What flamenco is NOT
Armik is another good example of an artist who is stretching
the boundaries of New World fusion guitar music. This man has a
unique talent and his music has a soul which puts him, in my
opinion, at the top of the heap in terms of sincerity and
passion. I have been criticized for placing Armik in the non
flamenco basket. I even stumbled upon a message in a discussion
room recently where somebody suggested my website as a source
of flamenco information. Another person read this and after
visiting my website said; "Wow! That guy said Armik isn't
flamenco. Now I'm upset." Well, sorry about that, but
he isn't. Or rather, his music isn't. When I read that comment,
I felt like a real cad like someone telling a small child there
is no Santa Claus. Heart felt beliefs are such delicate,
Armik's bio on his website describes him as a "Flamenco
virtuoso". World Music fusion artists and their promoters love
to throw the magic word flamenco in there somewhere, but no
matter how hard they try to change the definition by
implication, it is not convincing to me. Nor will it be
convincing to reference sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica
for another hundred years. Flamenco is what it is and it (by
definition) can't simply be changed through popular opinion, or
manipulated through the mechanical act of endless repetition of
a catch phrase like 'New Flamenco'. Unfortunately, the term
'New Flamenco' DOES appear to be taking root in the popular
consciousness, since it shamelessly appears again and again on
CD covers and in record store catalogs. In this regard, Armik
is hanging his hat on the same flamenco peg as many other
recording artists as a means of identifying a musical
influence, rather than the generic form they actually play,
whatever that is. The record buying public seems unable to
distinguish between the two. I dare say most music lovers
couldn't care less anyway. That's the sad part.
"His music is passionate, sensual, exotic and definitely
romantic. Flamenco virtuoso Armik is a passport to an
intoxicating musical world..... Fusing traditional Spanish
melodies with jazzy improvisation and progressive rhythms.....
Armik has concocted a passionate new sound recognized by so
many as his own unique style described as "Latin-gypsy-jazz".
His six successful albums have clearly set new standards for
"New- Flamenco" music."
That's nice. The problem I have with all this is that no
matter how fast this "flamenco virtuoso" can play scales with a
plectum, there will always be something missing from his cds.
Namely flamenco music. How come it's nearly all 4 beat rumbas?
Where are the 12 beat palos and rasgueados? Hey. Come closer. I
will tell you why. They are not there because this music is not
flamenco. So why is it called flamenco? Beats me.