Reviewing IGNACIO LUSARDI MONTEVERDE, the debut album by a Flamenco Master
Ignacio Lusardi Monteverde:
with each word making its own evocative statement of music and place the unique accomplishments of this flamenco guitar maestro can even be sensed in his name. Born in Argentina he has travelled the world from the backstreets of Buenos Aires, to the Babylonian pastures of Iraq. Musician composer, arranger, producer and sound engineer devoted to the pursuance of all that’s possible in the classic flamenco tradition and in how that tradition can be advanced, his work has been dedicated to achieving a new alignment and resonance for classical music in a contemporary context. This album is a collection of new and classical compositions with each piece, choice, passage and note forming an active testament to a life devoted to music’s inexhaustible power and the various magics contained therein.
From opening song Aspania (Spain)
a delicate picking begins
Across the orchard of rhythm, fruits from the finger
Glazed and respun on smooth strings.
Sensual chords stage and frame the voiceless spells
From song’s sister, as Lusardi’s intricate playing
Opens heart and mind as hand sings.
The journey’s begun. The path is set.
The steps,Spanish. The route through the forest
Through streets and shade shaped by hand
Reveal how light changes wood into the heart’s ark over landscape
Allowing country to be counted in a way that only the ear understands.
The composer Rodriquez would know the resonance duly conjured.
And so the stringed magic continues as discovery enters dream.
One man’s touch on guitar, after half a life spent on practise,,
Performs for all senses and sensibility what love means.
Yo Me Enamore (I fell in love) is a plaintive lovesong.
Beautifully sung by a soul scorched Lina León, her voice rides and fuses
With the enchanted wood music births. Here is an island whose sea
Surrounds like mist, masking focus to show that love is the signal
And the siren sent through stopped earth. The lullaby hearts revere
And continue to seek through a lifetime is here roused and whispered
And lent to the night by charmed sound. Within the separations of need
And the loneliness true love gives us, this a song sent to nature,
To unify those who are found. Singer and musician combine
And represent love’s communion. Harmony formed like light breaking,
Revealing for all, common ground.
Monteverde is as skilled and as dextrous a player
As he is a romantic. His fingers’ skill stir each heart.
With the turn of a chord we make our way through his landscape,
Noticing fresh direction across the map of chance the soul charts.
A note paints the air. A pass of chords echo rainfall
As Aigua Brava (Tempestuous Waters) conveys.
A torrent of notes cleanse marred breath and ease the air all around us,
Reminding of a time guitar maestros from Segovia to Bream
Graced the stage. One man communes with the wood
That made the first tree of knowledge. Now, the second, of music,
Allows us to pray through chords placed. These are our musical priests.
Listeners become congregation, and in the resonance and the tension
Beneath the sublime, God is shaped. He can be felt in the pass
From one key to another; the door that opens before us
Reveals a room of mirrors that will simply return our own face.
As the album unfolds, the listening act becomes one of true transportation.
As we define the thoughts, so we travel inbetween word and note.
What Monteverde now plays is an exchange of sorts across borders
In which inspiration and background while travelling far, remains close.
Hear it in England, or Spain. Here it in Iraq. Or in Sweden. Here it in heat,
Freeze or Tempest, you will walk down the streets he has walked.
For he returns you at once with his own Impetu, his momentum, to the places
That shaped him and will shape you too. Each song talks.
Pueblo Blanco (White Town) is our own destination.
Sensed and seen, its true picture emerges for you and for yours
Through known walls. You will see your own unmarked streets,
Your own snow set peaks, your own prisons, become and bear witness
To the blanketing sea and day’s call. Brisa del Desierto (Desert Breeze)
Now plays for us and finds colour, through either the breath shared in vehicles,
Or across a scarred terrain, a lost beach.
The joy in the flamenco style becomes bridge over each stretch of water
That the heart implores to get over, even as it remains out of reach.
The classical style claims the mind as the heart is stamped by all folklore,
Which can be both ours and ancient in terms of what we recollect, all at once.
For we all making myth, if we only knew it. Music reveals that across time
And tide; a God dance.
Monterverde’s guitar and his classical name become herald;
We glimpse angels in the octave as a chorus of sounds stem from strings
A Schubert Fugue interweaves and along with Bach’s Blute nur soprano Aria
Finds transcendence. The performer as arranger reverberates to claim wings.
Here then is a player whose craft is to do with the instrument he has chosen
And which has chosen him; its their marriage of method and mind that compels,
At a time when the threat to music is vast, here at last, is song’s soldier,
Dancing against darkness with traditions to prize, he shapes spells.
Whatever music was at the start Monteverde presents new reminders,
The clashing of bone, or scraped cave wall, or sinew once stretched
Had no choice. But now, refinements through time have led to his shaped
Successes. Closing piece Stormy powers us on through his voice
Music like this, sound and skill, in an empty time become crucial;
They show us the change that is coming, if we can commune at last,
With the pulse that defies clouds that mar and confusions too, as they gather,
And reveal that hope resounds through us in a handful of notes.
David Erdos, February 17th 2019
IGNACIO USARDI MONTEVERDE was recorded at Abbey Road Studio 3 & St Augustine’s Church London and is released on the 7th of March 2019
ALBUM LAUNCH CONCERT:
23 February 2019 Ketevan Festival in Goa, India
7 March 2019 Green Note in London UK
Ignacio Lusardi Monteverde Solea por bulería – London 2018 Shooting Yu Kuang Chou Seung Hee Ko