When Rosalia released the song “MALAMENTE” in May And more precisely, when I noticed the role of this sound effect in the song’s harmony, I thought OK, wow, this is interesting! let’s see where it goes, let’s see what else it has and it was two months later, when “PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ” was released and I heard this specific fragment that I thought “what’s going on here?” I’ve read articles, and many things are being said about this album but what no one’s talking about is its music about its harmonies, its melodies and its production Let’s talk about what makes “EL MAL QUERER” a brilliant and exceptional album and let me explain why I think believing in Rosalia is literally the opposite to believing that the Earth is flat. let’s do this El Mal Querer by Rosalia
Analysis EL MAL QUERER is a conceptual album, meaning there’s an underlying story connecting all of its songs In this case, it’s a free adaptation of a 14th century book by an anonymous author called “Flamenca” It’s the story of a woman who marries a man that goes madly jealous, abuses her and locks her up and hey, if you don’t know that the book is from the 14th century, it could as well be a story from the present And that’s precisely what Rosalia wants to emphasize on whether or not we have changed the way we love over the past millennium in the album, the main character finally becomes stronger and somehow overcomes the abuse Every song in the album has 2 names: the name of the song, and that of the episode it represents in the story MALAMENTE, the first song in the album, which is also “Chapter 1, Augury”, begins this way: It has the typical “Flamenco clapping” and an electric piano playing this: The fusion between Flamenco and Trap is already there. It starts with mixed DNA from the get-go The usual thing in trap is, like in rap, to have a loop base over which you say whatever you’re going to say Here, the base is this: And it stays unchanged during the whole song. But there’s also a bass, which I only noticed recently, because neither my laptop, nor my phone nor my headphones were able to reproduce such a low sound! (Only when I listened to it with these speakers was I able to hear it) And I wonder, if a tree falls in the middle of the forest and your speakers cannot reproduce it, is it part of the chord?
So anyway, this is what the bass plays: Only one or two octaves lower. Then we have to re-interpret the chords, and this is the result: Well, if this was just trap, this loop base would probably be accompanied by some kind of hi-hat like this: But here, the trap hi-hats are transformed into clapping This is one of the 400 interesting proposals by Rosalía, and then there’s the melody: The reason why it has this sonority that takes us from trap to a more Flamenco zone, is because of the minor 2nd intervals used and the scale that she chooses. The minor 2nd interval occurs when two consecutive notes are played Most notes within a scale are not consecutive, for example, if I play C, D, E, F, G, A, B Between C and D there’s a note, between D and E there’s another one, and also between F and G, between G and A, and between A and B The only minor 2nd’s are E-F and B-C. But Rosalía’s melody is in a harmonic minor scale, Which is a special scale that has three minor 2nd’s instead of two, and Rosalía emphasizes those, look: She plays each of them several times. And even more, the highest note in that melody phrase is an A flat, and the lowest is an B natural It’s an interval that, if inverted, we’d have the characteristic augmented second: But Rosalía doesn’t literally sing the augmented second, she just lets us intuit it. And up to here she’s been taking us towards Flamenco, but the thing with Rosalía is that, when you think you’re going somewhere, she pushes you away and takes you to a different one And then she adds something else from trap, which is the typical trap counterpoint.
