Encarna Anillo (Photo
bulerías ‘No hay tiempo’ are signed
With that bulería something also
happened to me really similar to what occurred with Requena,
because Juanito, that bulería... Well, it turned
into a bulería, because it was a story told on
a sheet of paper which he gave to me as a gift, something
really personal. And in time I added music to it, when
I was already recording at the studio. I turned it into
bulerías as a couplet. He’d heard me do “soy
una de esas tontas” and he got it from there. I
hadn’t intended to do a song of his, he wanted to
stick in footwork and in the end, I called up his brother.
He’s there but not dancing, but rather in that way.
The bulería also contrasts
with the alegrías; one is unaccompanied while the
other is a fiesta, isn’t that right?
There’s a bulería with Diego
de Morao on guitar, in which there are lyrics by Juan
Requena, by my brother and by Miguel Poveda. I wanted
that bulería, which is called ‘Dulce veneno’,
to sound like a gathering of friends in which we were
having a good time. I wanted Miguel’s collaboration
and I wanted it to be por bulerías, for the two
of us to have a good time. I didn’t want to be with
him in a really tight collaboration, which doesn’t
suit me. For him to do the lyrics he wanted, with total
freedom. And the chorus at the end has lyrics by my brother
Jose, which we handed intended to do as a chorus, but
that’s how it came out as we went along.
It has the sensation of a live
studio recording …
I did the lyrics so that Diego would
do the guitars for me, but they got done that day because
he shaped it. The kids stuck in the clapping and cheering
and it got done that same day, Miguel’s lyrics also
got done, Londro’s stuff... And I left the next
day because I was exhausted. I wanted to live that day
for myself, not to release energy but rather to receive.
I wanted to enjoy that day, receive all the energy and
the following day go and release it myself. The next day
went to record the footwork and we stayed up until the
wee hours of the morning. That was recorded in La Alameda
de Hércules, in Seville. A real party got started.
There were so many people at the studio. That’s
how that bulería has turned out, which is to finish
and go out and get drunk.
Encarna Anillo (Photo
Daniel Muñoz) |
And there’s a third different
bulería, ‘Homenaje a La Perla’.
That bulería is beaten out with
knuckles on the table and with me alone, which is the
bulería in which I feel myself the most, the one
which is mine the most. Miguel’s is for sharing
it with him and with everyone partying, Farruquito’s
is something really special, but the way I feel por bulerías
is singing like La
Perla, that way, without a guitar or anything, like
when old people used to shut themselves in to listen to
one another. It was also achieved. I’ve been listening
to La Perla since I was a little girl, but to record I
plunged in all the way; I spent four days listening to
her for twenty-four hours, to get into the stuff there,
with Morao, with Parrilla. I like singing por bulerías
so much… and bulerías from Cádiz,
with that lightness, with that so light thing of ours.
My father’s grandmother used to dance por bulerías
really well. She was a good friend of Los Jinetos, of
Los Villar, and here dancing is done with a lot of little
hops, really lightly. I had that; when I got to the studio
I was carrying all of that energy inside of me. I laid
down a board there and they sat around me to mark the
beat for me. They started marking the beat for me the
way it’s done nowadays and I said “no, I want
it like this”. Everyone picked up the vibes and
I got ready and said “now”. And it got done
on the first try, intact, in one go. That’s the
bulería which fills me the most. I also could have
chosen to pay tribute to Adela
la Chaqueta; I’ve always sung a lot of things
What women, what artists, what
have to show interest in the work left by others
if you truly like this"
A huge artist I’ve also followed.
She had an unbelievable personality for everything. And
charisma; the kind of person you have no choice but to
look at. And just a meter and a half tall. I think that
before, the good artist already used to have charisma
in himself. Now people have to put on the artist’s
mask. And that’s not the way it is, because you
can go in pyjamas and be an artist just the same and have
art. You can tell who has art, paints, sings, dances,
plays or makes furniture, whatever he does. Camarón
went around dressed the way people dressed in San Fernando;
we’ve seen him millions of times already in bad
shape wearing a tracksuit, and everybody had to look at
him. It isn’t about wearing Armani or anything like
that; it’s about the person, about what’s
coming out of the pores of his skin. Either you have it
or you don’t. What happens to Estrella
Morente? She’s had it since birth; if she puts
on pyjamas, you have to look at her and say how beautiful.
I love that.
With ‘Tangos del olivo’
you pay tribute to another woman, Carmen Montoya...
