,El
Chato,ManuelTorre,AntonioFrijones,ElPuli,AntonioChacn,ToJos
dePaula,JuanJunquera,ElGloria,LaPompi,JuanitoMojama,TaAnicala
Piriaca,etc.Allofthemrepresenttoperfectionthemostfertile,creative
contributionsintherealmofcantesincethemiddleofthelastcentury.
Twoprincipalbarrios,SantiagoandSanMiguel,wereuntilquiterecently
thesitesoffrequentfamilyfiestasandspontaneousgatheringsinthe
taverns,whereonecouldstillheartheanonymous,ferventbrillianceof
acanteperformedvirtuallybyinstinctalone,modestlyandtruthfullytaken
fromtheineradicablememoryofthepeople.Today,asinmanyother
places,thesesuddenimprovisationsonthestreetshavealmostcompletely
disappeared.Itisinevitable.Thesamechangesofvitalperspectiveshave
alteredthetastesandtheaficionesofthepeople,displacingthewouldbe

cultivatorsofthecantefromtheirrestrictednarrativehorizons.The
majorityofthenewartistshaveaveryinaccurateideaoftheembryonic
fundamdentalsofthecanteandofitshistoricreasonforbeing.Ofcourse,it
isnotnecessaryforartiststoknowthis,anditmaybeunfairtodemandthat
theydo.Butthepresentwidespreaddiffusionofflamencehasinmany
casesconfusedthereasoningandthevaluesoftodaysartists.
Foryears,weveheardaboutanauthenticcaseofconservationofthe
oldstylesofcanteandofthespecialwayoflifeofthegreatcantaoresof
thefirstpublicperformanceeraofflamenco.WerereferringtoTaAnica
laPiriaca.ThisexemplaryGypsywoman[translator'snotefromBZ:La
PirinacawasevidentlynotGypsyornotcompletelyGypsybybirth,
thoughshespentherlifeintheGypsyworldofJerez],nowalmosteighty,
hasalwaysbeenakindofwalkingcarrierofthebestandpurestessenceof
thecante.Shehasneverappearedoutsideofasmallcircleofaficionados.
WeveseenhermanytimesinthestreetsofJerez,insomedingytavern,
practicallybeggingforafewcoinsinexchangeforanimprovisedversionof
solearesorbulerias.TaAnicalaPiriacadefines,beyondadoubt,the
truestsurvivaloftheoldsocialandstylisticcontextofthecante.She
learnedfromherfellowJerezanosfromManuelTorre,fromAntonio
Frijones,fromToJosdePaulauntilshebecamea
prodigiouscantaorawithvastknowledgeofvirtuallyforgottenstyles.She
couldhavebeenanunsurpassablesourceoflearning;rarelyhasshe
consideredherselftobewhatshereallyisanunknownyet
prodigiousexampleofhumantruth,andofthedramaticexpressivenessof
thecante.
TaAnicalaPiracalivesintheJerezbarrioofSantiago,closeto
thegardensofTempul,intheheartofoneofthemostfamousbirthplaces
ofcante.Whenwevisitedherhome,wewereaccompaniedbytheman
whoknowsthemostaboutthehistoryofflamencoinJerez:JuandelaPlata,
thedirectoroftheCatedradeFlamencologa,anenterprisingconservatory
ofGypsyAndalusianart.Awornoutentranceway,anoisyandflower
bedeckedcommunalpatio,asmallandtidybedroomasimpleplacefora
poorwoman.TaAnicalaPiriacaAnaSoto,whoselastnameisthe
sameasthatofManuelTorreissmallandrotund,asimpleandvivacious
oldwomanwithakind,smilingface.Sheisdressedinblackfromheadto

toe.Weexplain,asbestwecan,ourobjectives.Butsheresists,witha
touchingsenseofhumilityanddisenchantment,asifsheviewedherartas
somethingthathadbeenallowedtoaccompanyher,withoutherhaving
doneanythingtodeservepossession.Finally,sheseemstorelentabitand
weagreetoreturnforherinmidafternoon.
Wewantedtotakearandomwalkthroughthebarrioalongstreetslike
theCalleNueva,LasAnimas,LaSangreperhapsthemost
quintessentiallyGypsyredoubtinlowerAndaluca.Welaterapproached
thespreadingbarrioofSanMiguel,lesswelldefinedthanSantiagofroma
flamencostandpoint,butstillthesiteofmanyimportantepisodesinthe
developmentoftheart.OnthewallofoneofthedecayinghousesCalle
Alamos,22thereisaplaque:OnthefifthofDecemberof1878,
ManuelSotoyLoreto,theartistknownasManuelTorre,wasbornhere.