[AKA ad-libs] In the video “From Pokemon to Bach” we said that the counterpoint is sometimes used as a small secondary melody that fills in the spaces left by the main melody: So you don’t get bored, basically. And those spaces can even be filled just with sound effects let’s hear another example from the same band because they’re the best: Well, in trap this is used to the extreme: every three words from the singer there’s someone in the background saying, singing or shouting something. as an example, listen to my Flat Earthers Trap: My advice: if you want to know the stereotypes in a genre, go to the parodies, because parodies cannot risk innovation. If Young Beef makes a trap song that’s not clear whether it is or isn’t trap, he’s enlarging the concept of trap but if a parody makes something that’s not clear whether it is or isn’t trap, then it’s failing as a parody. So parodies are usually wonderful lists of the components of a genre. Anyways, Rosalía uses this mini-counterpoint trap resource. But there’s one of them, one of those counterpoints, that stands out over the other ones, and it’s the one in the chorus, this one: “It doesn’t seem particularly interesting”, you may think But the important thing is that it’s tuned on F, and we hear it on the first and third phrases of the chorus, It plays at the same time as the loop made by the electric piano, which is in C minor But by having this sound effect play an F note, it makes the harmony change Now the three notes on the electric piano (C, E-flat, G) have an F underneath, so it changes from a C minor chord to an F chord with 7th and 9th And this is not a minor detail, ok? Because sometimes you may change a note that technically changes the chord, but you still hear the same thing: If I play a strong minor C chord, and I play a soft A-flat on top you could say “now that’s an A-flat maj 7 in second inversion” [Parody of saying non-sense]
“That’d be like metaharmonizing the second quaternion conditioned by the first tonic” And sure, matematically it is so, but it doesn’t feel that way but here, this F note, this sound effect is low, it’s strong, and by changing the way we understand the chord, it changes the tonal centre of the entire chorus. And since it stays there on that floating reverb, it shifts the 4 chords from feeling like a big tonic chunk to a sub-dominant feel and suddenly… it sounds like a blues, or at least what I feel is the same as when I hear a “I I IV I” from a blues You’ve felt a large area of I, then another one, then suddenly one of IV, and suddenly another one of I This sound effect is what makes the chorus work (harmonically) I’d say the entire song works thanks to that sound without it, the harmony wouldn’t change, and the loop would feel repetitive in the chorus, which is like 30% of the song, and we’d get tired of the repetition of that pattern, but just with this it’s not tiring anymore and, as I said before, the first time I listened to it I thought “what a minimalist detail and how well engineered, how cool is it that she mixes form and content in that way!” And I could go on with things like this in the album, and I WILL go on, because that’s what this video’s about “Malamente” is not just called Malamente, but “Malamente, chapter 1: Augury”, and I interpret the story as the augury felt by the woman, or felt by the people around her, about the fact that the guy she’s going to marry isn’t cool and things are going to end really badly The song’s video is at an incredible level as well, directed by Canada taking bullfighting, motorcycles and the industrial areas close to where Rosalia grew up and re-interpreting them in this wonderful way And now that I got myself started, what’s tremendous as well is the visual design by Filip Custic, who’s made images for each of the songs and for the album It’s an entire imaginarium created by Rosalía,
even if she’s relied on many talented people to build it And she brings you into this imaginarium not only through music, but also through her image and videos, and through something we won’t talk about, her live performances, which are also quality stuff But let’s go back to the music. The album has influences from flamenco, trap, pop and electronic music at least Rosalía herself says she wouldn’t know how to label it within the categories in a shop because it’s not purely any of those genres. She had in her mind the title “El Mal Querer” [The Wrong Way To Love], and the idea of merging flamenco music with samples and with production techniques, and that was the seed of everything As an example of this union we have the things we mentioned before in “Malamente”, and also things like using the sound of a glass when she talks about glass, or the sound of a knife when she talks about a knife etc, but there are other things like this at the beginning of Chapter 2: “Wedding”, the song “Que no salga la luna” [Take notice of the clapping and the guitar] What you just heard is a technique we explained in the video about Sword Art Online, an effect consisting of removing the high notes, in this case from the guitar and the clapping, so it sounds like they are behind a club door One of those thick ones that only let you hear the bass from outside, but nothing else. Rosalía’s voice, however, stays unaltered It”s the rest of the instruments that come and go into the Low Pass Filter (into the club) This is a resource that could be used by, for example, Lady Gaga, in the pre-chorus to generate a contrast and then fully explode in the Chorus [Take notice of the backing track slowly “exiting the club”] But here it creates intimacy It’s as if we were alone with Rosalía, who’s telling us her story while the musicians play in a different room And suddenly we hear this: “Can I see that one? It’s so shiny.
