2023 / 21:10 – 21:30 [UTC] MADRID

VENUE: Radio Clásica / RTVE, Radio Televisión Española
RADIO STATION: Prado del Rey
LINKS: https://raulcantizano.net/

FIESTA by Raúl Cantizano

Inhabiting both the conceptual and technical limits of flamenco guitar for already many years, Raúl Cantizano (Seville, 1973) has prepared this FIESTA as another playful exploration of seemingly opposite elements: tradition and experimentation, notes and noises, peaceful textures and industrial noise… But, in fact, all those aspects are already present in flamenco music, a practice that has never stopped evolving, and where the principles of DIY (Do It Yourself), and even punk music, have been constantly present already since its always enigmatic origins.

The first half of FIESTA constantly takes us from clearly tonal and arpeggiated areas to a racket originated by the cheap ventilators that Cantizano applies to the strings, and back again. Then, around the middle of the piece, the upper partials of an upsetting buzz explode creating unexpected harmonic fields. Dirty drones may eventually return to melodic shapes while the strings seem to transform themselves into the wood of a marimba. The guitar mischievously becomes a prothesis for the artist, and the sounds created by the hands of the musician caressing the frets produce a subtle sense of percussion similar to the one previously achieved through the use of granular synthesis. By the end of the composition, pulsating feedback sounds of spiritual overtones start a dialogue with a dismembered choir of wrecked voices (including the unmistakable timbre of Niño de Elche —long time collaborator of Cantizano—), whose ‘jaleos’ seem to come from another place and time… maybe where flamenco begun, or maybe from its future.

Raúl Cantizano (Sevilla 1973) is an eclectic guitarist involved in several projects – both of research and of creation – revolving around flamenco. His interest lies in seeking out the many possibilities that this art offers when confronted by new interpretations.

He is an artist who works both within and outside the world of flamenco, demonstrating his guitar skills in very diverse spaces; he is as likely to be found in tablaos (flamenco dance floors) as he is in festivals of experimental music, exploring free improvisation.

His rocker side dates back to his secondary-school days when he used to cover Jimi Hendrix numbers. Years later he formed bands such as Las Mamas in tribute to Frank Zappa, and, as part of the cultural collective La Casita, recorded Porta Sonus, an album featuring sounds made by doors. Throughout these years he spent collaborating with Llorenç Barber on his festival Nits d’Aielo i Art, Cantizano also worked on improvisation and sound art projects close to the Fluxus movement, experimenting with prepared flamenco guitar in purest Cage style.

It was on the basis of these experiences that, together with Santi Barber, he formed the experimental ‘factory’ bulos.net, and went on to direct shows (Bulos y tanguerías and Vaconbacon, Cantar las fuerzas), develop ‘laboratories’ such as DEF and Diálogos Electro Flamencos (in association with Los Voluble), in addition to initiating more performative and experimental processes such as Carta Flamenca a Nam June Paik and Cartuja a Rás.

At the same time Cantizano has travelled a long path as a flamenco guitarist accompanying both singers and dancers, sharing stages and projects with Rocío Márquez, Belén Maya, Andrés Marín and Juan Carlos Lérida, and composing music for shows by Choni Cía Flamenca, Varuma Teatro, Angeles Gabaldón, Marco Vargas and Chloé Brûlé, as well as the soundtrack for the film NO, un cuento flamenco by Jose Luis Tirado.

With the aim of giving instrumental music centre stage, he formed ProscritosDF, a duo with the percussionist Antonio Montiel, with whom he has brought out two albums: El Don del Exilio (2011) and Presentimiento (2014).  These recordings fuse flamenco with jazz and other forms of musical expression; hurdy-gurdy and trumpet with guitar and percussion.

He has been the regular guitarrist for Niño de Elche since they met though bulos.net, and together they have developed projects such as Vaconbacon, Cantar las fuerzas and Voces del Extremo (considered best disc of 2015 by the specialist press). They have also worked on RaVerdial and En el nombre de (together with Los Voluble and Pablo Peña), performing twice at the Sónar Festival.

His latest recording proyects Guitar Surprise, mito y geología del Canti (2018), and Zona Acordonada (2020) in which he displays his multiple skills as a guitarist, going from flamenco to ambient, from experimental to African music and from rock to soundtracks.