The genesis for Cohen’s own leap into the unknown came at a time when he was dabbling in prose and poetry, having become influenced by the works of Garcia Lorca. At a park across the street from his family home in Montreal, Cohen encountered a young man playing the guitar. Impressed by the musicianship of the young man, he approached and asked if he would be willing to teach him the guitar. Cohen brought his languishing instrument to the next day’s lesson and proceeded to have a disappointing time of it while tryingto master the fingering and rhythms of his young teacher. Undaunted, he returned home and practiced, so that the next day’s lesson was not so much a disaster as the initial one. The same scenario repeated itself for a third day of practice and lesson. Cohen had made enough progress that he considered he might be able to actually learn to play the guitar. Just as mysteriously as he appeared, however, the young teacher disappeared. When Cohen contacted the landlady from whom the young man rented, he was told that he had committed suicide. In his early twenties himself, and a bit lost as to his own future, Cohen was deeply affected by this news. However, the young man had left Cohen with a lifetime gift of six foundational guitar chords. As it turns out, these were a flamenco guitar chord progressions and formed, “The basis of all my songs and all my music.”(Leonard Cohen)
Beginning with “Suzanne,” Fernando has begun to reveal the natural rhythms, tonalities and sentimentalities of Lorca and Cohen and ‘officiates at the marriage of the two voices.’ Adding his own, he realizes the essence of exploration, thereby concretizing the ephemeral quest for the source of inspiration and creativity. Flamenco itself is a synthesis of Mediterranean musical epochs and genres, ranging from before the time of the Visigoths, through African, Sephardic and Arabic influences, the Romantic era through to today’s innovations. Like the singers of flamenco’s genesis just 170 years ago, Lorca represented his deep comprehension of humanity in all its struggles, and Cohen its vagaries. Creating a broad cultural awareness of the rich heritage of flamenco’s past with links to innovations inthe present is our hallmark.
Inherent in the history of music is its ability to cross borders & bridge epochs.
As humans strive to honor unity within diversity, our performance/educational works reveal innate, historical desires to resolve differences.
Woven into a time and place are the unique cultural textures that illuminate, define and enrich a people.
We proudly present the three essential pillars of our Andalusian flamenco culture: literature (poetry & prose); music (Sephardic, ancient melodies and Spanish lineage); dance (rhythm & harmony).
Our performances reveal a wealth of historical references and selected poems, combined with both original compositions & traditional flamenco music. Additional features include audiovisual biographies.
Observing metamorphic transformations in nature allows us to extrapolate that method to humans and the arts. That is to say, the foundational substance becomes a supporting substance retained in the new identity. These essential elements are absorbed, now invisible to the observer, while the transformed form creates a stunning awareness of the new.
Likewise, our compositions make use of a similar pattern of creative mutation, if you will. We begin with folk songs that poet Federico Garcia Lorca chose, rescued from oblivion, transcribed for the piano and performed in various venues. Following a trajectory of revealing hidden elements, we submit them to an unexpected metamorphic process. The melodic essences of the old songs are those that give musical meaning to different poems that Lorca wrote.
Additionally, in his short life, he created diverse artistic works, including poetry, music, and literature. He also created formidable works for the theater, while also embracing other mediums such as painting. His contemporaries and artistic collaborators included Joan Miro and Salvador Dali.
“Lorca in the Keys of Hands and Voice,” a concert conceived and presented by Adam Kent and Fernando Barros, is a musical innovation inspired by Lorca’s example. Lorca collected melodies from the Spanish folklore repertoire and transcribed them for the piano using two different concepts: 1) adapting the old melodies to various of his poem, as for example, ANDA JALEO to the poem “Preciosa y el Aire”; and 2) singing the old songs using the expressive, emotive characteristics inherent in ﬂamenco music.