I love it!” The way the characters speak is decorated, and sometimes it may seem from a different age plus there’s the fact that it’s based on a book from the 14th Century… But through this fragment Rosalía brings the story closer to us she tells us the girl about whom we heard the augury in “Malamente”, who will live an unaccountable tragedy who is sitting here without a clue of what’s coming, just choosing her diamonds, that girl is you, or it could be you, or your close friend, talking like “wow, show me that one, OMG it’s so shiny, it’s so cool”
And of course, when the voice then says “if someone here is against this, let them be silent”, it’s as if she was talking to us, because from the outside of course we are against this, this guy is the worst! But neither she nor her family have a clue, and meanwhile the guitar plays a loop of two chords during the entire song: D minor in 2nd inversion and E major And do you know what comes to my mind when I hear those two chords in a loop? Chopin’s Funeral March, which also consists of two chords repeated in a loop Two chords, because this wedding is a cursed procession, only we know about it and they don’t In fact, at the end of this song we hear the autotune effect for the first time It’s not clear whether it means something here, but in Chapter 4: “Dispute”, we’ll see how autotune is used in a much harsher context This disfigured voice is part of the premonition of what’s coming after the wedding and with this, we get to Chapter 3: after the wedding it’s time for “Jealousy” in the song “Pienso en tu mirá” [I Think of Your Stare], in which she feels his stare nailed to her chest like a bullet Here’s the thing: When I listen to a song in an analytical way, (not when I just listen to let go and enjoy) when it’s a pop, pop-trap or pop-rock song, I start to listen and I think “ok so they’re going to use these 4 chords like these other 43 songs from last year” or “ok so they’re going to use these three typical instruments, ok” “and the melody is gonna go that way, very well” and then when the first verse and chorus are over, you can basically turn it off and leave, you say “I know what the second verse and chorus will be like, and the third chorus, and maybe there will be a bridge in between and they’ll bring in a rapper, but basically I’ve got the main idea” Well, this song is not like that. It doesn’t even follow the structure of a pop song! It has a part that could be considered a chorus, but we only hear it twice, which is the part of “pienso en tu mirá, tu mirá clavá, una bala en el pecho” and then the first chords are also somewhat innovative for mainstream music E-flat major, G minor, F major, and the pretty chord is A-flat (add2/#11) Which is an A-flat to which you add it’s second degree or its ninth, whichever you prefer and then you add its major eleventh And then the chords change a little and there’s a curious bass line, but let’s look at my favorite thing, which is the rhythm First a sidenote: The different types of songs within Flamenco are called “palos” [Sticks], and they can be organized by their metrics or by their geographical origin, or by where they derived from, kind of like a cladogram in biology. The most essential I want you to remember is that some “palos” like the “soleá” or the “bulerías” have a common structure of 12/8, this is, 12 eight notes per bar, divided into 3 3 2 2 2, which add up to 12, this is: 6 plus 6, in groups of 3 and in groups of 2. The thing is that (although this varies with the type of “palo”) generally, the accent doesn’t go on the 1s, which it could, we could do: but it goes at the end of each group, And there’s also the Harmonic rhythms: In what eighth-note you change the chords, and they have their peculiarities In general, flamenco is a very complex and very beautiful art to be studied, but what I’d like you to do when you listen to Rosalía, is to look for these rhythms, a “3 3 3 2 2 2”, don’t focus on where the accents are, that might be too much, just on whether it’s a 3-3-3-2-2-2 For example in “Que no salga la luna” we’ve already heard it: And now we’ve also heard it in “Pienso en tu mirá” Ok, up to here we’re all fine, right? Let’s continue talking about “Pienso en tu mirá” because she makes the rhythm even more complex The entire song is in this 12/8, but in the chorus it changes, and alternates 12/8 with 10/8, so now it’s: and the phrase itself cannot be finished in the lyrics: and that’s very important on this chorus, because if she hadn’t done it that way, it would have been… worse, it wouldn’t have been brilliant, only good The chorus repeats the same phrase 3 times, so the fact that the second time is missing a bit makes it so: 1. There is variety 2. You cannot deduce how the chorus will be by just listening to the first sentence (which is what usually happens) 3. You have to pay attention when you’re singing, maybe you even have to practice it It’s like she trimmed exactly what was unnecessary, and in this chorus that was just the 2 beats It’s a bonsai, this chorus is like a bonsai.
