It’s Flamenco meets Jazz this Sunday at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay!
¡Hola a todos! I’m so looking forward to our collaboration – Jazz Amanda Lee and myself Flamenco Tania.
The best thing about collaborations is that we get to explore each other’s worlds.
It’s such a great way of learning, because sharing our experiences is a personal, insider’s way of shedding light and guiding one into our world.
I’m getting to know about jazz through her, and she gets to know about Spanish Dance and Flamenco through me.
Hey, if you’d like to join our explorations, come spend a chill-out, interactive Sunday with us!
Here’s the info and Esplanade event page.
Sun 11 June, 3pm, 6.15pm & 7.15pm
Venue: the Esplanade Theatre concourse.
Here’s sharing our exploration
Listen to Amanda play this jazz piece on piano. It is the starting point of our exploration.
Get a feel of different rhythms
Rhythm is the glue for us. You’ll hear the tresillo, habanera and Tangos
You don’t get this in Western music, wade into the water with us as we have a little clapping jam.
Fly me to the Moon
Jazz piano and lyrical flamenco dance improvisation. Amanda’s exploration of this well-known piece, but this time she experiments with a flamenco touch.
The way she plays it makes me want to dance it with the Spanish shawl.This piece will be greatly improvisational for both of us without scores or fixed choreographies.
La Vida Breve
Now I’m having to enter her world to get a feel of the different renditions she explores.
From classical Spanish to the sub-genres of jazz. Bossa, Stride piano – early jazz sound, Modal – modern jazz sound, Swing, they make me feel differently and shape my dance movements.
In the process of our collaboration and conversations, we share the essence of our art that have touched us, ie the human aspect at the heart of every art.
I couldn’t help but think how enriched we become. So, I’m capturing some of my thoughts and tossing them to you as tips.
Ways of Learning from your hobby, art or passion path
If you, like me, love learning in a personal, interactive way, then collaborate!
In whatever you do, you can find ways to explore with someone or a community with a similar enthusiasm, wavelength and life outlook.
That way, you would all multiply with the sharing!
The time I spent with Amanda in her house where she practises and teaches was fun and enriching. I got to know Spanish connections in Jazz through her’s sharing of Jelly Roll Morton.
We listened to old recordings of him explaining The Spanish Tinge in jazz.
That led to demonstrations and explorations on her piano and my palmas claps.
And as she played, I’m wading into different jazz rhythms, getting a feel of how my emotions & movements go with that flow.
It’s not a ‘classroom’ formal sort of learning, far from it!
It’s social, experimental, and our creative spirits have freedom.
Collaborations can make you expand your mind in unexpected ways, because usually we don’t concretely know the outcome of a collaborative work.
It’s not within the vision of our direct control because there is another party involved, and the point is not to be.
Go with the flow of we have, assimilate and shape the outcome together.
2. Inspiration and Aspirations
When we get together as collaborators or fellow explorers, over tea and custard tarts (thank you, Amanda, that was yummy!) we share our experiences, ideas and future projects.
That can widen the vision of where we can further go in our own respective fields.
There’s a reason why we have been going on over the years. Perhaps it started as a hobby and an exploration. And it’s always interesting and a curiosity to hear how we’ve gone on, ‘despite it all’.
3. People, Peers, Mentors keep you growing
We talked about how got into our art, and what helps keep us going despite being so far away from our cultural sources at times.
I reckon being with people (community), peers and mentors keep you growing and going.
Mentors – I’ve had the chance to learn with amazing maestros along the way. They become mentors who lead you on the path, tell you what you need to hear (whether or not you may like it) with good intentions, motivate and challenge you to work towards excellence.
(I can hear my maestro tell us ‘No te conformes’ – don’t be complacent with just ‘that’ – ie, work at it and make it better!)
Amanda had recently returned from New York and had the chance to play and jam with some of her heroes. That super-charged her.
As peers, we keep us growing – we get inspired by seeing the efforts and how much work goes into achieving something.
4. Be in the field, Initiate
For me, it makes a difference to ‘be in the field’, ie whether it is to base myself Spain for a couple of months to immerse in the culture, or whether it is to initiate projects back in my city with my community.
Amanda is active in participating in camps where she gets to be with her overseas jazz community. And back in Singapore, she has a music group. Today, after rehearsal, they are doing a recording session.
By initiating and giving focussed energy, we make things happen from thought to actuality.
The process lays fertile grounds for seeds of growth and opportunities!