Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.

Beginning steps…
2007/03/10, 00:18
Filed under: Global Music Ed

So the beginning of the project…selecting a culture and a piece of music to represent it… not the easiest task!
Anyways, I knew I wanted to explore more of the violin in other contexts, and decided to select the Flamenco musical genre and a piece from one of Ara Malikian’s CDs. Although he is not the only violinist to ever have played in flamenco, he is practically the only solo flamenco violinist. When I was in Granada, (in the state of Andalucía…the heart of the flamenco world!) I asked a woman who ran a strictly flamenco CD store (Gran Vía records), piled high with Paco de Lucia box sets and other artists, “show me the CDs of flamenco violinists,” and she told me there was just Ara Malikian in a very matter of fact way.

Anyways, his pieces are usually newer compositions that he wrote with a flamenco guitarist, however flamenco art, from what I understand about it so far, is largely passed down and ownership is not the same as some would think. Many artists borrow or use chord progressions typical of genres (ie. sevillanas), over and over again.
I first narrowed my selections to four works… Pena Penita Pena, Quise Volverme Loco, Princesa, and Malabrista de Semáforo. These all had qualities that really struck me as flamenco…the characteristic Eastern flavors created from the half-steps…the clapping…the dripping emotion and mysterious atmosphere.

I finally chose Malabrista de Semáforo because it had a repeated theme that to me, was catchy and seemed like something great to play on the violin! It also has some of the clapping, guitar soloing, feet stomping, and a shaker in the background (although, I don’t think shakers are as typical in flamenco music) that I think makes it sound like a great example to use as an introduction this style.

Ara Malikian


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