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Awards for World Music 2008
 
Son de la Frontera
SON DE LA FRONTERA (Spain)
Cal
Son de la Frontera album cover

WINNER - EUROPE
Flamenco is to Spain what jazz is to America and chanson to France; a music indelibly linked by outsiders with the nation. Over recent decades flamenco musicians have pushed it in all kinds of directions – fusing it with blues and rock, recording with orchestras, pushing into ambient territories, even producing the odd Spanish pop star. Son De La Frontera (“sound of the frontier”) are the latest band to employ a unique approach to flamenco, this time involving a quest to reach into the music’s history.

The five piece band from the town of Moron de la Frontera – based almost midway between the great flamenco cities of Seville and Grenada - focus on reinterpreting the music of the late guitar maestro Diego del Gastor (1908-1973). Gastor was known for his stylistic brilliance and virtuosity which made him a legend amongst players of the bajani (nylon stringed acoustic guitar) and Son de la Frontera have recorded several of his compositions on their two albums, 2006’s eponymous debut and 2007’s Cal.

Yet Son de la Frontera are much more than a simple homage band. Instead, inspired by Gastor’s adventurous musical nature, they are intent on pushing the flamenco of Moron both back in time and across to the new world. By pairing flamenco guitars with band leader Raul Rodriquez’s Cuban tres guitar they create a distinctive, silvery sound. The band don’t simply stop there: aware a mix of musical cultures in medieval Andalucia created “flamenco”, Son de la Frontera go in search of the music’s ancient origins. Attempts to capture “a Moorish tinge” find the band attempting to recreate the sound of the Moors who governed much of Al Andalus from 718-1492 while acknowledgement of Gypsy involvement in flamenco lead the band to listen to string music from Afghanistan and northern India, finding musical phrases they believe compliment their flamenco. Rodriquez’s brilliance on the tres means he can make this small instrument hint at all kinds of sounds – one track may find him suggesting a sarod, another a mandolin. And, of course, on some he plays it straight as a Cuban tres.

Garth Cartwright

www.worldvillagemusic.com

Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

Nick, UK
Son means 'They' but it also means 'an agreeable sound, particularly a musical sound' from the Maria Moliner diccionario del uso del espanol 1998 2nd edition

Anna from Barcelona
Why do you put only one picture (in the main page)of raul?, they were three members in the venue. There is not respect to the other performers.

Marco Aguilar, Sevilla
Oleeeeeeee!!! valla caña de la peninsula!!!! en estado puro, con la misma violencia que lleva el ferrocarril!!!

Javier Mas (Spain)
They are in this moment,one of the best new flamenco group in the world, they come from a very old and anciant tradiction, but they contribute a sound to created the new flamenco.Don't misse them, you'll never forget.

Rob California
Son does not mean sound, it means "they are". So...Son de la Frontera means "they are from the border or frontier" Whatever the translation THEY ARE A FANTASTIC GROUP OF MUSICIANS

Paco, Seville/Spain
Fantastic sound of flamenco, the genuine music of southern Spain.

TRACY, MANCHESTER
Out walking my dog and just happened to be listening, brilliant. Had to come home and find out about them on the internet.

Carlos Gardel
Does 'Son' really mean sound in Castellano?

Norma Tebury Wells
This is wonderful music! How I loved listening to it,

mki dk
fantastic - come to copenhagen - i'll buy you a drink

tom, london
saw them last night, supporting mayra andrade - i was (like linda in nyc) in the 5th row. great fun, went down a storm with the audience.

D ,so california
Had the privilege of seeing them in L.A. and WOW, what a fantastic performance. I have not seen this much talent on one stage in a long, long time. Thank you boys for the great evening.

adam, australia
terrific! real, gutsy, great! i'll look out for their name for sure.

linda - nyc
i feel so lucky to be the first to leave a comment for such an inspirational group of musicians. their rhythms, harmonies and chord structures are complex and clean. their style is unique, yet at the same time it brings the classical elements of flamenco to the table. i will see them perform in nyc in february and am thrilled to have tickets in the 5th row. thank you for your music!

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