In 2004 you did recordings with José
Mercé, Niña Pastori, Montse Cortés, La
Tana, Potito... You can't complain about work, can you?
Now I'm doing just fine. I'm a bit of a bore (he jokes).
I'm very happy to have been able to work with all those artists.
We'll see where I get more flourishes from now. The truth
is that producer Javier Limón is showing a lot of confidence
in me and that's good. If things keep going this way, I'm
going to have to raise my fees (he laughs). I also
owe a lot to Isidro Sanlúcar because he's given me
a lot of confidence and he himself has also had confidence
in me. He's given me very important productions.
Diego del Morao with Montse Cortés
(Photo: Daniel Muñoz)
A few days ago you were in Madrid recording La Tana's
album. You were able to work with someone very special to
you there, if I'm not mistaken.
I've had the chance to be with maestro Paco
de Lucía. Javier Limón told me he'd heard
a bulería of mine and he'd liked it. Then he decided
that I'd be the guitarist to produce La Tana's album. The
truth is that having worked beside the maestro was incredible.
I didn't get used to seeing him, even though I spent all day
with him at the studio. He pierces you just with his regard.
His regard is that of a genius. The experience I had was unforgettable.
We shared the music, we put together things between the two
of us. He even made me sing to do some choruses of reference.
He taught me something new every day. Being with him, you
learn as a person and as a musician. This has been a privilege
life's given me. Christmas came twice for me. I'm never going
to forget this in all my life.
Is it complicated for you to accompany so many artists?
You always have to go with your colors, with your way of
playing. If they call you, it's because they want to hear
that guitar. The artist calling you is seeking that material,
that music. Nevertheless, it's a very big responsibility every
time you're called to record, with there being so many guitarists.
You have to focus on your work and listen to it to know where
it's going to go. But as I said, always keeping up your trademark,
With so much work, do you have time to go on studying?
Not really. It's hard for me to create. And now that I've
coughed up everything I had in me since I began playing, I've
got nothing left. That's what worries me the most right now.
I have to create new things in order not to get bogged down.
Was 2004 your year?
I played on some important albums, but we have to keep on
creating. It was an important year for me because I played
with artists I used to listen to when I was little. Three
years ago I was buying albums by the artists I'm now playing
with and doing very important collaborations with. It's not
a track or two but rather half an album, or even an entire
album. But you have to keep on creating. It's going to be
harder from now on. You set your sights higher and higher
and there's greater responsibility.
have loved to accompany Terremoto or to have played
a bit of bulerías for Camarón"
Do you have any idol in flamenco?
I really like Terremoto.
I also like Camarón and Paco de Lucía. It's
a sin for those in our generation to deny that we like these
two great artists. I love the album ‘Canta
Jerez’. I like Sordera, Borrico... I'd have loved
to accompany Terremoto or to have played a bit of bulerías
Who have you enjoyed accompanying most?
It's hard to say. They're moments. And the artists I like
are precisely those who have their moments. For example, at
the latest Bienal when I accompanied El
Torta, I really enjoyed myself. He nearly made me cry.
As soon as I'd gotten off stage, I called my father to tell
him about it. El Torta got something across to me that nobody
had ever done before. I got emotional on stage, a place where
your very nerves hinder those feelings from appearing. I also
enjoyed myself a lot with José
Mercé. There were a couple of times that my father
couldn't go and I had the privilege of accompanying him at
a theater in Valladolid. My hands trembled there. With Niña
Pastori, Montse Cortés, Diego Carrasco, El Cigala...
there are a lot of moments. The truth is that I really enjoy
myself with everyone I accompany.
You're young; how do you size up today's guitar scene?
We have to worry about playing seguiriya or soleá
the way it used to be played before. Flamencura is being lost
a little. That doesn't mean playing more flamenco is strumming
or the way playing was done twenty years ago. Diego Carrasco
insists a lot on that. Playing flamenco doesn't mean playing
like Manuel Parrilla. You have to know how to get that flavor
out of it and not lose the roots. You have to play with the
harmonies there are at this time. Guitar is now at unsuspected,
incredible limits. I think very little strumming is done nowadays.
Diego del Morao with Niña
Pastori (Photo: Daniel Muñoz)
Do you think excessive technique and virtuosity work
Not at all. Nothing in excess is good (he laughs). One of
the things this profession has taught me is that you have
to study a lot of harmony and technique in order to capture
it later in your way and your air. A picture can't be done
with three brushstrokes no matter how good the painter is.
You have to reach a moderate point. The more you study, the
better. Obviously the more hours you spend on the guitar,
the more you can get out of it.
Is guitar the most self-sacrificing aspect of flamenco?
Guitarists are usually all very paranoid; they're always
worried. Guitar makes you anxious. It's really hard for me
to study, but you have to do it. You have to make the self-sacrifice
and learn because that's what's going to bring you a great
deal of satisfaction. A musician who's obliged to create always
has that restlessness, those nerves. If a flamenco guitarist
doesn't create, he doesn't say anything.
are usually all very paranoid; they're always worried.
Guitar makes you anxious"
What do you have that your father doesn't and what
does your father have that you don't?
Having been born in different periods provides a different
vision. I see flamenco a way that he doesn't, and vice versa.
I'd point out my father's cleanness and clarity when performing
strumming. His way of accompanying through soleá, the
arpeggios. He plays a very well-rounded way.
Do you think young people are moving along too fast?
Experience gives you position. I don't really know if they're
moving along too fast or not. What's clear is that we have
to stop and listen and see that the roots are there. You shouldn't
move forward out of control.
Is it time to make an album?
I think so. You have to study and bring out new things because
nearly everything's been recorded. The sooner I make an album,
the sooner I'll have the restlessness to create new things.
Once you've recorded something you then have to worry about
seeking different things. The truth is that I'm very excited.
There are already some projects out there. I might possibly
record something this year.