METAMORPHIC REFLECTIONS. LORCA-COHEN

25 Oct METAMORPHIC REFLECTIONS. LORCA-COHEN

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.

At differing stages of development artists acknowledge their homage to other artists, history, other cultures and, sometimes, their peers. Inspiration is related to those metamorphic stages – hidden until the time comes to be revealed as something new.

The unlikely pairing of Canadian composer and singer, Leonard Cohen, and Spaniard, Federico  Garcia Lorca, evoke questions of how two highly individualistic compositional processes can be at all similar. Along with us, you will discover how the beauty in Cohen’s melodies become the foundational structure that musically support Lorca’s poetry, forming a new expression unexplored before in either canon.

Fernando Barros, also a composer and singer, has the unique capacity to hear the innate musicality in Spanish prose and poetry. His epiphany for creating this program came about while researching the profound influence Garcia Lorca and flamenco music had on the songwriter, Leonard Cohen. His metamorphic reveal consists, not simplistically translating Cohen’s lyrics into Spanish, but of readily adapting Lorca’s poems to the melodies of Cohen, like a glove coupled to a hand.

In “Take This Waltz,” Leonard Cohen reveals his gratitude to Federico Garcia Lorca by putting the clothes of his music to Lorca’s poem, “Poet in New York.” This collaboration, despite the separation of several decades and continents, can best be seen as a synthesis of the spiritual union of their two paths.

Fernando’s metaphors above are a striking example of how to approach the age-old question as to the sources of inspiration and creativity. His own compositions of the past decade reveal the inherent musicality found in the works of the writers and poets of Spain, with a resonant voice that is uniquely suited to the subtleties required.

The genesis for Cohen’s own leap into the unknown, came when he encountered a young man in a park near his home in Montreal. At that time Cohen was dabbling in prose and poetry, having read and become influenced by the work of Garcia Lorca. Impressed by the musicianship of the young man, Cohen approached him 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 lesson while trying to 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 is a synthesis of Mediterranean music epochs and genres, ranging from before the time of the Visigoths, through Sephardic and Arabic influences, the Romantic era and 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 in  the 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 audiovisuals biographies.

Los Mozos de Moleon

Romance del Emplazado

En El cafe De chinitas

Romance de la Pena Negra

Anda Jaleo

Preciosa y el Aire

Zorongo

Romance de La Luna, Luna

Las Tres Hojas

NANA”   DE MANUEL DE FALLA CON POEMA DE  LORCA

De Issac Albeniz,  Corpus Cristi en Sevilla de la Suite, Iberia

ADAPTACION de CANCIONES de COHEN a POEMAS de LORCA y OTRAS

  By Leonard Cohen              By      Federico Garcia Lorca

 Suzanne                                       >   Romance De la Luna, Luna

Coming Back To You                > Casida De las Palomas Oscuras 

Bird On The Wire                      > Gacela Del Mercado Matutino

The Window                                > Se ha puesto el Sol

Anthem                                          > Balada Interior

Who by fire                                   > Si mis manos pudieran deshojar a la Luna

The gypsy’s wife                          > Balada de un día de Julio

By Miguel De Cervantes       

Dance Me to the End of Love >     Bailan las Gitanas       

ADAM KENT

Classical concert pianist, music educator and author

Adam Kent has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and in chamber music throughout the Unite States, Italy, Spain, Switzerland,  and Latin America.

He is a  winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards. Dr. Kent has also received top prizes in the Thomas Richner, the Juilliard Concerto, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competitions. He is also a recipient of the Arthur Rubinstein Prize and the Harold Bauer Award.

Dr. Kent made his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1989 and has been featured on radio stations WQXR, WNYC, and WFUV.

Spanish music has been a specialty of Dr. Kent’s, whose years of devotion to the music of Spain have led to his critically acclaimed recording on Bridge Records of Ernesto Halffter’s complete piano music. He is an honored recipient of the Spanish government’s Orden al Mérito Civil, awarded at the directive of King Juan Carlos I at a special ceremony in Carnegie Hall in 2011. He has presented all-Spanish programs and bi-lingual lecture-recitals throughout the United States, Spain, Canada, Columbia and Cuba. Dr. Kent is a full-time faculty member at SUNY Oneonta. His website is adamkentmusic.com          

FERNANDO BARROS

Flamenco Specialist: Singer, Composer, Historian, Teacher, Author

A native of Granada, Spain, Fernando specializes in the unique cadence and rhythms that are the foundations of flamenco music. He has gained international recognition as an innovator whose voice and compositions reveal the “melody” inherent in Spanish literature and poetry, including Federico Garcia Lorca, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramon Jimenez and Miguel de Cervantes. Exemplifying the rhythms that give musical identity to cultures around the world, he draws on ancient texts and melodies, as well as composing with today’s audiences in mind. In 2017, Fernando inaugurated new courses on flamenco history, rhythms and vocal techniques through the auspices of the Instituto Cervantes of Albuquerque and Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe.

