Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.

Malabarista de Semáforo
2007/04/15, 02:36
Filed under: Flamenco Violin, Global Music Ed

Malabarista de Semáforo (from De La Felicidad) is the piece I focused on for my project for the Global Music Education course.

The performance in class last week went pretty well (I transcribed about the first 40 seconds of the piece…covering the main themes but not overburdening myself with the solo sections, at least for the time being since it was just a short performance we were supposed to do). I really love this piece! Ara is awesome!

Attached is a .pdf of my basic analysis of the piece, along with some observations I noted about the violin and how Ara plays and sounds.

Pretty much I just noted the different sections that I heard and tried to describe them.

In the harmony section I am reading in the Teoría Musical de Flamenco by Lola Fernández, she writes that Flamenco uses the Modal System (Phrygian, majorized Phrygian, Ionian, mixed modes, Flamenco mode), Tonal System (Major and Minor), Modal+Tonal System (Flamenco mode with either a major mode/bimodality, or a minor mode).

Ms. Fernández refers to the (Mi)E Phrygian (E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E), the “majorized” E Phrygian (E, F, G#, A, B, C, D#, E), and the flamenco mode (E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E). If a triad is made of each step of the flamenco mode, the chords/triads are I – Major, II – Major, III – Major, IV – minor, V – diminished, VI – Major, VII – minor.

I believe that Malabarista de Semáforo is in the flamenco mode of Mi (or E), with some accidentals, ornaments and embellishments created by Ara Malikian and the guitarist José Luís Montón.

The flamenco rhythmic system is probably one of the very hardest for me to catch on to at this point. I understand it, but the application of it is very hard for me! I’m thinking that this particular piece is following a Soleá form, or at least from the family of the Soleá, but I may be wrong.

As for the title, I’m not quite sure how to translate it. “Traffic Light/Semaphore Juggler”, “Juggler of the Semafore” (???) Maybe it has to do with the traffic light alternating three colors like the juggler will juggle at least 3 balls or objects? Maybe in the piece it has to do with the alternating solo sections or how the two musicians perceived the form or structure? Or maybe none of what I am thinking? Ahh, who knows!



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