Itwouldbestrangetotellthatenigmaticandbrilliantguardianofthe
deepestandpurestsecretsofthecantethatsomedaythecitygovernment,
whichessentiallyignoredhimwhilehelived,woulddedicatethisfervently
admiringremembrancetohim.
Wearecompletelysurroundedbyanairofmiserableparalysis,as
ifabandonedbytherushoftime.Wecanthelpthinkingoftheodd
connectionbetweenthepopulardecorationsandthesocialdemolitionof
someofthemostauthenticaspectsofthecante.Flamencowasbornin
placeslikethese,surroundedbyaspecificphysicalandspiritualclimate,
existingprecariouslyaspartofsomealmostimpenetrablesocial
mannerisms,andneveridentifyingitselfwiththetraditionsandpreferences
ofthesurroundingAndalusianculture.Onlywhenthecantaorwasableto
chooseanother,lessdeprivedwayoflifecouldhealsoadaptthecanteto
thesenewpublicexpectationsanddemands.Butthebasicgermoftruthin
flamencocouldnotandwillnoteverdisappearaslongasjustone
personexistswithinwhomitispreserved.Inthissense,ManuelTorreisa
vitallinkwiththeoriginalintegrityofthecanteanditsmostuncontaminated
historicaldevelopment.Nooneknewaswellashehowtogatherthesecrets
oftheflamencolegacytogetherwithsuchdeepintuitionandillumination.
ThecaseofanotherJerezsingerofthatsameera,AntonioChacn,is
veryillustrativeincomparisontothatofTorre.Chacnfollowed,to
aconsiderableextent,thepathmarkedoutbySilverioFranconetti,

anothernonGypsy,bytakingthecanteoutsideofitsroleasatorturous
expressionofthefeelingsofaminority,andadaptingittotheeverchanging
levelofpopular,generalunderstanding.Silveriowasakeyfigurein
flamenco,andhedeservedcreditforsomeexceptionalsylisticre
elaborations;buttowhatpointdidtheheroworshipofChacnso
conditionedbythetasteoftheeradisturbamostpurewayofbeingand
ofsingingthatcouldnotbeproperlysubordinatedtothedemandsofthe
public?
TaAnicalaPiriacasangforourarchiveinthebasementofanoldcaf
inJerez.Werecordedwhileitwasstilldaylight,afterslowpreparation
ofthesetting.Wereconvincedthatitwouldbedifficultonanother
occasiontocapturesuchimpressiveexamplesof
hermartinetes,siguiriyas,solearesandbuleras.Allthehumanflowof
passionemergesfromthiselderlyandexceptionalcantaoralikeaterrible
flowerrevealingeachofherburninglaments.Forus,theuntouchableroot
offlamencoisrepresentedperfectlyineachoftheseheartfeltandhumble
yetoverwhelmingcries,extractedfromthedarkestracialmemory.There
arenotracesoftheartificial,oranyornamentaldeformations;itissimply
theanguishedrecountingofthehistoryoftheAndalusianGypsy,thepure
burstingforthofpainfulhumanexperience.
TaAnicalaPiracadoesntknow,ofcourse,theoriginsof
hercante;neitherhasitevermatteredtoherwhencecamethatexpressive
fountain,orwhereitisgoing.Thecante,forher,wasborninsomeofthe
GypsyhousesonCalleNuevaandCalleCantarera.Laterthefirst
professionalvenues,thecafescantantes,appeared.Sherememberssome
thatprosperedinthatarea,offeringcertainGypsiesanescapefrompoverty.
Butshenevertookpartinthoseinitialstepstowardprofessionalism.She
preferredtokeeptoherownanonymouslifeandthehappenstanceofthe
cante.Weaskedhertosingatona.Shedidntknowwhatweweretalking
about.Neithercouldshedistinguishtheparticularvariantcalledthedebla,
thoughsherecognizedthatitwasatypeofmartinetecreatedbyTomas
Pavon.Itsintheblood,sheinsists.Eachpersonsingsthecantesofhis
puebloinhisownway.
LaPiriaca,likeJuanTalegaorManolitoeldeMaraorTomsTorre
tonameafewotheroldsingerswhotookpartinthisarchivesingsas

thoughshewererevealingallofherintimatefeelingsinasob,acryofgrief.
Shedoesntunderstandhowonecouldexpressinanyotherwaythat
whichcomesfromwithin.Shehandsherselfovertothecantewith
intuitivemouthfulsofliberation,asifopeningbitbybithermuzzledspirit.
