Ruido is the wild child of contemporary Australian flamenco. With gypsy abandon, playfulness, and brazen confidence, Ruido breathe a joyful wit. They thump a dark Bulerias and Martinette, draw a delicate Guajira, giggle out an Alegrias, lilt a haunting traditional Spanish lullaby, roar a Rumba or kindle a soulful Tangos.
Ruido Flamenco award-winning compositions have firm musical roots in flamenco. Using traditional modes, chords and Palos (rhythm families). Unafraid to sing of powerful historical events such as war, refugees, deception, love and hope. Ruido conjure a vivid Indie-flamenco soundscape.
There are no barriers in this amazing troupe. Ruido set their own rules. These musicians get up and dance, and the dancers sing and play! They are a bit cheeky and quite brazen. They sing in English and Spanish because they want their audience to know the character of their songs. They cheer one another on and they laugh at any bloopers. No show is the same as the last.
Stories in Song
Whilst Ruido love to present forgotten songs from far flung places, more than half of their songs are composed by the troupe. This is flamenco way. Every family has their own version of a song, writes words to bring the verses to life and sing them in their own unique way. And every Ruido song has guest artists who improvises. Sometimes it is in the lead guitar, sometimes in the vocalists, sometimes Clarinet, bamboo flute or tenor sax.
Dancer is Musician
Unlike most other music forms, flamenco honours the dancer as a contributing musician. These rhythms are rapid, clear, complex and intricate beats that can only be articulated by drummers with shoes on!
Their show is an explosion of colour and passion. Ruido flamenco create gypsy ballads and tapping tunes for their evocative performances. Ruido invite you into their beautiful ancient and magical world.
- April: artistic director, composer, dancer, singer, percussionist, rhythm guitarist
- Greg: Operations Manager
- Jane: Dance Manager, dancer, castanets
- Sam: Vocal Manager, dancer, singer, guitarist
- Shane: dance, percussion
- Robyn: Djembe, mandolin
Guest Performers – Ruido’s Joyful Collaborations
Collaborations make every show unique. Ruido work with well-established regional artists and groups. Past collaborations have included:
- Nitya Bernard Parker – Bamboo flutes and tenor sax
- Miss Rodolfa (guest Dancer and Palmas)
- Far South Flamenco (guest Dance school)
- Marisol of Solymar flamenco dance (guest dance school)
- David Holberton (guest Guitarist)
- Sako Dermenjian (guest Guitarist)
- Lisa Maris McDonell (Guest Dancer)
- Nitya (guest flute and tenor saxophone)
- Canberra guitarists Dan and Louise
- Ifritah (Fire dancer)
- Andrej: singer, castanets, guiatrist
- Jack: guitar, dance
Ruido musicians fundraise and welcome other artists. Their current show is ‘Treasures of the Silk Road’. Enjoy hearing songs about passionate people full of a love of nature and open hearts.
About Artistic Director and Performer April
I am an award-winning APRA composer, performer, singer and musician classically trained in Voice, Piano, and Oboe from Wollongong Conservatorium and Wollongong University. I studied composition with Edward Cowie & Andrew Ford. I have taught Keyboard at the Conservatorium and lectured in History of Music, specialising in early music and ethnomusicology.
In 2000, I was commissioned by Wollongong Conservatorium to write a collection of 400 folk songs for beginner piano to create a curriculum for keyboard group learning. In my post-graduate diploma in Biomedical science, I researched how the brain develops fine motor skills. I use these insights in my compositions to encourage emerging musicians.
I have also been a performer and teacher of flamenco dance (in Australia and the USA) and have conducted choirs and ensembles. My masters Thesis at Wollongong University focused on musical analysis and recitals of piano solo works by Debussy. I explored Debussy’s use of flamenco motifs & whole tone modes. With a strong passion for ethnomusicology, I specialise as a transcriber & translator of flamenco music bilingually in Spanish and English.
To extend my artistic practice and artform I studied flamenco dance and song overseas in Spain (2005, 2018). During 2020, whilst we were both in lockdown, I continued via Skype to collaborate with my Spanish flamenco vocal coach, Maite Olivares in Seville.
As Artistic Director of Ruido Flamenco www.ruidoflamencoblues.com since 2010, I compose, arrange and perform as part of the troupe. I love to share the passion of flamenco to diverse audiences at festivals in Australia, community celebrations, private and corporate functions. I am currently studying guitar with Paco Lara and developing contemporary flamenco works to build awareness of our diverse cultural heritage.
How Do You Say Ruido?
Ruido is our band’s name. In true Aussie tradition, it is deliberately understated: It simply means Noise! How do you say Ruido? Roo-ee-doh with an aussie twang will do fine.
Our Aussie Peña Flamenco Tradition
In the small streets of Seville, you can find three types of Flamenco. There are the polished high-art shows in theatres, the tablao performance spaces with queues at the door, formal seating, drinks, and meals and then there are these amazing small pop-up events in noisy little bars called peñas where families and friends perform. In these spaces, the tourists are permitted but not given front seats. This is the Peña flamenco style we love. Here you see the aunty or uncle singing whilst the grandpa whacks his walking stick, little nephew dances and a cousin plays guitar. The extended family dust off the elders and present them with pride.
It is in this enthusiastic chaos that innovation and tradition entwine. The charm and endurance of the art of flamenco is carried through oral tradition yet the young are encouraged to voice their story. As you pass these bars you are drawn in by the music, the dance and the energy. This is our tradition. We bring in anyone with a love of flamenco, we work with them and tease out their best.