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Interview with Flamencos de Morón - ¡Puro y vivo!

June 27, 2012

That’s the name of the recording made by this new group of great artists, most of whom are from Morón de la Frontera.  It’s a project created by Schimun Murk, “Simón el Suizo”, who passed through that Seville town several years ago, the town where the guitar has a different sound, the peculiar Moron style as represented by the famous Diego del Gastor.

The project “Flamencos de Morón” is based on a live recording that includes the participation of young interpreters who continue to live that tradition and know how to present it to audiences in a genuine way.

Brothers Paco and Ignacio de Amparo, who inherited the guitar-playing artistry of Diego del Gastor, have assimilated the essence of the pure style of their maestro: a simplicity of harmony and beautiful tones.  A way of playing guitar which seems simple at first, but is actually complex, effective and moving.  Paco de Amparo spent many years travelling the world with the group Son de la Frontera.

Teresa Ríos offers her audience an expert singing style brimming with feeling, freshness and joy.  In the voice of Rubio de Pruna we find a wealth of authenticity, a powerful gypsy voice that reaches deeply into the soul.

We also hear Javier Heredia, who punctuates his singing with an expressive unbridled dance, a fine artist who has compás in the blood and joyously surrenders to his art.

The wonderful young dancer Ana Ojeda has refined technique, and a genuinely gypsy style without sacrificing a bit of her freshness and spontaneity.

The group has performed at the Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques of Essaouira (Morrocco), the Centro del Arte Flamenco de la Merced in Cádiz, Centro Cultural de Marchena (Sevilla), Teatro del Oriente in Morón de la Frontera, and on June 30th they’ll be at the Tablao Flamenco Corral de la Morería with the Festival Suma Flamenco 2012, serving as the closing performance of the festival.

Thanks to their passing through Madrid for the Suma Flamenca festival, we were able to interview some of the members of the group:

How did the group Flamencos de Morón come into being?

Flamencos de Morón grew out of a private fiesta held in Morón de la Frontera for our friend Schimun Murk (Simón el Suizo) at the Fontanal finca owned by our good friend, the businessman Ángel Camacho.

Simón el Suizo, a great flamenco fan enthralled with the playing of Diego del Gastor, told us about his idea of presenting this kind of music in Switzerland, his native country, and almost without thinking about it, little by little, the group began to come together and we ended up making a live recording, “Flamencos de Morón Puro y Vivo” to show what we like and what we feel.

We’ve had Son de la Frontera and Son Aires de la Frontera with Paco de Amparo a permanent feature…what’s the story behind your involvement ?

Considering that the fundamental inspiration for the music of Son de la Frontera and Son Aires de la Frontera is Diego del Gastor, and the guitarist for both groups is his grand-nephew, follower and heir to that way of playing guitar, I think the relationship is more than obvious.

How are the groups different from one another?

Well, I think there are clear references that define two very different perspectives.  The music of Son de la Frontera was nearly all instrumental, with the guitar and the pioneering incorporation of the Cuban tres in flamenco, whereas Flamencos de Morón, in addition to having a different formation of interpreters, in number and specialty, the instruments, in this case two guitars, only take on the relevance that corresponds to them, leaving a wider variety of expression for the rest of the members.

What importance does the legacy of Diego del Gastor have for Flamencos de Morón?  Why was Diego so popular with Americans decades ago?  Can his influence still be felt?

Diego’s legacy is very important for us, four of the six members of the group are descendents of his.  Teresa Ríos, Rubio de Pruna and Ignacio de Amparo…and the other two, the fiesta singer and dancer Javier Heredia and the dancer from Utrera Ana Ojeda, are in love with that guitar-playing.

I sincerely believe that Diego del Gastor continues to be important and his influence continues to be felt, not only by American flamenco fans, but also Japanese, English, Spaniards…all those people who lived the unrepeatable golden age with him.

Does the group Flamencos de Morón aim to do contemporary flamenco, or do you look more to the traditional?

Javier Heredia: I think Flamencos de Morón does pure traditional flamenco, very natural but at the same time with the freshness of youthful interpreters.  I think each one of us tries to follow the flamenco legacy left by our elders.

What is the function of a young “festero” like Javier Heredia in a group like this?

Javier Heredia: I think my contribution to the group Flamencos de Morón is a kind of art which these days is becoming obsolete, that figure of the fiesta singer and dancer in line, in my own way, of Anzonini, Paco Valdepeñas, Miguel Funi, El Mono, Andorrano, and aside from the purely artistic question, I try to transmit my way of being with my the rest of the group who are like family, and to create that harmony that later shows on stage.

The Morón-Utrera connection has been very important for flamenco…what relevance does it have today?

There are still bonds that unite Morón and Utrera, it was a golden age when Fernanda and Bernarda, Perrate, Bambino and others were alive…they would hang out with Diego del Gastor and his nephews, all maestros of the guitar.  This relationship has not been broken, the bonds still exist, with other people logically, but there is still that mixing of artists from both towns, professionally and informally.  Mari Peña, Rafael de Utrera, Encarna la Negra de Utrera, Tomás de Perrate, Ana Ojeda, etc….sharing stages and the occasional socializing too.

Morón now has two flamenco festivals…with so many festivals struggling to survive, or even disappearing, how is this justified?  Will Flamencos de Morón be at either of them this year?

I truly believe there is no reason for the disappearance of flamenco festivals.  Maybe the economy doesn’t help much, the fact is we’re being deprived little by little, artists and fans, of this art that brings us together and is so moving.

With respect to the Morón festivals, it’s very likely we’ll be at the Gazpacho de Morón August 4th, we’re included in the proposal of possible artists who are going to participate, it would be important and very rewarding to be able to be there and share our work and form of expression with the people in town and of course everyone who attends the event.

Samples audio - store on-line

Festival Suma Flamenca de Madrid 20120
Noches Brujas del Corral de la Moreria - 30th june - 1.20 (night)

Más información del Grupo (en facebook: Schimun Murk) y proximamente en la web: www.flamencosdemoron.com