WhenImsinginglikeIwantto,mymouthtastesofblood,shesays.The
themesofhercantesareexperiencesshehaslived,oradaptedtomakeher
own.
Whatwegatheredfromthisexemplarycantaorawasthepurestbalanceof
thecanteofJerezthatis,oneofthemostintegralsurvivalsinthe
historyofGypsyAndalusiansong.TaAnicalaPiriacais,inrelationto
theflamencoworldofJerez,whatManolitoeldeMaraiswithrespectto
Alcalthelastremainingvoiceofaneranowonlyglimpsedthrougha
fewrareexamples.Withher,thispricelessmemorywilldisappear.
OnoursecondvisittoJerezwegotintouchwithtwoother
localcantaores;JuanRomeroPantoja,nicknamedelGuapo(Handsome),
andManuelBorrico(Donkey,Burro).BothareGypsiesfromtheBarrio
Santiago,neitherisaprofessionalcantaor,andtheycanservetorepresent,
toacertainextent,thepresentstateoftheflamencotraditioninJerez.We
foundManuelBorricoinaventaontheoutskirtsoftownwhereheusually
endsupatnight,lookingforthethanklessworkofsingingforapossible
fiestawhichcanprovidesomeeconomicreward.Theatmospherewas
depressing.Theventawasvirtuallyempty,andManuelBorricowasdozing
atatablenexttoagoodyoungguitarist,Parilla,withwhomwedalready
connectedonourprevioustripsohecouldaccompanylaPiriaca.This
tediousanddesertednightspotseemedabitlikethevisibleimageofa
chapterofflamencothathadcometoanend.Theaficinforthecante
seenonlyincertainisolatedsocialsectorsofAndaluciahasgradually
beenconvertedintoastyleforthemasses,afterbeinguprootedfromits
poororiginalenvironmentandinstalledintheambiguousrealmofthebig
citytablaosorflamenconightclubs.
ManuelBorricoseemstostrugglehelplesslybetweenthetwoextremes.He
isacantaorofnoblefiberbutdiminishedfaculties,subjectattimesto
anexpressivemodethathasfallenintotheroutine,butwhichcansuddenly
showtheinextinguishableechoofhisrace.JuanRomeroPantojabelongsto
averyrepresentativeGypsyfamilyofJerez,onethathasgivensome

illustriousnamestothesongandthedance.Hesingsonlyeverynowand
then,thoughheenjoysaconsistentrenownasaninterpreter
ofsaetasandsiguiriyas.WefoundhimthroughJuandelaPlata,whohad
arrangedameetinginthepatiooftheCtedradeFlamencologainthe
ancientAlczarsectionofJerezwhereMoorsandChristianslongviedfor
controlofthecity.JuanRomerossongiscloselytiedtotheflamenco
historyoftheBarriodeSantiago.Hissaetasandmartinetes,
hissiguiriyasandbuleras,arelikeakindofcrucibleinwhichhavebeen
meltedsomeunmistakableanddistinctelementsofthecantesofPacola
Luz,ManuelTorre,ToJosdePaula,PacolaMele,andElGloria.Even
withoutawelldefinedcreativepersonalityofhisown,thisyoungGypsyis
agoodexponentofthatwayoflivingandsingingthatiscloselylinkedto
thespecialhumanandartistictraitsofthebarriowherehewasborn.
EndofPart5.
Herespart6ofthetranslationofthebookletfortheArchivodelCante
Flamenco.
PARTVIMAIRENADELALCOR
MairenadelAlcorisasmall,shiningpueblosurroundedbyoliveandorange
groves.Theplazaresemblesapatiowithitsbaseboardspaintedpinkand
indigoandacentralgardenfilledwithfragrantflowers.Thename
Mairenasuggestsaphoneticevocationofseaandsand[maryarena]but
infactweareintheheartoftheplainsintheAndalusianbasin.Mairenadel
AlcorisproudtohavebeenmentionedbyCervantesinhisnovelEl
ColoquiodelosPerros,aswitnessedbyaplaquethatquotesthebook:
AndbeforedaybreakIwasinMairena,whichisaplacefourleaguesfrom
Sevilla.
