Saturday, July 2, 2016

Argentina And The Twins

San Geraldo and I went to Teatro Cervantes Friday night to see a performance by Argentina Maria Lopez Tristancho, known simply as Argentina. She's a brilliant cantaora (flamenco singer). Her voice and delivery are magnificent. Her two guitarists, percussionist, and three "palmeros" — those are the accompanists who clap and perform other percussive effects using their hands — were equally magnificent.

The dialects, the additional (traditional) sounds and non-words added into the lyrics, and all the other variations made it difficult for me to follow more than a small bit of the Spanish. But my favorite performers are the palmeros, who also sang. Some of their skills:

Palmas
— hand clapping; an intricate art requiring skill and knowledge of compas (the measure, and the rhythmic skill of a performer.

Palmas Altas (Palmas Claras, Palmas Agudas)
— percussive effect performed with the fingers of the right hand on the left palm, resulting in a sharp sound

Palmas Sordas (Palmas Graves)
— muted clapping (more often done by Argentina)

During a moment between songs, I commented to San Geraldo, "How do you like the twins?" 
"Which ones?" he asked. 
"Uh... the ones that look exactly alike?"

It turns out the twins are equally famous performers. Like Argentina, the brothers are from the town of Huelva, about an hour west of Sevilla. Their names are Antonio and Manuel Montes Saavedra, but they're known as Los Mellis. (One of the words for "twin" in Spanish is "mellizo.")

(Click here if you want to read more about them.)

CAN YOU PICK OUT THE TWINS?


I chose this video to give you an idea of the power and importance of the palmero.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds and looks like a great night out, Mitchell!
    Such a different sounds and I can understand why you wouldn't be able to quickly understand what she was saying......SO many things going on at once. They must be very spent at the end of a performance.
    thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Jim:
      I don't know how any of the performers do it. Very intense. Lots of emotion. Lots of energy. And, as for the palmeros: My hands hurt after brief applause.

      Delete
  2. Fantastic Mitch!
    It's always so enlightening to view something new to my world. The clapping at such a speed and pace makes me so nervous. I do believe I am just too uncoordinated.
    The twins (and I know which ones they are....phew!!) give the whole performance a must-see! Grey is so strong and ~~ I digress!

    Winks!

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    Replies
    1. Ron:
      I've been amazed by simply the average citizen here clapping to music on the street.

      Delete
  3. Absolutely stunning Mitchell, thank you for sharing this!

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    Replies
    1. Cranky:
      I wish I could have shared from the concert itself, but I followed the rules (unlike some others) and put away my phone and my camera so as not to disturb anyone else (including the performers). It was amazing!

      Delete
  4. Splendid! both of them.

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      And the rest of the performers too, in different ways.

      Delete
  5. I remember going to a flamenco concert when we were in Spain as students, in the courtyard of a former monastery. It was an amazing experience, and although my Spanish was fairly good at the time, I was completely at sea. Sadly none of the performers were as attractive as Los Mellis.

    My best friend among the students and I were about the same size and age and both doctoral students working on John of the Cross. The Spaniards all called us Los Gemelos.

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    Replies
    1. Michael:
      Until this blog post, I only knew the word "gemelos" for twins. Jerry and are Los Chicos.

      Delete
  6. Looks like a wonderful night of entertainment.....and I certainly wouldn't mind being between those twins in the slightest!!!

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    Replies
    1. Mistress Maddie:
      This started off as a very educational post about Flamenco and Palmeros. So much for that!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Wilma:
      These performers are absolutely gifted.

      Delete
  8. Great performance! About the song-as the title Homenaje a La Paquera indicates its a in tribute to the famous singer La Paquera de Jerez , here in a little bit different setting https://youtu.be/ELB3lIqzN78
    also great "palmeras"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristina:
      Thanks for the link! Jerry and I haven't stopped exploring.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. anne marie:
      This all started off as an innocent description of a fascinating performance. Look where we've ended up!

      Delete
  10. Pick 'em out? I'd like to be the meat in a Twin Sammich.

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    Replies
    1. Bob:
      They're 33 years old. That makes them equal to more than one of me!

      Delete

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