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Groundbreaking Flamenco pianist in Costa Rica

August 10, 2012

From the print edition

Laura de los Ángeles, the first female flamenco pianist to compose and record her own works, brought her art to San José this week. In the week before her performances, the 26-year-old virtuoso from Sevilla, Spain, exchanged emails with The Tico Times. Excerpts follow:

TT: What can we look forward to in your first two albums?

LdlA: With each song in “Water Alley,” my first album, I wanted to represent my vivid childhood memories and their feeling. I dedicate these songs to my beautiful country. 

On the new album, “My New Hope,” I wanted to convey that in these times we all must have hope, and personally my hope gave birth to this record and my first child. The songs are also about my city, my family and great artists who have made flamenco what it is today.

What is special about performing in Costa Rica?

Playing in Costa Rica is a wonderful, beautiful dream come true. As an artist and composer it’s exciting to cross borders and reach every corner of the world with my music. Specifically, Costa Rica is a country and a people that I really wanted to meet, and being able to do this through my music makes it so much more rewarding. 

This is the first time I’ve been here, and I hope to return many more times. I am a lover of nature, and I feel a tremendous respect for this country. It reminds me of my home in Andalusia.

How did you become a flamenco composer?

I grew up in the land where flamenco was born, and I have been fortunate to have grown up among many great flamenco artists. This made me realize that this was an art that I not only liked, but also one I could make a living with. I grew up like every other child in Andalusia, always clapping and singing in parties with family and friends. I began to play percussion, and soon my interest in flamenco music grew. 

When I was 11, I entered a conservatory to learn piano. Five years later, I left the conservatory to teach myself flamenco, and I became dedicated body and soul. Thus, I started to create my own songs and piano techniques. There is much to discover and create with flamenco. From there I have not stopped composing.

Across the world from where it originated, can flamenco be truly appreciated by people of different cultures?

Luckily, flamenco is billed as a universal art that can definitely cross borders, and there are flamenco lovers all over the world. 

In particular, I think my music is available to and understandable for all people. The melodies emphasize themes that everyone can understand. It’s a language all are capable of comprehending.

See the performance this Friday, Aug. 10, in Casa España at 7 p.m. (₡5,000/$10) or in the National Auditorium Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. (₡15,000/$30). This event will include flamenco dance and Spanish food.

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