ItwasAntonioMairenawhotookustohispueblo.Heis,expectedly,the
favoritesonofMairena.Hisbroadrenownasasingercouldonlyhavebeen
generatedinaplacelikethis,largelyinhabitedbyasingle,extensivefamily
andwhereevendailylifeislikeasimple,communalexpression.Inmore
populousplaces,oneisneveragreatsingerforthemany,butratherforthe
relativelysmallnucleusofaficionadosalwaysaminority.Butinthis
pueblo,AntonioMairenaisknowntoallasasymbolofartisticlucidityand

asourceofpride.Itisimpressive,whenoneisntusedtoit,toseehim
crossthesewide,floweredstreetsaccompaniedbytherespectand
admirationofeveryone.Webelievethatthissceneisvirtuallyuniqueto
MairenadelAlcor.
Beforearriving,wehadmadeaspecialcallinDosHermanas,justoutsideof
SevillaonthewaytoUtrera.JuanTalegawaswaitingforusinamodest
barneartheplaza.Althoughhenowlivesinthisagriculturalzone
borderingthemarshesoftheGuadalquivir,thecanteandlifeofTalegaare
linkedtoAlcaldeGuadaira.DosHermanas,despiteitslocationinthe
geographiccradleofflamenco,reallybelongstootherexpressiverealms.
JuanTalega,nowalmostinhiseighties,isthesonofAgustnFernndez,a
greatbutanonymouscantaorofthepastcentury,andanephewaswas
ManolitoeldeMaraofJoaquneldelaPaula,theunforgettable
craftsmanofthesoleareswhichbearhisname.Heavilybuiltandproud,
withnobleGypsybearing,Talegarepresentstoperfectionthesooften
mentionedbutalmostlostgroupofgreatcantaoreswhocanbefoundin
theirnativeregions.JuanTalegaisinthissenseanexceptionalexample.
FaithfulpreserveroftheoldstylesofAlcalandTriana,ofJerezandUtrera,
heisoneofthetwoorthreegreatestpresentdayexponentsofthecante
whenconsideredaccordingtoitstruestandmostrigoroushistoricalroots.
Talegaisanultimateexampleofdramaticclearsightednessandexpressive
wisdom.Eachofhiscantesconstitutesasupremelessoninsobriety,in
pathos,intheexactmeasuringofthecomps,andinemotivetension.No
onetodaycvouldgiveusmoredirectandprecisehumanandartisticdata
thanthatwhichwasofferedtousbythisfaultlessheirofthemostillustrious
branchoftheGypsycreatorsofAlcalthatofthehousesofthe
TalegasandthePaulas.Hiscanteistheexpressionofhislife.Whenthe
daycomesthathecannolongersing,awholeimportantchapterofthe
historyofflamencowillhavebeenclosed.
JuanTalegaaccompaniedustoMairenadelAlcor.Withus,too,was
TomsTorre,thesonofManuel,whosecanteswehadalreadytaped;the
guitaristEduardodelaMalena;andJosMaraVelazquez,anintelligent
flamencochronicler.Wemetinakindofsmallclub,emptyatthetime,
afterhavingmanagedtoavoidtheinfluxoffriends,aficionadosandthe
merelycurious.AntonioMairenahadfoundhisbrotherFrancisco

[sometimesknownasCurroMairena]who,thoughhardlymorethan
anonymous,isagoodcantaorofsolearesandsiguiriyas,asisManolo,the
youngestofthethreebrothers.WecouldnotincludeeitherAntonioor
Manolointhisarchive,becauseofpreexistingexclusiverecording
contracts.Franciscoisamaturegentleman,ofgracefulGypsyAndalusian
stance,veryinfluencedbytheseriousanduncompromisingflamenco
approachofhisbrotherAntonio.Hiscanteshaveagreatdealof
spontaneouspersonalfervorandsomeglimpsesofextraneousinfluence,but
theyarealwaystrue.Franciscosingsonlyforhisfriends(andonly
occasionally),andheespeciallywelcomedthisopportunity.
ThefiestainthesmallclubofMairenawaslongandfruitful,andcontinued
inaventaclosetoAlcaldeGuadairaonthewaybacktoSevilla.Mostof
theserecordingshadconsiderabledocumentaryinterestforus,aswellasan
irreplaceableexpressivevalue.Thesimplefactofhavinggathered
thecantesofJuanTalegapresupposesaswithsomeotheradmirable
casesofoldercantaoreswhocontributedtothisprojectthefertileand
definitivefixingandpreservationofawholeextraordinaryrangeof
flamencocreations.
