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Sarah Sy

Professor Crain
November 22, 2015

Concert Report:

Compania Flamenca Jose Porcel


On November 18, 2015, I was extremely happy to attend the Compania Flamenco Jose

Porcels Flamenco Fire Concert as I love the music, I used to dance flamenco, and that my mom
was able to watch with me.

My mother and I were five minutes late due to finding paring, but as we entered, I was

welcomed by the sound of rhythmic clapping before a rush of guitar strumming joined in on the
clapping. On stage, I saw a swirl of fabric and heard the sound of heels clicking and shoes
stomping. A couple was dancing and as they were maneuvering each other, I saw that they
created a new rhythm to the flow of music by their steps and claps. I immediately hear the voices
of two singer; there was one male and one female. Near the back of the stage sat a platform in
which five people sat on. There was a percussionist that was playing the cajon and what looked
like a slightly tall skin drum. Beside him was the male singer sandwiched between the
percussionist and the female singer, followed by the female singer, guitarist, and flautist. They all
played in a complicated rhythm driven by the beat and sultry voices until they played three strong
strums.

The dancers still stayed on as the musicians calmed down with a somewhat jazz-sounding

piece with the guitarist and flautist holding the melody. The only sort of accented rhythm came
from the dancers snapping and shoe clicking. The song faded and left the dancers to create their

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own rhythm through their complicated dance moves making contact with the floor. There
Shortly after, the percussionist started playing a 6/8 beat with his drum and cajon, the vocalists
adding in their contrasting clapping to create an interesting layer. The rest of the musicians
entered back into the music with the exception of the flautist. A change of dancers later, six or
seven people enter onstage and create an even more complicated rhythm, as if it was a sort of
interlocking rhythm before going back into the 6/8 time. By now, the musicians were playing so
passionately, I thought that with how fast the guitarist was strumming, I would see sparks or at
least see a string break. Fortunately, I never saw or heard it happened. They gradually got slower
to a point where the guitarist was individually plucking strings before letting out a loud strum
ending.

As the song changed, the flautist came back to play a light and trilling melody. It

complimented the guitar a lot that it sounded so nice and romantic. Whenever the flautist would
fad out, the guitarist would change the pace in that it became fiercer, as if the flute kept the
delicacy when the women would dance and the guitar would become more passionate when the
guys would dance. There were a lot of accented downbeats in this piece, making it feel like a
waltz in one section of the piece. The male vocalist would sing around the middle before letting
the flute appear again. The song would speed up before becoming a suddenly slower pace in
which both vocalists sang in unison for almost the rest of the song. I realized that whenever the
vocalists sang in the song, the chord progressions would change so that it brought out a pleasant
air of mystery. when there was no singing or flute, there was the percussionist having a solo, with
the clicks of the dancers steps. The guitar and flute reappeared and to result in the guitar
strumming insanely fast again. I started to think that is something that was a signal to say that the
song is at its end.

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One thing that caught my attention was when there was a flute solo, with its flutters and

and trills before landing onto its lowest note. The guitar then followed with a strum pattern that
make it sound tense and exciting. The vocalists came in and made the song sound almost Middle
Eastern, but as soon as I got comfortable with their voices, they dropped out of the enchanting
melody. My favorite part of this song was probably the amount of different rhythm it had during
singing breaks. As the male dancers would each have their dance solo, it was only the
percussionist alternating from his cajon to the skin drum, the dancers clapping and cheering, as
well as the dancers fast tapping clicks from flying feet. The rhythm would change with every
transition from the male dancers. After the dance solos, the music began again as the flute and
guitar would occasionally play together in the same melody line or take on different layers of
music. The musicians repeated what somewhat sounded like the beginning of the song as the
vocalists entered in the same way they first entered of this song. It lead to all musicians playing as
the dancers created the last beats of the song.

After the intermission, my favorite part swooped me right back into the mysteries of the

Flamenco music. It started with the guitar solo consisting of gentle plucking of the strings. It was
followed by the flute and a soft beat from the cajon. As the female of the vocalist started singing,
the sensuality of the piece got kicked up a notch as her voice was strong and sultry, much like a
cry from the soul. What started out as a slow , tango-like feeling turned into a hurricane of
strumming finished off with a few feet stomps.

Another interesting song was the one which included three female dancers dancing in

long dresses and playing the castanets at the same time. The song would turn different moods
from a somber pace to a more livelier place. It would change like the tide from simple strums to a

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barrage of clicks coming from the castanets. Sometimes the music would change as the vocalists
were cheering. As it would happen with the rest of the songs, it ended with a strong strum.

The most exicting thing I noticed was the amount of communication and attention the

musicians had of the dancers and vie versa. Its understandable now that I think of it because in
order to have such difficult rhythms and sudden changes in pace, they need to have an insane
amount of focus to sync both elements together in an amazing way. I also loved how the rhythms,
especially when the dancers created the clicks through their shoes and dance steps, seemed to
talk to each other as if carrying a conversation or taunt. Overall, I really loved being there and I
was not hesitant to give a standing ovation to the performers and musicians.

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