And that’s when I thought “What?” How has this woman managed to make a mainstream pop song that connects with people by mixing atypical instruments with a very beautiful and peculiar melody with rhythyms from te Flamenco hemiolia, and adding from time to time an amalgam bar in 10/8 If you had told me a month ago that this would be one of the most listened songs on Spotify in Spain I wouldn’t have been able to believe it. And still I don’t believe it! Regarding instruments, where before we just had clapping in “Malamente”, now there’s obviously a new component, which is a cajón The cajón is a peruvian instrument which Paco de Lucia
made popular in flamenco around 1977 There’s an electric organ marking the chords a children’s choir And the vocoder, or harmonizer, or whatever it is that she uses underneath her voice, which we already explained how it works in the Pop video with Ter It turns everything into a song.
And my favorite production detail of this song, which is the reverb in the “Pienso en tu mirá” which we hear at the end of the chorus The production is quite bare-bones in a good way The electric organ here is like the electric piano in “Malamente”: A pad that gives us the harmony, it’s very small, it’s well contained, and the rest is silence. Her voice is here, the bass is here, the electric pipe organ is there, and there are some clapping and the cajón, but everything else is hollow, and it makes her voice and the children voices choir seem immense by comparison She doesn’t let anything stand over her voice, and we can hear it with all detail Which wouldn’t happen if everything was full of sound stuff [This is what a full production would sound like] And in all this, the lyrics are saying terrible things!
Sentences like: “I’m jealous of the wind that lifts your hair”, behind which hides a very creepy person, and you know it because you’ve heard the augury, and then you’ve been to the wedding, which we’ve decided it’s related to Chopin’s funeral march, although the people at the wedding were all happy, with the bride choosing her diamonds and all, and now we’ve seen jealousy appear, and in the next chapter the monstrous part will come out Chapter 4: “Dispute” is a very experimental song in which she uses the sound of motorbikes, car engines, breaks, sirens -maybe from the police after they’ve been called? While Rosalia sings as if she was the man and says “with the back of my hand, I’ll make it clear to you” The sounds are sampled, it’s as if I suddenly take Miku’s meow and I put it into the piano and start playing with it And suddenly the voice of what I suppose would be the woman Is all broken with the autotune effect, and it sounds like this: And the album goes on. Now comes the lament, in which Rosalía sings -over some strings- that she is laughing on the outside but crying on the inside And chapter 6: “closure” has a fragment in which Rossy de Palma Talks as if she was the woman, and she tells us how the relationship was like descending to hell but that she ascended with two angels (I understand that she had two children?), and that’s why she doesn’t regret anything, because she wouldn’t sacrifice her children in exchange of not having lived it, but that it was pure agony Rosalía orders the chapters with numbers, but they aren’t necessarily chronologically ordered, because the woman will conceive a baby in Chapter 9: “Conception”, after Chapter 8: “Ecstasy”. But first, let us look at Chapter 7: “Liturgy”, the song “Bagdad” is probably the most pop-like song in the album, and that’s because Rosalía asked Justin Timberlake to use the melody from “Cry me a River”, and Justin accepted! But Rosalía being Rosalía, she wasn’t going to use the melody in a minor mode like it is in the original song, but she modifies it: First she plays it in a total Timberlake way, and then she adds this variation that starts with the same ascending scale, only she does it here: and with the harmonies she adds and the way she does it, it changes completely! Hey, I’m here editing and I wanted to say that I’m leaving behind many other incredible things from each song, but I cannot talk about all of them because then this video would be 3h long This album is overwhelming, just with this fragment from “Bagdad” I could talk for another 3 minutes about the images that the lyrics evoke, the use of the four on the floor… but I just can’t! Now let the video continue But this is as if she had merged Timberlakes melody with “Malamente”‘ again, with its melody! Which, if you remember, it had this semitone And now she does it again I don’t know whether there are many of these motivic relationships within the album because I haven’t stopped to analyse it from that perspective, But there are some that stand out, whether because she had really interiorized her own creation, or because she made it analytically from the distance, it’s the same Miku In any case, you must be really awesome to get Justin Timberlake to let you use the melody from Cry me a River and then make it so that that detail isn’t even the best part of your song, because you transform it into another mode, you merge it with another of your songs, I mean, you make it your own, and from that you get your own