EndofPart6
HereisPart7ofthebookletthataccompaniedthefieldrecordedArchivo
delCanteFlamenco,releasedin1968.Incidentally,fromthispointonI
donthavetheissuesofJaleothatcarriedBradBlanchards1981
translationsotherewillbebunchesofthosebobbles,bloopersand
blundersthatsoindeliblymarkmyunaidedefforts.Infact,thispartbegins
bydescribingthetargettownashumildeyrecoleto,comoagazapadoen
algunrecododesusinmensasextensionesdedehesasymonocultivos,
whateverthatmeans
PARTVIIPUEBLADECAZALLA
PuebladeCazallaisahumblepueblo,seeminglysquattingonsomebendin
thisimmenseregionofpasturesandcropfields.Risingaboveanancient
Romantown,thepresentdayhamletreallydoesntdatebackmuchpastthe
EighteenthCentury.Itspersonalitylinksitdirectlytothemanyschemes
directedattheintractableagrarianproblemsofAndalucia.Itseemstobe

humiliatedbythesurroundinglabyrinthsthatlenditapartofitsborrowed
richness.Manyofitsinhabitantscalledmoriscos,whichwouldseem
todeserveexplanationhaveleft.Itstheusualstoryinthesepoor,
workadaysites.MostofthemhavegonetoworkinGermanyand,more
recently,theyvegonetoworkonIbizaasconstructionworkersdespitetheir
inexperienceinthisfield.FranciscoMorenoGalvninourview,the
personwhohasmostintenselygraspedthehistoricaltruthofthecante
servedasourguidetothesocialrealityandtheflamencoclimateofthis
townand,later,ofMorn.
PuebladeCazallahasbeenthecradleofsomegoodanonymoussingers.A
fewyearsago,AlvarezTriguerodiedherethegreatconserverofoneof
themostinterestingblendsofflamencowithliturgicalmusicofByzantine
origin.Wearereferringtothepregonessagradosorsacred
announcementcries,avariantoftheprimitivetonsthatweresungforages
(thoughnolonger)inLaPueblasparishchurchonthemorningofHoly
Thursday.Thepregnwepreferthetermtonlitrgicaisasong
ofveryspecialexpressiveforce,soberandsolemnasfewothersare,and
posingseriousinterpretivedifficulties.AfterAlvarezTriguero,nobodyhere
daredtoattemptitinpublic.Thetraditionisbeinglost.Wewere
particularlyinterestinginfindingsomeonewhowouldatleastattemptto
recreatethenoblegrandeurofthesedazzlingpregones.Aftermuch
comingandgoing,wefoundaworkernamedMontesino,fromafamilyof
goodflamencoaficionadoscalledtheLobos.Montesinohasrarelysung,
eveninprivatefiestas.Herefusedtoagreetoourpleas,whilewedrankina
tavern.Thepregn,likethesaetaoflaPueblaanotherobvious
descendantoftheoldd___demandsfacultiesandatonalcommandof
exceptionalstrength.Montesinodidntthinkhehadthem,andalsosaidthat
hehadntsungforquiteawhile.Onlyhisgoodwillledhimtorecordfor
thearchive,afterourfriendly,goodfaithexplanationsandreassurances.
InlaPuebladeCazalla,asinmanyothersites,thepresumptivesingersof
realinterestareeitherincreasinglyscarceornolongerliveinthepueblo.
Theflamencoheritagesimplyrunsout,orisdiluted,underpressurefrom
othernecessitiesorattractions.WeheardaboutaGypsynamedRafael,who
wasknownasasingerofsolearesandafesteroafiestatypesingerbut
hehadleftforMarchena,weededoutbycircumstance.Theonlygreat

singerlivinginlaPueblawhoisalsooneofthetwoorthreefinest
representativesofthelatestgenerationisJosMenese,whomwewould
recordinMadridwherehehaslivedfortwoorthreeyears.
MontesinoelLoboisahumble,quietman,thinasavine.Hespeaksofhis
knowledgeofthepregnandofthesaetaoflaPueblaasifrecallinga
forgottenstorythatstillliesdormantincertainrealmsofthepopular
memory.Helearnedthemasachild,althoughhethinksitwouldbeuseless
totryandreproduceitsfullexpressivescope.Howcouldhesinginthe
church,beforethetownspeople,afterthedeathofAlvaroTriguero?
MontesinoelLoboisafaithfulaficionadoofflamenco,buthedoesntreally
graspsomeofitsmostbasiccontingencies.Heonlyknowsthegenuine
localtraditionofthisimmediateregion.Hesaystherewerefourpregones
ofJudas,ofPilate,oftheGarden,andoftheAngel.Wesuspectthat
theseexamplesofliturgicalsongswereactuallynothingbutregional
versionsnonGypsyversionsoftheantiquegroupofsongsknown
astons.Eachpregnconsistsofperhapsfiftyverses,andisrendered
duringHolyWeek,demandingahugeeffortthatiscompoundedbythe
extremedifficultyofthecante.MontesinoelLoboamoriscoofla
Pueblaandperhapsbydescentaswell,giventhelinkbetweentheMoors
andtheGypsiesinterpretedafragmentofthepregnofPilateanda
localsaeta.Despitehisevidentlackofexperience,bothexamplesseemto
conformbeautifullytotheobjectivesofthearchive.
