Team Rioja: Music

"We're serious...about having fun."

by Mark Middlebrook

Upcoming events of interest

  • There's nothing much happening at the moment. María Mayhem is taking a break after our busy fall/winter series of concerts. We hope to participate in another Zomerzang medieval music workshop in Spain this summer, so if all goes well, we'll come back with new inspiration and new (old) music.

Old stuff (still here for posterity)

  • María Mayhem (Cheryl Koehler, Peter Maund, Mark Middlebrook, and Kit Robberson) put on a performance and discussion of Spanish medieval music on the afternoon of Saturday 03-Feb-2001 at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, California.

  • Peter Maund's first Team Rioja sponsored medieval instrumental ensemble workshop and our informal "graduation concert" at Diesel bookstore are over, but Peter might do a second workshop. Send e-mail to Peter if you're interested in participating.

  • Just for fun, I've posted some photographs from the Zomerzang 1997 and 1999 Spanish medieval music workshops.


Flamenco is where you find it

An account of my discovery of Dieguito del Gastor's CD, "A Diego el del Gastor, en Morón".

In July 2000, Cheryl and I spent another delightful long weekend in Santa Fé. Besides eating some marvelous food and taking some wonderful hikes, I scored big time at the flamenco-and-other-world-music store on the plaza. Their prices are exorbitant and most of their flamenco stock is Ottmar Leibert-ish dreck, but they carry a modest selection of Real Stuff.

As I was flipping through the flamenco rack, I came upon a lurid green cover with a photo of a long-haired Dieguito del Gastor (one of the flamenco guitarist nephews of the legendary Diego del Gastor). The CD was titled "A Diego el del Gastor, en Morón". I asked the dependiente whether he knew anything about the CD. He didn't, but he asked whether I'd like to hear it. ¿Cómo no?

He cues up the CD, and on the beginning of the first track, I hear Dieguito say, "A mi tío Diego de Gastor que está muerto ... está muerto y ...", and after a pause that seems to say, "the only way to say anything more is to play", he launches into the opening compás of a 16 minute soleá ("Llantos por soleá en la calle del Arquillo"), every second of which exudes that unmistakable aire de Diego.

I was practically weeping from joy at having found this treasure (and in Tourist Central, Santa Fé!). I'm not normally a quiet, reverential person, but in this situation, nothing needed to be said, so I kept my mouth shut and flipped absent-mindedly through the other CDs on the shelf. Apparently the dependiente mistook my silence for lack of interest, so, several minutes into the soleá, he advanced the CD to track 2. The only thing that prevented me from strangling this Philistine was the beginning of one of the most ferocious, driving bulerías a golpe that I've heard ("Aires de Morón").

There follows a 13 minute seguiriyas, another bulerías, and an alegrías. All of these cuts are solo guitar. The remainder of the CD (perhaps taken from a different LP?) includes some stretches with weird instrumentation, but Dieguito's aire never falters.

I don't know where else in the United States you can buy this CD. Catalina's? If you want to order it from overseas, has it. Alternatively, you could head down to Santa Fé for a long weekend....

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Last updated 10-Feb-2001 by