17 of December, 2004 >>>
The most beautiful and important
experience in my career has been
to play with Victor Monge "Serranito".
We know you not only as an exact performer of the most pure and traditional Flamenco styles, but also as a composer who offers many genial ideas to the Flamenco world. When did you start composing Flamenco?
In 1983, when I was living in Seville. Then I started to compose "Colombianas" and some variations for "Sevillanas".
Afterwards, it was in Jerez de la Frontera where I lived the authentic "Buleria", from performers like the mythic guitar player Parrilla de Jerez and the singer La Paquera de Jerez.
In that time I realized that "Buleria" is one of the most difficult styles because of its rhythm and expression. That inspired me to compose many variations of Buleria, some of then recorded in my disks.
In 1990, with occasion of my participation the "Bienal de Flamenco de Seville" I composed two Bulerias. I remember with emotion an "OLE!" that a gypsy woman said to me when she listened it in a "patio" of "Triana".
It is this composition one of your favourites?
Yes, because that "OLE!" really was emotive for me, but there are also other compositions that I love very much:
Like the fantasy "Istanbulerias", which I composed when I was living in Istanbul. I called it like that because I tried to combine all that I saw in Istanbul, with my Flamenco and Italian musical experiences. I also composed a Buleria called "Carboneria" dedicated to the famous local from Paco Lira, obligated destination for any neophyte.
Another one which means very much to me is "Tarifa" because it is the synthesis of my musical vision of Bulerias. But is not a happy Buleria, it is like a spiritual travel through Andalusia, to the origins of the Moorish culture. I try to find a sound with the guitar similar to the Arabian lute.
"Tarifa" is dedicated to Francisco Sanchez Gomez "Paco de Lucia", the most universal Flamenco guitar player.
By the way, I wanted to ask you about your relation with Paco de Lucia ...
With the "Maestro" I have a good relation since I knew him in 1982.
(Bruno remembers and starts to laugh)
He impacted me so much that I couldn't speak in front of him, I was impressed! … I fall in love with his music!
Only in two days, I knew two of the most essential Flamenco guitar masters. I knew him and his friend and colleague the "Maestro" Manolo Sanlucar, who was living between Madrid and Sanlucar de Barrameda.
I remember the exact date, the 5th. and the 6th. of June, 1982. I remember it because that day was my 20th. birthday and I will never forget it, in company of those two great genius of the universal guitar playing. What luck!
I think I was looking for it..... One has to move.
(Now is me who laughs)
That remains me to an anecdote. At the 80's, a friend, told me about you: "This Bruno is incredible! He takes his guitar, goes to Paco de Lucia's home, rings the door, and when Paco opens he says "Hello, I'm Bruno, from Naples, and I want to learn Flamenco guitar" and Paco give him lessons!". It was like that?
No. The 6th. of June, 1982 I was at his home and ringed the door. He welcome me smiling and said:
- Are you a guitar player?
I, with pale face, answered:
- You are........ You are.... a genius!
And he, very modest, said:
- "Gracias hombre!" (=Thank you, man).
Coming back to your compositions, I was very impressed by your "Granainas".... your "Zambra" .... In those compositions I can hear the real essence of the Moorish Granada ...
I love "el toque por Granaina". The Granaina with his distinctive Moorish origin ....
I composed a Granaina dedicated to Victor Monge "Serranito", one of the holly genius of this century, an extraordinary musician and virtuous, a great teacher for me.
My Zambra is a homage to Manuel Cano, important Andalusian guitar's figure, who has a very special place in my heart. I debt very much to this great master who was my teacher in Cordoba.
Yes, I know Cordoba is a town you love very much and it was inspiration for several of your compositions. Tell me about some of them.
Cordoba is a magic place for me, that's why I was recording there.
My Soleá, "Años de Soledad", is a composition I made in Cordoba. The title "Years of loneliness" is because I spend very much time alone with my guitar in the quietness from its streets.