PARTVIIIMORONDELAFRONTERA
FromPuebladeCazallatoMorndelaFrontera,itsjustafewscenic
kilometersoveraterribleroad.Mornisaloftyandprosperoustown,
dominatedbytheMoorishcastleofthatname,beneathwhichsprouthumble
housesandsomegrandmansions.LikeAlcal,JerezandUtreraandlike
SevillasbarriodeTrianaMornisoneoftheindisputablecradlesofthe
cante.Asoneexample,rememberthataround1850DiegoBermudezEl
Tenazaswasbornhereanexceptionalsingerofsole[andwinnerofthe
1922ConcursodeCanteJondoofGranada];andhere,too,Silverio
Franconetti,borninSevillain1831,livedmostofhislife.Thissinger,of
enormouspersonality,whoemigratedforawhiletoArgentinaandwho
returnedtohishomelandbearinganewexpressiveregistertointroducea
newsocialdimensionofthecante.Silveriowasthefirsttotryandplace

flamencowithinthereachofabroadpublic,partlyfreeingitfromits
legendaryminoritoryroots.SilveriowasnotGypsy,andneitherwas
hiscante:butifsomethingwaslostinitsconcealedracialnaturalness,
somethingelsewasgainedinaccessibilityandwidediffusion.This
contributiontodeterminingthefutureofthecantewasSilveriosmajor
legacy.TheoldmusicalsurvivalsamongGypsyfamilies,thehidden
transmissionofstyles,thedeepritualofsomeformsofexpressionthat
rarelywentbeyondtheirracialboundariesallbecamefairgame,tobe
presentedasapublicspectacle.Thedramaofasubjugatedpeoplewasnow
offered,withcomplexmoralandmaterialimplications,inapublic
representation.Fromthatpoint,weenteredthediffusebutfertileepochof
theCafesCantantes.SilveriohimselfownedoneinSevilla,whereone
couldseethemostfamoussingersofthesecondhalfthetheNineteenth
Century.
InMorn,wewereparticularlyinterestedinonesingerLuisTorres
andoneguitaristDiegoeldelGastor.LusTorresisamiddleaged
Gypsy,fromafamilythatgaveflamencosomeimportantartistsincluding
JoselerodeMorn,fromwhomLusinheritedbothhisnicknameandhis
knowledgeofthecante.DiegodelGastorisaguitaristwhoislittlelessthan
legendary.Hisfamehasfilteredintoalltherealmsofflamenco,illuminated
withakindofhaloofuniquecharacteristics.Morethanatocaor(guitar
player)inthenormalsense,Diegoisamaestroteacherandmasterof
guitarists.Hismelodicfalsetasandvariationshavebecomecelebrated.
Andhiscreativepower,linkedtoatumultuousfolkintuitionandanevident
delicacyofobscureorigin,istrulyadmirable.DiegoanelderlyGypsy
withtheairofanelderlyprofessorhasrarelyleftMorn.Hefleesfrom
professionalism,andhasrefusedmanytemptingcontracts.Nowhe
supplementshisincomebygivingguitarclasses.
ThoughmutualfriendsFranciscoMorenoGalvn,FernandoQuiones,
AlbertoGarcaUleciawegottogetherwithDiegoeldelGastorandLus
TorresJoseleroinataverninMorn.Butwecouldnotgettheisolation
weneededthere,sowewenttoplacenearthecastlewhereastudentof
Diegoshadsomerooms.Thestudent,thoughAmericanbybirth,didnot
workonthenearbyU.S.airbase.Heonlywantedtotakeguitarclasses,and
participateinthelocalgoingsonwithevidentfervor.Itneverceasesto

astonish,thisstrangekindofimpassioneddedicationtoflamencothatstrikes
someforeigners,causingthemtoleavetheirnormalwayoflifeandcometo
themostfertileflamencoterritory.ThisAmericanapprenticeguitarist,who
barelyknewhowtospeakSpanish,isbutoneexampleamongmany.He
identifiedwiththetruthofthecante,andtheclimatefromwhichitsprings.
