Your latest work is a tribute to the late Paco de Lucía, featuring guest composers such as Maestro Leo Brouwer, John McLaughlin and the Spaniard José Antonio Rodríguez, whose work gives its name to the album: El alma de Paco. How did this idea arise and develop?
[Marcel:] Paco de Lucía was a very inspiring character for us, both as a musician and as a person. We knew him pretty well and used to visit him backstage after concerts. He told us about his projects and asked about ours. For our 20+ project, we also asked him if he would compose something for us. He said that he never writes for other musicians but that we should transcribe one of his pieces. We then arranged his tango Cositas buenas from the album of the same name, and he authorised it.
His death on February 25, 2014, was, of course, a big shock for us. At some point, we had the idea of putting together a tribute program. We asked various composers to contribute a piece to this project. The three composers you mention, we have all known for a long time. They have already contributed pieces to our 20+ project, and they all knew Paco very well, too.
I think it was a unique experience for everyone involved. In this way, everyone was able to approach the essence of the great master in their own way.
One of the pieces on this album that really makes your skin crawl is Aixa, Fátima y Marién, based on the Spanish folk song Las morillas de Jaén (“The Moorish girls from Jaén”) collected by the famous poet Federico García Lorca. Lorca, who was also a pianist, recorded it with the singer of his time, “La Argentinita”. In this case, you have counted on the flamenco singer Carmen Linares (who, by the way, is from Linares, in Jaén), and the result, together with the four guitars and the percussion, is lovely and very moving. How did you come up with it? Is the arrangement by David Sautter?
[David:] Our collaboration with Carmen Linares began about 20 years ago with a project in which we combined El amor brujo (“Love, the Magician”) by Manuel de Falla with folk songs from the collection of Federico García Lorca. Since then, the piece has belonged to our repertoire. We often play it as an instrumental version, but we prefer to perform it whenever possible with Carmen, who gives the piece a completely different dimension.
I am glad that you like this piece. It is more of a composition than an arrangement, but as you said, it is based on the folk song Las morillas de Jaén from this collection. By the way, the same goes for the second piece with Carmen on the album. Paquiro by Marcel Ege refers to the song El café de Chinitas from the same collection.
In my piece, I tried to combine baroque elements with the “Spanish” chord progression played in a typical flamenco rhythm. Both instrumental parts begin with a minor fugue, always supported by the driving rhythm of “Soleá por Bulerías”. So, I hoped to create something new.
|Full Interview: Interview with the Eos Guitar Quartet|