3 Deep Hearts of Flamenco

or three sources that merge to form a great river, as if Flamenco was under the sign of the three: dance, music, song; life, man, woman; birth, fight, love…

2 – Music & Song

I wanted to come back – once again before moving on – to Flamenco and to what makes its soul so special.

If you look at this art, you discover not one, but three deep hearts.

The first one, the “Tona” seems to be the oldest heart: all the songs from the Tona speak about everyday life: getting dressed, going to the village, working, toiling, forging. Its origin seems to be linked to the work of the forge and the rhythms are said to come from the rhythms of the blacksmiths :

“I’m like that old man

Who’s there on the way
I’m not looking for trouble from anyone,
While I’m not being made a fool of.”

The second heart, the “Siguiriya”, is perhaps the one that has made the prestige of flamenco singing.
It is the heart of tragedy. The immense pains of our hearts, our sorrows that nothing seems to be able to heal – our irrepressible fear of loneliness and death.

“I ask the moon
The one in the sky up there,
As I ask him to take my father out
From where he is.”

This heart is slow, tragic, made of blood, and all the terrors of fighting “the bull” – the gestures, the pure coldness, the fear, the blood and the death. Three, four verses, the third verse always a little longer, allow us, I think, to recognize this heart.

As for the third heart, it’s called the “Solea”.
If I have understood correctly (I speak with reservations, between “I was told” and “I saw that” – I am not a flamenco historian and I gratefully accept all the precisions and corrections you could make) – so if I have understood correctly, it is “the song of the woman”.

“I am a stone and I have lost my centre,
I was once thrown into the sea,
A long time after
I got my center back.”

This is surely the place of the beautiful Carmen, who dances her freedom, her desire to love, her independence. The place of the famous ruffled skirt, of the hands with Arabic voluptuousness, of the eyes of fire that inflame the lovers.

I’ve seen sites with dozens of other hearts, other sources –
Can we exhaust the Flamenco? Of course not

But these three hearts seem to me to be the strongest, the first ones: life, man, woman ; pain, death, freedom; humanity, fight, love.

To close my (too) little chapter, which is only there to initiate the desire to know more, I would like to end with a discovery:

Surely you’ve heard of the Sufis?

Most of us only know about the dance of the Sufis – which is absolutely impressive, it is true.
But Sufism is much more than that – it is a relationship with God that expresses itself, a connection to the spiritual and the world.

Since this bond is also expressed through flamenco, artists from both sides of the river sometimes meet each other. And the result is something like this:

Faiz Ali, Miguel Poveda, Duquende, Chicuelo | Tango Al Mar

For those who didn’t know Faiz Ali (and for the others, sometimes I talk nonsense), here’s a little excerpt – it’s a real splendour.

And for those who always oppose the religious, the religions, the atheists, look at your artists, they have a beating heart, alive and generous.

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Featured Image : deep hearts in Terraria, indie game developed by Re-Logic. Sorry.

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