Refree and Isaki Lacuesta, found halves
Fernán Gómez Theater, Madrid. May 9, 2019
The producer and musician Raül Fernández (Refree) and the filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta inaugurated the Flamenco Madrid 2019 festival last Thursday, May 9 (after the suspension due to illness of the El Cabrero concert that was to be held the night before) in the Guirau room from the Cultural Center of the Villa "Fernán Gómez", in a brave and successful start in favor of the creative alternative to the flamenco universe, despite the misunderstanding of some orthodox, where the roots and new interpretations of a genre come together so linked not only to our most indigenous culture but, above all, to the emotions it provokes (the "sleeping gene", as the musician Antonio Arias says). The show offered by the Catalan artists went beyond the mere musical stage representation since they built a perfect symbiosis between the emotions caused by naked and hypnotic music amplified with the reinterpretation of a cinematographic work.
The bet seemed risky within a festival of this type, and hence the great merit of having been able to combine the talent of two creators who are above creative labels and sanitary cords. On stage a selection of songs that Refree composed for Lacuesta's latest film, "Entre dos aguas" (in addition to his others from previous albums) were shown with a selection of images from this film that the filmmaker was showing as it was he developed the show, without a pre-established script, simply translating what the music suggested into a visual discourse.
Despite the spaciousness of the room, the atmosphere was quite intimate. Faced with scenic minimalism (three guitars: one classical, one acoustic and one Gibson-type electric) the entire performance took place in a respectful silence that Refree interrupted between tracks to comment on the creative process with Lacuesta, whom he accompanied during the filming and with which he shared anecdotes that he was rescuing, such as the mythical encounter with "El bolita", the boy whose voice appears in "Que te vayas". The warm closeness that Refree showed when speaking contrasted with the intensity with which the Barcelona musician developed his songs, completely devoted and very comfortable in that simplicity where the guitar acquires an absolute protagonism, getting closer to Neil Young from "Dead Man" or to the Fleeting of "Instrument" than any other conventional composer.
From the very first bar, he was integrating the flamenco highlights that inspired him to create the soundtrack for the film and which he compiled last year on his latest album, La otra medio, and on the previous one, "Jai Alai Vol. 1", accompanied by direct samples made with discards of some artists with whom he has worked in recent years, such as El Niño de Elche ("Giving birth", which gave goose bumps) or Rocío Márquez ("Tyranny" with the same lowered pitch as sounds on the LP) as well as other sound experiments that he mixed with strumming and flamenco arpeggios. Meanwhile, at the back of the stage, images of "Between Two Waters", "The Legend of Time" and other classic cinema films such as Tod Browning's "Human Claws" followed one another along with some videos that Lacuesta himself made for Refree .
He also performed acoustic versions of songs from other previous albums, such as "Un buen tío" from "Tots sants" or "La nit ben alta" from "Nova creu alta", which sounded even more suffering and interesting than in his version. original. Without great scenic juggling but forceful and vivid in its execution, Refree knew how to create hypnotic atmospheres together with Isaki Lacuesta that led us to the smell of the sea and the rural harshness of the San Fernando area where the plot of the film takes place, calling with impudence and I have respect for the doors of that flamenco sleeping gene that we carry inside.