I’ve liked the Montoya
family a lot since I was a little girl, listening,
watching videos. And I’ve always really liked the
tangos on the album ‘Yo soy agua’: what nice
lyrics, what nice intentions, how Carmen’s voice
sounds... And I had to sing them for the album. I couldn’t
see myself doing a song, a tanguito, a rumbita. No, no,
some proper tangos. And out of the friendship joining
me to that family and to her daughter Carmelilla, it was
also a tribute to Carmen Montoya because nobody remembers
that woman. Everyone remembers La Negra, her sister-in-law,
but she’s been gradually lost. You can like her
more or less, but she’s a huge artist. Since that
filled me, what better tribute could there be than to
record the same thing that she did, but twenty-four years
later. And on top of it, having her with me at the studio,
cheering me and the three of us doing the choruses. It
was a gift she gave to me and I gave to her. She can’t
even listen to them because she breaks down and cries;
she doesn’t know how to thank me for it... and I
insist that it’s an honor for me. And it’s
a matter of recalling that work which has been there for
so many years. You have to show interest in the work left
by others if you truly like this; you have to investigate,
listen, get information... And not talk about an album
after having just listened to one song. On my album there
are just two new songs and sets of lyrics. The rest is
folk with my adaptation; it’s all been done already.
The difference lies in the information each one has managed
to take on. You can’t settle for the gift you’ve
Encarna Anillo and Juan Diego
(Photo Daniel Muñoz)
The soleá has a really
vintage guitar; that of Rafael Rodríguez…
I consider cante por soleá as
one of the hardest ones. It’s taken me a long time
to find myself por soleá. But soleá, soleá,
not soleá por bulerías, which is another
world. The soleá, no matter what style it is, is
a cante really thrown back and really about troubles,
really about guts... just like the seguiriya. The thing
is that the seguiriya has much more open times; the soleá
is always more measured-out. But if you’re not truly
singing soleá, you’re never going to find
yourself por soleá because it’s a very big
cante, just like fandango, which is where soleá
comes from. Cantes from so deep inside that when I heard
that guitar por soleá by Rafael Rodríguez,
my soul shriveled up. And from the first day on I was
really sure that if I recorded a soleá, he was
going to accompany me. That man with the nut at ten, he
did eight takes because he thought he was coming to do
an outline for another guitarist... When my brother told
him that he was going to play, he couldn’t believe
it. It was the first time that man had been in a recording
studio to do something by himself! It’s really shocking.
Another person that some people haven’t noticed
after spending a lifetime at Los Gallos, with Milagros
Mengíbar, playing for cante, playing for baile...
The thing is that singing por soleá, I wanted to
hear guitar like when you play Juan
Varea and those guitars by Melchor de Marchena, by
Ramón Montoya... Oh, you go to another era. There,
I was going to find myself singing por soleá.
And how does the milonga ‘Si
llegara a suceder’ come to you?
The milonga is very special, it has a
story, too... I began listening to the one by Chacón
in Japan with Miguel Poveda and Israel Galván in
the hotel room. We’re always involved in listening,
we always have cantaores in the background. Israel stuck
it in the show we were doing there with Kojima.
And from then on I started getting information, listening.
After some time, Andrés Marín called me
up for the premiere of ‘Asimetrías’
at Seville’s Bienal and he’d put together
a milonga by Marchena. The only thing I needed was to
listen to Marchena por milonga, since I’d been searching
and I hadn’t managed to find that record. I learned
the two milongas and I was really certain; those two plus
the one by Chacón
would be the milonga on my album. I worked on it with
Requena and my brother commented to me that if we stuck
in some strings it would turn out lovely. We called up
Miguel, it sounded great to him, I asked for Olvido Lanza
on violin, who knocks me out with the feeling she has,
and since both of them are friends of hers, she was delighted
to come. The arrangements were done by Enric Palomar.
When he told us he wanted to do them, we flipped out.
She, moreover, suggested Lito Iglesias on contrabass,
who I love... It was one present after another.
With all that Marchena
has been criticized...
cante has its door and if you open one for this
cante, you have to close it for another and open
another door; its door"
And I love Marchena. You have to be very
bold to do what that man does. He’ll crack his voice
a lot and all, but he knocks me out because he sings really
well and he stands my hair up on end. Just like Borrico
por seguiriyas and Juan Varea por soleá and Manuel
Torre and Tomás... Everyone has something. Now,
if you just want to like one thing, you can’t listen
to anything else but that. If you just like cracked voices,
go to the cantaores who have them. There are cantaores
who have another music box, each one has a different register,
but it’s really hard; each one is a world. The nice
thing is that you can never perform a milonga as a cante
por soleá with a really broad, booming voice. The
milonga is something very sensitive, very delicate, very
subtle, very uttered, very romantic, very intimate...
just like the vidalita or the malagueña. They’re
very close-up cantes, very personal. Each cante requires
its technique, too. Each cante has its door and if you
open one for this cante, you have to close it for another
and open another door; its door. If you do the fandango
Gloria it has nothing to do with a fandango caracolero
or a fandango by Macandé with one by Alosno, which
you need to have huge power for in order to perform. Each
cante has its feature and its door. Nobody has any reason
to do a milonga speedily and with lyrical vocals because
they don’t, because Rancapino
sings for you por malagueñas with a short, cracked
voice which sounds like it’s going to be stifled
and he sings it for you with a palate and good taste…
There are a lot of confused cantaores. You can be very
wild singing por seguiriyas but you can’t show me
the same thing as in a serrana. No, each cante has its
thing. And besides, they make you learn as you go along.
