Two weeks ago, I travelled to the Oslo International Flamenco Festival with my teacher, flamenco dancer Elina Robinson and flamenco singer Anna Murtola. My thoughts and feelings on some of the aspects, and especially the great re-encounter with maestra Rafaela Carrasco, can now be read on the Minna en el Mundo page of the blog.
Last Saturday was the much awaited premiere of Nordic Flamenco, the newest project of the Imperfecto Collective based in Helsinki. The evening brought together an impressive group of flamenco professionals from and working in the Nordic Countries. The sold out performance brought to the stage dancers Ann Sehlstedt (SWE), Elina Robinson (FIN), guitarist Afra Rubino (SWE), singers Hilde Karlsen (NOR), Anna Murtola (FIN), percussionists Christopher Rodulfo (AW) and dancer-singer-percussionist Rodrigo Gonzalez (MEX) and video artist Christian Robinson (GB).
My thoughts on Nordic Flamenco by the Imperfecto Collective can now be read at the Minna en el Mundo page.
Sol y Sombra Blog juhlii tänä viikonloppuna 1-vuotissyntymäpäiviään. Juhlan kunniaksi skoolattiin cavalla ja korvapuustilla, eli Suomen ja Espanjan parhaimmistolla. Flamencoa juhlaan kuuluu ilman muuta, eilen ja huomenna ruotsalaisen flamencotanssija Ann Sehlstedtin ihastuttavalla kurssilla ja tänään loppuunmyydyllä Nordic Flamenco Clubilla. Ensi viikonloppuna muuten lisää flamencojuhlaa Oslon flamencofestareilla!
Mahtavaa viikonloppua blogin lukijoille!
Flamenco is an endless challenge and the greatest reward that brings me strength, joy and determination. This past week has been once again a very meaningful one, as we have celebrated Helsinki XXI Flamenco Festival.
My thoughts on the challenges and rewards realized this week can be read as the first flamenco post of year 2019 on the Minna en el Mundo page of this blog.
NB! The thought of having flamenco in my heart has been borrowed from flamenco singer Anna Murtola.
This text has also been published @ Minna en el Mundo flamenco text library.
For the last few days I have been trying to find “the right words” to describe Ääniä Pohjoisesta – Voices from the North concert that was part of Etnosoi festival of 2018. Sometimes, however, there are so many thoughts and emotions that instead of finding the right thing to say, you have to write the words that are in your heart.
This concert was special because it was the release concert of Fuego por Dentro, the first solo album of the dear and much admired flamenco singer Anna Murtola and in fact of the first album published by a Finnish flamenco singer. And what a release concert! The evening started with an intriguing and fascinating performance by Vildá, a duo composed of Sami yoik artist Hildá Länsman and accordionist Viivi Maria Saarenkylä. Their positive energy gave a special spice to the evening. While I am familiar with accordion music, I certainly was surprised by the versatility of yoik and how well it plays with the accordion. Having seen Stomp in New York just two weeks ago, I was also awestruck by the duo’s versatile use of different kinds of sounds. So warm thank you to Vildá for this experience!
After a technical break, the stage was set for Anna Murtola and the musicians accompanying her. Having seen Anna Murtola on stage numerous times and having had the honor to dance to her singing, I knew great talent could be expected. With a voice that weeps and smiles and radiates, she enthralled us all. The group of musicians on stage generated their own kind of warmth and positive energy from Joonas Widenius Trio (Joonas Widenius, flamenco guitar, Karo Sampela, percussions and Hannu Rantanen, double bass) to visiting artists Hildá Länsman (vocals), Venla Ilona Blom (backing vocals), Stiliana Ravelska Tyrkkö (violin), Helmi Camus (piano) and Ali Haithem (oud). The concert grew from a kindling flame with the song la Llama, hit a colder front with the lyrics of Tápame and warmed again to the joyous sounds of a traditional alegrías and the soothing sounds of the touching lullaby Para los ojos negros. The first half ended with Earth second by Joonas Widenius Trio. In the second half the fireworks continued starting with a traditional improvised bulerías, followed by the incredibly beautiful tango Kuljen takaisin, a Finnish translation of one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movies both named Volver. The title song of the album Fuego por dentro, brilliantly performed by Murtola, was sure to be bring tears to many eyes. It was followed by Bulería del Desenamoro, song of the ending love, and by the final song Sobre las palmas, translated to Finnish from the Arabic by langugage wizard Sampsa Peltonen and to Spanish by Anna Murtola herself. This song brought on stage the whole group of talented musicians to the joyful sounds of a traditional Arabic love song. After a well deserved standing ovation, Murtola returned to the stage to sing a capella the touching Andando sola and left the close to full Malmitalo audience feeling we had experienced something extraordinary.
This evening was full of fire and light and for this I owe a very special thank you to the artist. So, thank you Anna for your exceptional warmth and charisma that brings light to the darkest of November skies. It must be fuego por dentro – the fire within.