Brief relevant history – born 1963. Taught myself classical guitar (briefly) in 1976ish. Played various instruments in various groups playing various styles in Barrow-in-Furness, U.K. Began to work professionally with music, 1989ish. Discovered flamenco guitar, 1993ish. Played with local musicians (including Howard Haigh) in Lancaster, U.K., playing and writing flamenco inspired music. Moved to south of France, had lessons from Frasco Santiago, 2004ish. Returned to England, played and wrote flamenco inspired music with musicians in Ulverston, U.K.. Moved to Huelva for 6 months, had some lessons with flamenco guitarists, 2012. (Apologies for vagueness of dates)
What is this project? – 4 years ago, we we’re expecting a baby while already having a young child. The reality of having hands full, literally. Something had to go! My flamenco guitar practice. I continued to play, and work with music, but decided to learn about iOS music instead. Easier to do when rocking a baby. Wasn’t even too sure if I would study flamenco again… until last year. Around February 2016 I found myself with children mainly at school or nursery, partner earning money and little work. Rediscovered my flamenco guitar study! I live in Cumbria, north west of England, with very little in the way of flamenco, except my study – CD’s, books, YouTube… I play occasionally, but there’s not much interest in the kind of music I like studying, so… I wondered about this – the blog world, and videos. I was inspired by (among many things) a Paco de Lucia quote, where he talks about it being mainly work 99%, or something like that. (I will find that quote). So maybe I don’t work enough. Ok. I’ll give it a shot. Work, work, work. But how to document. And here we are.
What’s in a name? – I’ve always had the feeling that I haven’t been doing this flamenco guitar thing right. I’m aware that tutorial books, CD’s and tabs are no replacement for real contact with other flamenco guitarists. Also, I’m English. What do I understand about being a flamenco? My dream has been that one day I would meet my maestro, someone who would ‘sort’ my playing out. Not sure how, but it’s a dream. I have had invaluable contact with other guitarists, especially in Marseille and Huelva, but also really useful contact around here, with other guitarists and dancers interested in this music and dance form. But, meanwhile, I’m resigned to the method I have at my disposal. It may not be very authentic, but I’m having fun. So – on the shoulders of giants is a destination. I have never really expected to be a giant. I mean, look at the competition! But I would really like to feel like I’m standing on their shoulders. So this is the project. How close can I get to those shoulders in a year? No idea. Wish me luck.