'Autorretrato', track by track
by Estrella Morente

Flamenco-world.com, October 17th, 2012
Translation: Joseph Kopec


Autorretrato - Estrella Morente
Digital download: Estrella Morente, 'Autorretrato'


“My father recovered proclamation, flamenco words sung. He sent this pregón to Michael Nyman and it was a gift”.


“My father was really excited about Paco (de Lucía) playing seguirillas for me on this disc. We ended up doing a demo, choosing the lyrics, the cantes, Paco listened to it and promised me that he’d soon stick in the guitar. The genius kept his word given to his friend and I had to sing it furiously. No… in the end it’s going to be true that in order to sing por seguirillas, you have to go through hardship”.


“A dream which my father made me live together with Pat (Metheny) and his family. Great people are tied to sensitivity. This song’s text is a note from my father towards my mother, speaking in a language that only they know. It reflects love beyond eternity”.

Highslide JS
Estrella y Enrique Morente, portada de 'Autorretrato'


“They’re lyrics created at magical moments in my life linked to bullfighting which I sang for the first time nearly improvising in New York. With Isidro Muñoz on guitar and the people of Jerez, my father wanted to recreate the climate of Mi cante y un poema, my first album with them”.


“An emblematic song for my father and a gift for him to ask me to sing it. He assigned the arrangement to Antonio, Josemi and Juan Carmona because it was played for him by Pepe Habichuela, Josemi’s father, and they caused a commotion. It was a song which spoke of freedom, of new roads and new lights in times of repression. Today it’s just a song and a memory of that fight for freedom”.


“This gift from Michael Nyman was forged in London, where I was lucky enough for him to show up in my dressing room and give me his music. One day, my favorite poem by San Juan de la Cruz made its way into his musical creation and in a visit home, taking advantage of the fact that I was helping my mother make gazpacho, my husband, Javier Conde, showed him my daring. He gave us the treasure of saying that work closed an era and that now he felt that it was incomplete. That’s how the song arose; thanks to his generosity”.


“A tribute to Lola Flores, her family and one of her guitarists, my grandfather Montoyita. It’s a reference to sevillanas and the magic of the south”.


“It’s a gift which, in the first creative sketches of the album, my father gave me the freedom to include and work on songs of my own. I composed Bembón with Montoyita thinking of the dramatic voyage of emigrants in open boats and in gratitude to my country for having been so generous and for having received many people with all of its consequences; good and bad. It’s a vindication of human rights. Montoyita plays it, like A Lola”.


“The lyrics are by Al Mutamid, the music is by Enrique Morente and the song is musically rich and resoundingly sensitive. To me it’s nearly premonitory, since it’s the song I was singing in my father’s ear, with a handkerchief in my eyes, while he passed away”.


“My father assigned it to Tomatito and it’s been a huge gift to sing it with that masterful guitar. It’s a bulería with an important text by San Juan de la Cruz, which required courage and depth worthy of the great Tomatito’s guitar”.


“My father sketched this Cuban-flamenco union recalling the lyrics of his former maestros. On this journey he remembers the courses and cantes brought in the boats from Malecón to Cádiz and the other way around. It’s a tribute to his revered maestro Pepe de la Matrona and to his much-admired Celia Cruz. He assigned this song to the great musician Alain Pérez and his brilliant band, giving him the utmost freedom to recall his deepest Cuba”.


“It’s by Carlos Cano. My father had recently asked me to sing it at the concerts, even when he was in the hospital. He assigned it to Vicente Amigo, like En un sueño viniste”.

Highslide JS
Estrella Morente, en concierto (Foto Daniel Muñoz)


“Another song of mine por tangos musicalized by Antonio, Josemi and Juan Carmona. It’s a union and recognition in appreciation of the sublime art of bullfighting which, despite setbacks, survives as one of the shows with the most history. These tangos are inspired by a magic night which happened in Málaga where the waves of the sea came pushed by goblins up to La Malagueta Bullring and they carried away its matador on their shoulders until the shore of the Mediterranean”.


“My father called up Alfredo Lagos to give it that old-time flavor once again which he didn’t want to be lost. They’re really ancient lyrics with a different, vintage color. He also wanted me to play the castanets and I did so. It had been a long time since a cantaora played the castanets and it used to be done a lot. It’s not a matter of being the only one, but of it not being lost”.


“It’s one of the pieces finished by Enrique Morente. At the same time, my father was immersed in the creation of the music for Fedra by Miguel Narros, which I luckily found myself involved in, and since the works mixed with each other and imbued one another, my father came across this cante which he later developed in a journey back in time por soleares. He went to the studio and marked with his clapping, his castanets and humble keyboard some cantes that I had to do when I got there because moreover, according to him, it was very important for me to get to know them. There are thousand-year-old phrases, like ‘soul, life, and of the two’. He told me that the old-time cantaores would sometimes use it as a filler in the middle of the lyrics of cantes. I convinced him to leave some lyrics he had done for me as a reference. A unique document, because you can’t sing better por soleá than Enrique Morente sings”.

Further information

Autorretrato - Estrella Morente
Digital download: Estrella Morente, 'Autorretrato'

Estrella Morente breaks her album silence with 'Autorretrato'

Interview with Estrella Morente, flamenco singer (May, 2005)

Suma Flamenca 2011. Estrella Morente, 'Morente, in concert'. Review and photos

The Enrique Morente's website by Flamenco-world.com

CD. Estrella Morente. Autorretrato

More information, orders
DOWNLOAD. Estrella Morente. Autorretrato

Download on iTunes
Autorretrato - Estrella Morente  

Estrella Morente
Biography, discography, audio and readers' comments

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