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In last Friday’s film Los Tarantos I mentioned that Andrés Batista was one of the guitarists who was accompanying Carmen Amaya as she danced. I thought I would share one of my favourite photographs of Andrés Batista with you to help you identify him in the film:

Andres_batista

This photograph of Andrés Batista was taken by John Patterson in Stockholm

Not only is Andrés Batista a fine flamenco guitarist but he has also written some very good books about flamenco, such as his Maestros y Estilos – Manuel Flamenco, (Madrid, 1985) a manual of flamenco song and dance accompaniment.

When I was Editor of Flamenco International Andrés Batista wrote a series of articles for the magazine, one of them was about his time working with Carmen Amaya, entitled Mi encuentro con la genial Carmen Amaya. I will include a short quote from his original Spanish:

‘El baile de Carmen Amaya era electrizante, improvisado y sobre todo lleno de pasión y furia como un fuego abrazador. Sin embargo, cualquier guitarrista, aunque su toque fuese sencillo, podía acompañarla siempre y cuando tuviera “compás y rasguease correctamente”. El temperamento, la facultades y la personalidad de Carmen hacían el resto; pero cuando se entrada en su malabarismo técnico, rítmico y espontáneo, lleno de matices y extraordinaria fuerza expresiva, el guitarrista además de necesitar un completo domino técnico del instrumento, debía de tener intuición, compás, variedad de falsetas y combinaciones rítmicas, potente sonoridad y “pellizco”.’

I think that also tells you a lot about Andrés Batista‘s abilities as a guitarist!

Pellizco is the unexpected aspect of interpretation. It is a short, spontaneous sensation which shakes you like an electric shock.

© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba

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