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  【中華之聲】My Thoughts on Flamenco - Vicente Chiang(蔣昊霖)
 

【中華之聲】My Thoughts on Flamenco -

Vicente Chiang(蔣昊霖)

It’s been a while since I started to learn flamenco. My impressions do change overtime, but I would like to share some of my thoughts at this juncture.

The guitarist is the one who has the most responsibilities on stage.

Not only a strong sense of compás is mandatory, I have to know well the cante, the choreography, the salida and llamada...literally everything. Instead of praising flamenco, I describe it as three savage things.

Flamenco is a drug. It seems very unapproachable before you try it, but after you’ve experienced it several times, you’re addicted to it. There is something, something exotic in the sound of flamenco that can never be found in any other styles of music. I was hooked by the immortal melodies and the punchy rhythms.

I’ve always been curious to find out why it can be so tempting, soothing yet powerful. Maybe it has to do with the fact that flamenco was influenced by the Arabs, the Jews, and the Christians. Elements with different ethnical characteristics were melted in one magnificent pot of flamenco. The sweetness of this drug makes you desire to grab a guitar and play arrogantly anytime, anywhere.

Flamenco is a cult. Once you realize that it heals your soul, you can’t help doing the same things as all believers around the world are doing. Clapping in compás, singing along, dancing like no one’s watching... The flamenco language is universal; therefore, artists from different parts of the world can meet up and play a gig without rehearsing. It’s effortlessly done as if we’ve been reading the same ‘bible’.

Moreover, I found myself thirsty to adapt all the cultures that are associated with flamenco. All of a sudden I started to appreciate their foods, languages, fine arts... Some of the classical guitarists said to me “I love flamenco too, but...” No, you don’t. This cult is a thing that you would either ‘marry’ it or have nothing to do with it.

Flamenco is a battlefield. In order to survive with dignity, bring your weapons, go forward, kill them and never feel guilty for your behaviour. It might sound crazy and non-sense, but it’s the spirit that a flamenco or flamenca should carry.

Flamenco is an art in the ghetto that requires a strong ego. On stage, the guitar strings, the dancing heels, the singing throats...are supposed to be extremely determined and fearless.

Just like in real life, it is impossible to look backward and regret something. The compás keeps walking as the time flies. Every act on stage is a commitment to a brighter future. My OCD was cured by flamenco. The battlefield helps you to overcome overthinking and nervousness, while allowing you to be a perfectionist.

Studying flamenco is a lifelong journey. Artists in different forms, at different ages, from different places might have diverse perspectives to it. Nevertheless, I am very grateful that at a point of my lifetime I could meet the art of flamenco and manage to understand it, which would have been impossible without my father and Raymond Au’s supports and teachings over the years.

And the current city that I live and study in (Vancouver, Canada) is a great place to learn flamenco as well. Thank God for bringing all the good lucks to me. Gracias! Gracias! Gracias! Y olé tu!

Video : Vicente Chiang(蔣昊霖) played a falseta de Tangos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LebZ-XkvALk&t=0s

Vicente

April 22, 2018

en Vancouver