chorus! This is the pure Rosalía, a girl that has spent more than a decade studying music, Like she puts it, she was fixedly aiming at her objective of becoming a singer She didn’t have and she didn’t want a plan B, she didn’t conceive a different future for herself And suddenly she has emerged, after more than 10 years of gestation, and she comes to tell us what she’s learnt in her musical journey, and it’s amazing Then she’s also been able to surround herself by brilliant people such as El Guincho, Canada, Filip Custic, Charm La’Donna, etc. and that’s very important too But all of this is Rosalía, it’s not that she knows a little bit of production, it’s that she’s a producer, and she’s a “cantaora”, and she’s a musician, and she’s infinite Some people say things like “Rosalía is a product designed by some huge company” It’s a comment I’ve seen tens of times, that there has to be some evil genie behind her success, that otherwise it doesn’t make sense! But no, it’s she, and her sister and her mother, who made this album before she even signed with any distributor They also say Quantum Fracture is a product from some large company, but in reality he’s just a guy that started explaining physics on the Internet, together with his incredible ability for graphic design and his deep knowledge of After Effects, and his understanding of the audio-visual format They also say Ter is a product behind which there’s a large marketing team thinking their brains out, and they also say it about me (and not just a few people), that there’s a team behind me, a brand that designed me from the beginning, and there was a casting or something like that, and I was chosen and everything was thought so that suddenly I start to sell that brand or something like that, but the moment doesn’t arrive and I’m just selling myself I guess And, honestly, this makes me think of the Flat Earth conspiracy, believing there’s some kind of conspiracy behind someone that’s deceiving us Some large corporations and governments who decide what music styles will be or will stop being the trend which I suppose comes from the lack of contact and experience with how these things really work Here I’m going to steal a reflexion from Rosalía and I’ll try to expand on it: The truth is that in this generation there are many of us who have grown up with the Internet who have seen the world open at our feet, and we want to seize it the world wasn’t behind the TV screen, with people on one side doing stuff, and with us passively consuming them with no kind of feedback, no It was behind the screen of a computer or a smartphone, a touch-screen through which we could do things that also had an effect, and the “other side” would receive our feedback and act consequently All of us do, and all of us consume, the screen dissolves and now there’s only one side The entirety of human knowledge is on the Internet, if you want to learn how to produce, to program, to write music, to use make-up, to do graphic design, to learn After Effects, EVERYTHING, and thanks to technology and to the availability of free tutorials on how to use it, individual people can lead weekly shows with millions of people in the audience things for which before you’d need a team of 10-20 people at the very least, Now with a team of 5 competent people specialized in several fields, you are infinite The existence of Rosalía, and the fact that she’s crossed the ocean and they’re listening to her in Brazil and the US The fact that she’s working with Pharrel Williams, and that the Kardashians make insta-stories about her, it’s a symbol, it’s an icon that challenges us to change the world as well In a trip I made to London some years ago, As I walked on the streets I looked at the monuments and statues to things like WWII or the deciphering of the codes of the nazi’s Enigma Machine, to things like that And I realized that by consuming so much external culture I had passively accepted my role outside of History Alan Turing was one of my idols, and Casey Neistat, and Douglas Hofstadter, and John Green, Owen Pallett, Joseph Campbell, James Burke… And all of them spoke English, and they were from the UK, US or Canada, and therefore they were international. For me, History was this thing that took place outside of Spain, In Spain we had our own parallel wars, with dates that more or less reflected those of the “big wars out there” But we had nothing to do with it, we were here to our own story, our own parallel icons, our parallel series, our parallel music, which nobody from the US or the rest of the international market knows about although we DO know their series to the detail, their music, their books and their authors their Late Show hosts, their politicians, everything. It was like watching TV from the passive consumming side, instead of the active one, And that’s mostly because, either due to the fact that they’re wealthier, or because we’ve basically just come out from a dictatorship and we’ve been no time as a democracy, what they do out there works better and the quality is better. I’m speaking in general terms, please don’t come now with specific examples of bad things or good things The point is that it is starting to not be like that.
