At the recent Illawarra Folk Festival, Ruido performed to a very enthusiastic little flamenca, Harriette. She came dressed for the occasion and revelled in the flamenco joy. May dance always make you smile >:
We would love to shout out our resounding and heartfelt thank you to photographer, Brandon Jarrett from all of us at Ruido.
Here are some the great shots he took of our show in Canberra.
This Saturday Ruido Indy Flamenco are performing at Smiths in Canberra. They are doing two shows, one at 4pm and one at 7pm. Ruido do pena-style flamenco – they encourage you, the audience to join in – maybe just a little bit of participation with clapping along or maybe getting up to dance.
Most Flamenco in Australia is modelled on the theatrical performances that wow audiences around the world. Ruido are more than a little bit different.
Ruido are inclusive – ‘We want people to be inspired – So, if you enjoy dancing, join us! Maybe you have a few flamenco steps under your belt, maybe have some seriously noisy boots – dress up and come along.’
How does it work? well, we will dance 2 sets first, just to get everyone in the mood – then we invite you up to dance along. You can dance in the corners of the room or jump up on stage.
When you set out to learn how to sing flamenco you must accept whatever guidance is offered. Traditionally, the singing teacher sings loudly at you in a tiny room. Then they stop abruptly, eyes open, and waiting. You are expected to sing back. Be not afraid to sing back loudly. The slightest hesitation will set your learning back by weeks. Sing confidently, precisely in time with very clear diction. If your teaches gets out a wooden ruler and starts banging the dented table you must resist the urge to flinch.
The first sound emitted from your open lips will set the tone. Do not be so bold as to request to learn a particular palos. Instead, bare your musical soul and accept whichever palos you have been allowed to learn.
Most flamenco singing lessons in Spain are conducted in a group setting where the maestro bellows a phrase and the group responds. You may be handed a lyrics sheet. The blank space around the text is probably the most useful section. This is where you can desperate squiggles to look somewhat like notation reflecting pitch and time. Look around the room. You will see that even the most experienced fluid-Spanish-speaking flamenco student in the group struggles to determine where the maestro is up to in the lyrics, sometimes turning the sheet over and then quickly back again, and glance at other people sheets in the hope that they are mistakedly on the wrong page.
Flamenco Singing lessons are loud and earplugs most unhelpful because they muffle out the tiny gems of useful information that may be uttered between breaths from the maestro. Keep a lively and attentive demeanour despite your realisation that the sessions for this one verse will indeed last for several days.
A western musician knows nothing about rote learning
until they have survived a traditional course of flamenco singing lessons.
On the final day the Maestro will ask each student to sing the song on their own. Breathe deep and bellow back. It is only with great confidence that you will be allowed to stop, or indeed to progress. Flamenco today, sometimes has more gentle voices on the stage, but it still applauds those voices who need no amplification. Very often it is the singer with a weathered face and neck-veins popping with the pressure of an oscillating high note, who will draw a wave of emotional adoration from their devoted young audience.
If you are fortunate to study flamenco singing with a personal instructor, be prepared for very strict and brutally honest training. The better your voice, the stricter your training. You will be told outright if something is bad. If you see a momentary weakness in your instructors eye, like a little tear of affection – be careful not to be distracted by your inner spark of pride for it will completely disappear and the stick will be bashing the table once more.
Here is a copy a Tangos de Triana learned in Seville. It was been transcribed and westernised (melismatic ornamentation has been omitted for practicalities of transcription) by April Sampson-Kelly. The English words do not have the same final scenario. They have been altered for our own theatrical purposes. If you are inclined to object to the use of English words in Flamenco, take a moment to note that the original flamenco songs were not in Spanish either – they were in the language of the Gypsies. However, without the dedication of the Spanish Musicologists much as this music would be lost today.
Saturday November 10th
’cause we love the tight Smiths sound and the colourful vibes. The staff and regulars of Smiths are playful. We also love our Canberrian Saxophonist/wooden flute player, Nitya and this is his home turf.
But best of all, the audience was right in there with us! They understood that flamenco is not always high strung, dead pan or showing off (although all of those things are immensely rewarding). Flamenco is very much alive in Australia and an evolving artform.
We will have the internationally award-winning contemporary Flamenco choreographer and dancer, Lisa Maris MacDonell performing with us.
So excited!!!! Hope you are too.
Sunday 21st October Ruido are hosting a Flamenco Funday at Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival.
In the morning we will run a workshop for dancers and musicians combined. Our dance and music workshops are well loved by the folk festival community. All levels and ages welcome.
In the afternoon we will celebrate with a pop-up fiesta, lots of dancing and revelry. Come and join in!
Recently we performed at a beautiful birthday Party. Happy Birthday Lisa-Jane in Gerringong. Everyone looked amazing. They were all dressed up and dancing, stomping and shouting ‘Ole’.
David Holberton played with us, smiling as he played.
Under a clear summer sky we sang with fairlights, and sparkling joy.
We’re drumming out bigger little plans for this year. Are you looking forward to seeing us again? Sorry we are hard to catch at the moment because we are doing some private functions. [We love birthday parties and Spanish weddings].
We are also polishing some of our recent material to produce a CD. A shiny new CD will be neat to hang on our wall. Our performance goals include a return visit to Canberra Smiths in winter and for the Day of Dead we are bringing out a Flamenco Operetta.
Our other big project is our schools package with the popular
Silk Road Show.
Ruido love Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival. It is friendly, intimate and quirky. The audience is always fun and the atmosphere relaxed. We love to premiere new works at Kangaroo Valley and this will be no exception. We are aiming to introduce you to a Tangos de (from) Triana we call this song Obligation (Triana is a small river island off Seville). In just a few short lines the atmosphere chills and the passion cuts through. She sings – I sing to warm your heart but I cannot offer love – that’s your mother’s obligation….
We will run a dance workshop, a children’s workshop and welcome folks to play, sing, clap or dance along.
Book now and get the early bird discounts!
How Is Ruido Different?
Last night we really enjoyed playing at Amona‘s Restaurant in Warrawong. The girls did their world premiere – Sam and April on strumming and singing and Robyn on Mandolin then drum. Then the rest of the Ruido musicians jumped in to pump up the sound. Many thanks to Mignon of soundsdivinelivesound who calmly handled our complex set-up.
The kiddies in the audience joined in dancing the sevillianas and there were smiles resounding. Thank you all for your generous donations to S.C.A.R.F and thank you such a warm and cozy atmosphere.
It was great to have guests artists: Nitya from Canberra and Marisol of Solymar Flamenco, Mittagong.
Ruido work hard to be inclusive. We encourage everyone to clap along, to cheer and to be involved in any little pranks. This is the spirit of the tablao flamenco, not the high-art flamenco although at times, you might be surprised by the lyrical moments that emerge from the raucous mists.
Our next show is THIS Saturday, break out your warm woolies and brave the cold – you will certainly enjoy the dramatic flamenco feast.
You can continue to contribute to our campaign for SCARF here: https://championsofwelcome.everydayhero.com/au/making-a-noise-ruido-style-for-scarf/wizard/share