Italmostseemedthathehadmoldedhimselftofittheanarchiclifestyleof
theGypieswithwhomhelived.
Thefiestabeganlate.Diegoplayedincessantly.Hisimprovisations,his
gorgeousdissonances,revealanunmistakablepersonality.Nonetheless,this
isnotaGypsyguitarinthesenseoftheemphaticbasslineandclawing
melodicdepthusuallyimpliedbytheterm.Diegostoque,asweve
indicated,containsanabundantdoseofvirtuosity;sometimes,achordora
refinedrhythmicconceptlenditacertainclassicalflavor.PerhapsDiegois
aguitaristwhojoinsanastonishingtechniquetoamajesticallyauthoritative
senseoftheinspiredrootsofflamencothatis,heisculturedthankstohis
uniquefolk/popularintuition.
LusTorresJoselerointerpreted,rightthroughtodawn,avariedarrayof
cantes:siguiriyas,soleares,tangos,cantias,alegras,bulerasandalbores.
Thequalityofthesedifferentinterpretationswashighlyvariable.
Sometimes,hisvoicegotawayfromhim,revealingadisorderedstorehouse
ofmemories;atothermoments,heproducedcantesthatwererigorously
measuredandincorruptiblyserious.Wethinkthatthemostinteresting
aspectofhiscontributionwasafewoftheseveralsolearesthathesang.
Specifically,werereferringtothoseheattributedtoJuanAmaya,anon
professionalGypsysingerofthebeginningofthecentury,thefatherof
Diego,whowasacattletraderintheSierradeRonda.While
thesesolearesincorporateadistinctiveaspect,theymaydefinitively
representwhatistodayconsideredtobethepurestandlostnucleusof
theoldsolearesdeTriana.
LusTorresisDiegosbrotherinlaw.TheseGypsiesfromMorn,Osuna,
PuebladeCazallaandMarchenaformatightlyclosed,characteristicclan.
Withinit,traditionsareconservedwithanobviousaccumulationof
intenselyemotionalatavisms.LusTorres,forexample,saidhecouldnotto
singthealboreasunderanycircumstancesasongcustomarilyviewedby
theGypsiesasprohibitedoutsideoftheirintimateweddingceremonies

claiminghedidntknowit.Wedidntwanttoinsist,anditwasDiego
himselfwhoreferredtothecustomofsecrecywithadismissivelyjoking
annoyance.Thisfreespiritedconfrontationoftraditionalcriterianever
ceasedtosurpriseus.TheprivatecodeofbehavioroftheGypsies,while
apparentlyinflexible,somehowmanagestoadaptitselftothedemandsof
thespecificoccasion.SomeGypsiesareproudtohaveovercomemany
superstitionsoranachronisticculturaldeadweights;othersdefendtheseasif
dealingwithaproudandsolemnmatterofprinciple.LusTorresfinallydid
interpretthealbores;atleast,itsmostcommonexpressiveform,
somewherehalfwaybetweenthebulerasandthedanceablesole.
OneofLusTorreschildren,namedelAndorrano,sangaseriesof
festivebulerasaslightcameupoverthenoblehamletofMorn.Hisharsh
andimpersonalrenditionmadeussuspectthatthegreatlineage
ofMornsingers,definedbytheshadowsofSilverioandTenazas,hadbeen
interruptedwiththenewgeneration.ElAndorranoexpressedhisbulerasin
awaythatseemedartificialandperturbed,asifadaptingthemtocertain
strainsofmodernrhythms.Althoughthesesongshadnoplaceinour
archive,otherimpromptufestivesongsperformedbyunexpecteddropbys
mighthavebeendeemedworthy,sincetheyperfectlyrepresentedthetrue
andintimatewayofsingingthatmarksGypsieswhoarenotcantaoresinthe
exactsenseoftheword.
PARTIXCASTILLEJADELACUESTA
InoneofourmanyroundsofSevilla,weapproachednearbyCastillejadela
Cuesta,justafewstepsfromTriana.Wewereparticularlyinterestedin
collectinganydataabouttheflamencosceneinthisluminouspueblosonear
toSevillaand,atthesametime,sodistantfromitintermsofthehistoryof
thecante.CastillejaresemblesDosHermanas,andinbothtownsthehouses
stickingoutofthemarshesoftheGuadalquivirmakeforapicturesque
stoppingplaceduringthereligiousprocessionknownastheRomeradel
Roco.Anditsflamencohabits,duetothesentimentalpreferencesofthe
locals,belongtotheorbitofHuelva.TheproximityofCastillejatoTriana
hasnothadtheslightestinfluenceonthemakingofitsmusic.Castilleja
insteadhasadaptedtothehorsemenandthecartsoftheRoco,andseemsto
beenvelopedinanticipationoftheprocessions
typicalsevillanasandfandangosdeHuelva.