When I see Paris Hilton commenting Jedet’s instagram posts When I see Brays Efe at Netflix with the kids from Stranger Things When I see Sita Abellán in Rihanna’s vclip,
when I see C-Tangana making a song with Becky G, Or when Lin-Manuel Miranda retweeted my Hamilton analysis, I feel like the barrier is dissolving There’s something that gets me excited about seeing Spanish people succeed and I say “Spanish” with quotation marks, because it’s not that I have any specific bond with Spain, it’s not that I want to specifically see Spanish people succeed, What I want is to see that success can come to people who speak my language, who watched the Little Mermaid with “debajo del mar”
instead of “under the sea” Who used to sing “pero mira cómo beben los peces en el río” in Christmas, whom I see, and they could have been my classmates, and we could have gone to “Conocimiento del Medio” class together, and have had to choose between History and Philosophy for our University Entrance Exams Because if what you are, and where you come from, and your indelible traits are not appreciated out there that probably won’t mean anything good for you, it will be another obstacle in your way, but if they ARE appreciated, then it’s an obstacle less, and in that way I feel very excited And with this I don’t mean there haven’t been other artists that have crossed the barrier between the national and the international before I’m just talking about how valuable it is for me to see people from my generation doing it now massively And, like everything, this also has its shadow:
Rosalía suddenly becomes this mirror, and where before you could say: “Well I won’t even try it, because out there they’re not interested in what we do here” Now in front of you there’s this mirror, this powerful and young woman, and if a part of you feels like it wanted to try and it hasn’t due to fear, and now it has no excuse If the mere existence of Rosalía takes your excuse away, instead of being angry at yourself you may end up angry at the mirror If you feel indifference, that’s ok, but if it produces strong negative feelings on you, then that’s saying something else about you… But let’s get back to the music. Not long ago, just before the release of the album, they released the music video for the song “Di mi nombre”, Chapter 8: “Ecstasy”. An ecstasy that we understand is like the one from Prince International Airlines I think Prince International is a good eufemism for whenever we want to talk about s- In “Di mi nombre” [Say My Name] we can clearly hear the Andalusian cadence, which I don’t think we’ve heard in the album before They are chords that we already saw in the Dark Souls and Zelda’s BSOs Once again we’re facing a relatively minimalist, very well mixed production, where each instrument has its own function And from there we get to Chapter 9: “Conception”, in which she sings a lullaby with just her voice and the vocoder or Harmonizer Instead of backing her voice with the guitar, she backs her voice with more voice, with the maximum amount of voice allowed by technology. Her voice comes from her mouth, the computer analyses its frequency and takes it to any frequency she wants, automatically producing a choir of Rosalías It has some very beautiful harmonies. The second to last song is “Maldición”, Chapter 10: “Sanity”, which is another example of all this. It starts with a riff: But it’s not a repeating loop, it varies, it changes, you cannot play this without the music sheet And then all of a sudden there’s these super weird sound effects Which, looking at the ilustration, I don’t know if it’s her taking justice in her own hands, having her own Kill Bill moment with the golden katana hanging on her neck, or what And then we get to the last song in the album, “A ningún hombre”, Chapter 11: “Power”, which is another minimalist “cante”, a cante in which instead of guitar and voice, it’s vocoder and voice And she sings that she will always remember what this man did to her And the album is over. There’s no time to cover everything and to stop at every song, We could also talk about her first album “Los ángeles”, which is way less experimental I wonder whether she first wanted to show what she was capable of doing with her voice as in “here, just the guitar and me, so you see I don’t need anything else” and then to say “yeah, but hey, everything I have to contribute is also this pile of things, there, thanks a lot!” I don’t know, I think it could have very possibly happened that way There’s also a debate about whether what she’s doing is Cultural Appropriation or Cultural Appreciation Since she’s Catalonian but she sings flamenco, is