I also composed the tango "Muralla de Cordoba", inspired in the ancestral culture of this former capital of the caliphate.
Tangos are also very important for me, because living among the gypsies in Seville I learned this style.
During a travel to Palermo, in January 2003 for a concert in the " Bellini Conservatorium" at this beautiful Sicilian city, I composed another tango titled "Maqueda", the name of a main street.
I have as well another tango in "do minor" which is interesting because this is an unusual tonality for this style.
What I didn't understand why a "Taranta" dedicated to "Linares". Did you really lived in Linares?
The Taranta was called "Linares" because it is dedicated to the town where Andres Segovia was born.
I discovered Andres Segovia 25 years ago, and I had the honour to know him personally. Since then, my admiration for him is increasing constantly.
Without him, the classic guitar shouldn't have the prestige that nowadays has. It is a pity that the great Segovia didn't bring to the public attention the Flamenco repertory from classic authors he knew so close. Since very young we was also playing Flamenco.
I also remember a beautiful Guajira you composed...
Yes, I also composed guajiras. Those are "toques de ida y vuelta", (*songs brought back from Latin America) and have many elaborations.
I have a version I love very much because it is dedicated to Alirio Diaz, successor of Andres Segovia.
I remember, when I was 16 years old, his concert at the "Auditorium de la RAI" impressed me very much. Then, I had the opportunity, in Roma to meet him at his home. He treated me with so much love, like a father. He told me many things which encouraged me to go on.
We shouldn't forget other more happy compositions, like your "rumbas"....
Since 1985, I composed many Rumbas, in many different tonalities, like "Triana" in homage to this Flamenco quarter from Seville, or "Mararumba" dedicated to Maratea, that beautiful beach where I play guitar for first time in my life.
This rhythm was already very familiar for me in Cordoba.
I call "Agua de Mar" (* see water) some pieces I composed once during a travel by ship to Sicily.
I really like this rhythm, as I like the joyful people from Cadiz.
My Tanguillo has a Moorish character.
"Tangos por Rondeña" is a piece with a very Moorish Tango rhythm and with Rondeña harmonies.
I accompanied many "cantaores" in Seville learning the deepness of this style. I also composed many variations of Seguiriya.
A piece called "Duelo Interior" (* interior Sorrow) express a conflict I am living since years with myself, because of being travelling between Spain and Italy, as a nomad, without a break.... more so than a gypsy.
"Fantasia Nocturno Cordobes" (* Cordoba's Night Fantasy) is a piece which is born in Cordoba, the second city in my hart. The inspiring element is the sound of the fountains during the night.
Soleá por Bulerias........
"Nostalgia". A piece which expresses how I miss Andalusia and its Flamenco places.
When I am in Italy, which is beautiful but not "flamenca", I miss "my Spain", its people, and its Flamenco atmosphere.
As I always say: How should be Italy with Flamenco?
Alegrias are a style I learned in the 80's in Seville, accompanying the great dancer Matilde Coral at her Flamenco classes.
During all those years I played many Alegrias in concerts and I recorded some of them.
I started composing Alegrias in 1984, inspired by everything I heard and I saw in Seville.
My "Alegrias en Mi major 2" have a very special meaning for me, because they are dedicated to my daughter Lucia, who is now 4 years old.
"Farruca a Mi padre" (*dedicated to my father) is a piece I composed in October 2004 moved by the moment I was living and I am still living today.
(In that case he refers to his father recent death).
My father, Alberto, has been a great person. For me he is not death. I lived with him unforgettable moments in Andalusia and he was proud of my young performances. He always respected my artistic vocation.
Bruno, I shouldn't like to end this interview which sadness. Which has been the happiest experience you had during all those years as a musician?
For me, the most beautiful and important experience in my career has been to play with Victor Monge "Serranito", another of my idols. It cost me effort, but I should do it again.
Interview made the 15th. of February, 2005 >>>