Andhereweestablishedcontactwithtwoyoungsingersofthesevillanas
rocieras:RafaelRuzandAntonioRomero;andwithanoldtamborine
player:RafaelJimnez,fromPaternadelCampo,whichisinthecounty.It
seemedimportantincreatingthisarchivethatwenotsuppressthisparticular
varietyofflamencoizedpopularfolksong.Thesevillanashaveevolved
verysignificantlyovertheyears,perhapsdrivenbytheirowngrowing
popularity.Thatwhichwasoriginallybestviewedasalocalderivation
growingintheAndalucaofSevillaandHuelvaoftheancientseguidillas
manchegasfromLaMancha,keptbranchingouttowardothermodern
innovations.Today,thesevillanasrocierasseemtoincorporatemuchofthe
choralsongofthecountryside,whilelyricallytheydrawuponthe
atmosphereofthemarisma,ormarshlandssuchassomeformsof
thefandangodeHuelvafittedtothetastesofthelisteningpublic.
Nowadaysoneoftenhearsthemsungbytwosingers,withcomplementary
voicesindifferentregisters.Therecanbenodoubtthatthischaracteristic
aloneservestoremovethesevillanaseveniftheirownexpressiveworld
ofconcernsdidntsufficeinthisregardfromthepureambienceof
flamenco.Yetthisisnottodenythattheyhaveworthandflavoroftheir
own.Intheiraspectasversescreatedtoaccompanythedancethatbears
theirnamewhoseoccasionalqualifierdepalillosorwithcastanets
indicatestheirfolkloriccountrysideorigin,farfromtherealmofflamenco
andespeciallyfromtheinfluenceoftheGypsythesevillanasperfectly
definetherichrepertoireofAndalucaspopularsongbook,whichhas
allowedacertainflamencoinfluenceandwhichhasgeneratedthemost
enthusiasticandferventsupportofthegeneralpublic.Forthearchive,
RafaelRuzandAntonioRomerosangseveralsets
ofsevillanasrocierasaccompaniedbytheguitarofAntonioMaravillaand
bythefluteandtamborinesoreminiscentofCastilleofRafael
Jimnez.Fortheseyoungsingers,flamencohasceasedtobeaquestionof
esotericanddeepmanifestationsofintimateexpression,andhasbecomea
simplematterofusingcatchymelodiestorenewthevitalityofan
Andalusiancustom.
PARTXARCOSDELAFRONTERA
ArcosdelaFronterahasanunusualsignificanceinthehistoryofflamenco.
Itsgeographicsituationputsitbetweenthebetweentheexpressiveintensity

foundinJerezorTriana,andtherough,gruffsongsofthemountainranges
oftheSierras.InArcoswasbornoneofthemostvitalfiguresofflamenco,
TomselNitri,rememberedasaparadigmofcreativity.Littleisactually
knownofhislife,thoughmanyclaimtoknowsomethingofhiscante.This
chapterinthebookofflamencostylesthosegreatsingerswhosefame
hascomedowntouscanbeverytrickyandslippery.Howdid
thetonsandthesiguiriyasoftheseprimitivecreatorsofflamencoreally
sound?Couldtheyreallyhavebeenthesameastheversionsthathave
comedowntous?Oraltransmissionis,inthissense,quiteconfusingand
sometimesithardlyoffersanyguaranteeofcredibility.Itsquitepossible
thatthisquestionabouttheauthenticityofthesepersonalcreationsentailsa
wholeseriesofreelaborationsandadaptations.Thestylesnowattributedto
singersoflongagocouldonlyhavebeentransmittedthroughotherswho
sangthemintheirownparticularway.Butthereisnowaytobesureofthe
accuracyoftheseversions.Andperhapsitisnotworthwhiletotryand
rigorouslyattributetocertainindividualssomethingwhichbelongsinitits
totalitytoaspecificgroupwithintheGypsyAndalusianpopulation.Each
singerinterpretstheflamencolegacyinhisorherownway.Indeed,without
theadditionofthisexpressivepersonality,everythingwouldturnintoa
meremummifiedreplica.Thefirstusefulrecordingsofferingimmediate
proofonlybeganinthetimeofManuelTorre,Chacon,JuanBreva,
TenazasandElGloria.Beforetheeraofrecordings,wehavenothingbut
suppositions.