He  is honored to be an invited member of the International Council of Dance at UNESCO (No. 16955), which preserves indigenous dances from around the world.

On the vanguard of integrating the traditions of flamenco with new approaches to teaching, Fernando has authored two books and a recently released instructional manual. He offers university-level master classes and workshops for life-long learners interested in Spanish culture and the authentic history of flamenco. He has performed in Spain, Morocco, Canada and the United States.

As a cultural ambassador from the region of Andalusia, Spain, he is now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.  His work and writings are featured on two websites: queeselflamenco.com and studyflamenco.com

DAVID BRYANT Composer, Percussionist, Recording Artist   

Percussionist, David Bryant, has played and recorded with many greats of the music world, including Carlos Santana, Dizzy Gillespie, Babatundi Olatunji, Buckethead, Lawson Rollins, Chris Calloway and many others. He toured extensively with music notables such as Ottmar Liebert and Robert Mirabal. His many years in New York introduced him to the nuances of professionalism and collaboration.

His compositions and recordings number in the dozens, and he currently writes for and records in Nashville. Composing soundtracks for films and for choreographers, Mr. Bryant performs on a wide variety of percussive instruments, some of which he has crafted himself.

Locally, he is a drummer/performer with the National Dance Institute, New Mexico Jazz Workshop, and as a guest teacher at the  United World College in Las Vegas, NM.

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 the 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. At differing stages of development artists acknowledge their homage to other artists, history, other cultures and, sometimes, their peers. Inspiration is related to those metamorphic stages – hidden until the time comes to be revealed as something new.

The unlikely pairing of Canadian composer and singer, Leonard Cohen, and Spaniard, Federico Garcia Lorca, evoke questions of how two highly individualistic compositional process can be at all similar. Along with us, you will discover how the beauty of Cohen’s melodies become the foundational structure that musically supports Lorca’s poetry, forming a new expression unexplored before in either canon.

Fernando Barros, also a composer and singer whose roots are in Andalusia, Spain, has the unique capacity to hear the innate musicality in Spanish prose and poetry. His epiphany for creating this program came about while researching the profound influence Garcia Lorca and flamenco had on the songwriter, Cohen. His metamorphic reveal consists, not of simplistically translating Cohen’s lyrics into Spanish, but of readily adapting Lorca’s poems to the melodies of Cohen, “like a glove coupled to a hand.”

In “Take This Waltz,” Leonard Cohen reveals his gratitude to Federico Garcia Lorca by “putting the clothes of his music” to Lorca’s lengthy poem, “Poet in New York.” This collaboration, despite the separation of several decades and different continents, can best be seen as a “synthesis of the spiritual union of their two paths.”

copyright © Text by Melissa Moore; Italicized metaphors by Fernando Barros

Fernando Barros Lirola
barroslirola@gmail.com

Fernando Barros Lirola was born in Spain in 1952 and has performed in concerts and at Andalusian flamenco festivals around the world since 1980. He is a singer, composer, writer and historian who specializes in the unique cadences and rhythms that are the foundation of flamenco music. He has gained international recognition as an innovator whose voice and compositions reveal the “melody” inherent in Spanish literature and poetry. On the vanguard of integrating the traditions of flamenco with new approaches to teaching, Fernando is the author of “Flamenco en las Aulas.” He has contributed to dozens of periodicals, social media and websites. Fernando is a cultural ambassador from Andalusia, now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As an invited member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO, he actively promotes the preservation of dance around the world. In exemplifying the rhythms and music that give life to culture, he performs, leads workshops, participates on panel discussions, and offers master classes nationally and internationally.



2019 PERFORMANCES

INSTITUTO CERVANTES of ALBUQUERQUE present:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24TH Wells Fargo Auditorium at the NHCC. CONCERT: «POETRY AS MUSIC» 7:00 P.M.

Fernando Barros (cantaor) presents “The Metamorphics” with Tito Rios, Brian Nelson & Juan Aniceto. This concert extrapolates on Leonard Cohen’s musical compositions, along with classics, to receive the texts or poems written by Spanish authors of the past, such as Miguel de Cervantes and Federico Garcia Lorca.

Free event – Donations welcome

Instructors: Melissa Moore & Fernando Barros

Follow us: studyflamenco.com & queeselflamenco.com

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Email: barroslirola@gmail.com