Contemporary Flamenco

Press

Drum Media

ARREBATO ~ Review ~ 8 November 2006

Seymour Centre

It’s not often I get an invitation to step out of the contemporary music scene and dip my toe into something, dare I say it, a little bit classy. Flamenco, although generally considered a Spanish music form, has its roots in the peasant classes of the southern region, Andalusia. Key influences of the development of the art form include the Moorish, Sephardic and Romany cultures. One form of flamenco utilizes rhythmic structures reputed to be among the world’s oldest, apparently based on the interaction of humans, hammers and anvils. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the rock, but variety is the spice of life and so with this in mind, I laced up my espadrilles, applied the red lipstick, put a rose in my hair and headed off the Arrebato album launch.

While the chill wind whistled around the buildings, The Sound Lounge in the basement of the newly refurbished Seymour Centre was a plush, warm, intimate space conducive to performance and the envy of special guest Monica Trapaga who later fled across Sydney to her own show at Asquith RSL. Trapaga introduced the band and shared with us some anecdotes about the influence and pleasure flamenco brings to both listeners and performers.

Arrebato was joined by noted artist Adriana Rodriguez on palmas, bringing with her a vital female presence to the all male five-piece band. The set, drawn from the self-titled album, spanned the different rhythms and styles of flamenco. The double bass, percussion, alto sax, clarinet and guitars combined to create lush, layered melodies with staccato beats and time changes that shifted pace, mood and emotion. The performance was instrumental with the soundscapes and passions wrought by the musicians taking the audience on a journey within and evoking different responses from each of my companions. With its very personal payoff and a soul like none other, what is left to say but Ole!

Fiona Cameron

 

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