With each cante, I’ve discovered registers I didn’t
know I had, tessituras in my voice and in my throat which
I hadn’t experienced before. You learn from your
throat with each cante. When you start discovering yourself
in new melodies, you flip out. Then later on, I try and
take it to my ground and feel it inside, perform it in
the way I’ve felt it, with all my respect and of
course, without any intention of imitating. And I think
everyone has all that variety of registers. When you have
to split, don’t worry that you have to split, since
you aren’t ready to split anywhere else. If it comes
from the heart, one thing’s going to come out after
another for you.
Does the same thing happen to
you as Carmen
Linares, who says each guitarist brings out something
different in her?
Always. In time, I’ve stuck to
my guitarists. I’ve worked with many and each one
gives you something different. If you reach a point where
you can choose for an album, that’s good luck. But
it’s necessary for a cantaor to have his guitarists
because you need personal and professional feeling. I
have a connection with every guitarist who’s on
the album: Chicuelo, Diego de Morao, Juan Requena, Juan
Diego... And the same thing happened to me afterwards
Manuel León. They’re presents life gives
to you as you go along.
Encarna Anillo with Carmen
Linares (Photo Daniel Muñoz)
And you didn’t want to
stick in hardly any other instrumentation on the album…
No, just guitar, vocals and clapping.
The only thing arrangements were done for was the milonga.
Not the rest because due to the type of album it is, it
doesn’t need it. It’s flamenco, classical
cante, and it’s always been guitar, clapping and
What mirror do you look at yourself
in for the malagueña ‘Haciendo por olvidarte’?
When I began singing por malagueñas,
I did the one from my native land, the one by El
Mellizo. And I’d really worn it out. When I
started learning the different styles of malagueñas
there are and I listened to Carmen singing the malagueña
by La Trini on her ‘Antología.
La mujer en el cante’, my soul tossed and turned.
That woman’s so strong. Where does it take you?
And I was sure that the day I did a malagueña it
was going to be that one because it’s the one I
feel the most. I’ve tried the one by El Canario,
the one by Chacón, the one by Mellizo, the one
by Juan Breva... but for the album the one I wanted was
that one with the verdial which I heard Bernardo
el de los Lobitos do, which I sang a long time ago
for Rafaela Carrasco in a show and I loved it. I was learning
a mariana by him and on that same album, in the anthology,
there was that verdial which is what got through to me;
it’s very mighty.
And in the end, the zambra ‘Carta
de una Salvaora’...
I knew I wanted to record a zambra but
I didn’t know which one. I’ve listened to
every zambra by Caracol
and by La
Paquera. The ones by La Paquera never won me over
to see myself in that role. And all the ones by Caracol
won me over, but they all spoke to women. I’ve never
had the ability to change the lyrics myself. So I left
the zambra for the end because it was one of the most
special songs, because my brother and I grew up listening
to Caracol with my grandfather. That’s why I chose
my brother as the special guest singing the zambra. And
he called me up one night telling me he’d written
a zambra. He’d been listening to ‘La Salvaora’
by Caracol and he put himself in her shoes, and she tells
the story of what Caracol has sung to her all his life.
So I was able to carry it out like that. It’s called
‘Carta de una Salvaora’ and my brother plays
Caracol’s role, and I play that of the woman he
sang to all his life. And that wasn’t planned or
anything. We were there with the zambra like the card
up our sleeve; it was there but we didn’t know how
we were going to play it. And in the end it was much more
special, composed by my brother, he did the music with
Diego, and he also did the lyrics with two or three
changes by Javier Blanco, a poet who lives in Los Caños
and my brother called him up for him to check them and
see the rhymes. The zambra came out in one evening. The
album was finished with that song.
What role did Miguel Poveda have
on this album? It isn’t usual for an artist to provide
financial backing for a colleague’s work.
The role played by Miguel stemmed from
friendship, from the enthusiasm he has for the art form.
Without any ego whatsoever, nor did he get involved in
something which wasn’t going to benefit him; he’s
a very intelligent and very good person. He knew he was
going to enjoy himself and that it was going to be worth
his while personally and professionally. We’ve worked
a lot together and he knows that as an artist I always
take on a great responsibility on my part; he was sure
of it, he was going to be at ease. He led me by the hand
to the first studio with all his heart and it’s
a very big gift he’s given me. Then because of his
life he lost contact a little bit with the album, but
he didn’t want to leave it. He chose executive production
to be inside the album, since the truth is that he was
the only one of us able to take on the expenses. And the
musical responsibility, since there were so many leaps
in time, went to my brother José
Anillo, knowing it rested on a good professional.