she maybe being offensive by transforming flamenco? To me, the key is whether she’s showing respect towards the material she’s using And in her case, I think she absolutely shows that respect, in all her interviews she’s always enumerating her flamenco references, both gipsies and non-gipsies and in general, thanks to her I’ve started to follow and listen to flamenco cantaores, which I had never done before In fact, my first contact with flamenco was through Japanese cantaores You already know my strong bond to Japanese music, and in Japan there’s lots of flamenco, and not just “cantes” like that, there’s also experimental flamenco, I’ll show you for example Zero, by Keiki Kobayashi and of course, when people question whether a Catalonian girl can do flamenco, I remember the estimated 50 thousand flamenco students in Japan… There’s another thing, which is not Rosalía’s fault, but that usually goes together with this complaint, And it’s the fact that flamenco music doesn’t have any institutional protection, that there’s no backing from institutions It’s an art that has been declared Human Heritage, but for which there’s a worrying scarcity of, for example, online resources to learn something about it, while the opposite is true for all the other genres I can think of But that’s a matter that concerns the government, not Rosalía. And then there’s another small part of responsibility from the cantaores to bring the images and ideas and sonorities and music to things we can understand now with the sound and visual codes that we have, and which are already ubiquitous around the world Classical flamenco is like the Canterbury Tales in old English: it must be saved, archived and organized, It must be kept, and it must be taught, but if someone doesn’t understand the sentence: There’s nothing wrong if, as well as keeping the old version, someone updates it so it reads: And it may seem that the Canterbury Tales example is far-fetched, but it’s not, because while language has taken 600 years to evolve, music is taking less than 100, thanks to the technological explosion for recording, modifying and keeping music, which have changed the way we make, the way we compose and the way we consume it Suddenly, 99.9% of the music people listen to in a day has been previously recorded, and only 0.01% of it is live music And on top of that, now music is thought from the perspective of the microphone, which is something much deeper than it seems:
Not long ago live music was the main, and most times only way to listen to music in your life, which meant you had to listen to it in a communal way, with people around you, because nobody was going to play a private concert just for you Musicians had to sound well with no microphones and no amplification, which conditioned the timbre, the way you sang and placed your throat, and that’s why opera sounds like that, we already talked about that in the video about La Bohème and flamenco music is like opera: it doesn’t use the microphone for anything else than to increase the number of people who can hear you from 50 to 500, or to go from 50 listeners to being recorded in a CD But it’s not used nor conceived as a sound tool or an instrument, both the mic and the production software It’s like having a smartphone and using it just for calling people Which, I know, it can be done, and it’s fine, but 99% of people will use it for anything but calling Anyways, the one thing I want to point out is that I don’t think Rosalía is updating flamenco which, if she was, I think that would be the least interesting part of all, What Rosalía is doing is create a f***ng universe with stars, planets and satellites, a visual, musical and sound universe, with its own history, characters, emotions with new ideas in all the fields: in her music first, but also in her live performances and her image (and about Rosalía’s image we could make another 40-minute video) and she’s opening the doors to all of us I hope you liked this video, if you want to watch more analyses like this one go and watch Hamilton’s analysis, which is also a conceptual album that also merges genres in a cool way It mixes musicals with hip hop with opera techniques,
I’ll leave a link in the description I don’t know if it’d be ok to say that Rosalía is the Lin-Manuel Miranda from Spain? Until next week, see you soon! You know what Rosalía? We love the fact that a mainstream artist is so well-balanced psychologically Who is enjoying this while valuing her roots, and who ensures that Flamenco has a long future ahead. As I told you before I don’t think you are a one-hit wonder. You’ve come here to stay.
And you do want to stay, right?