“To be Flamenco is to have another skin, other passions, other desires. It is a different way of seeing the world, with music in one’s nerves, a fierce pride, happiness mingled with tears; it is a loathing of routine and sameness; it is to be intoxicated in song, wine, and kisses. It is the translation of life into an art of caprices and freedom.” – Tomas Borras
Ive been recently streamling my live set up. Im using the Fishman SA 220 amp, with my DeVoe Blanca that has the RMC Pickups with a Ploly Drive II preamp (off board not on the guitar) I was using the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI but this weekend I tried using just the Poly-Drive and the DPA 4099g mic and really liked the sound. I will be using the MOTU Track 16 as my mixer with the Waves API plug ins and run that to the Fishman SA 220. The RMC Ploly Drive will conect to a Roland GI-20 gutiar midi interface that will Triger Spectrasonics Omnispher running on a Mac Book Pro using Apple’s Main Stage.
A gift from my buddy Taz Sellers, the SSL Channel Strip, CLA-2A Compression and BBE D82 Sonic Maximizer with Lexicion Hall Verb running on my MacBook Pro. I’m using the Apogee One as my interface with either the LR Baggs pickup or my DPA 4099G mic then out to two QSC K8 speakers for live playing.
Filed under: Apogee One, DeVoe, Digidesign, DPA, DPA 4099 Guitar Mic, Flamenco, L.R. Baggs Anthem SL Classical, Live, Mac Book Pro, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Plug Ins, QSC K8, Waves | Tagged: Live | Leave a Comment »
In the ever evolving set up for that ultimate tone I have stumbled across a set up that I actually like quite a bit. Its my DeVoe guitars Blanca and Negra, with a Shure KSM 141 Mic (bass rolled off) or the DPA 4099G Mic (which is nice in that I don’t need a mic stand), Mackie ProFX 8 (number 8 verb@12 noon) eq. on mic pre flat, graphic eq a few frequencies tamed (see pic) QSC K 8 Speaker and Powered amp in one 1000watt package at 28 Lbs.
For the sound gear we use Carvin, 1644U Mixer, Carvin 1500wt Power Amp, DPA 4099G, Shure KSM 141 &SM57, Carvin Mics, American DJ Lights and On Stage Stands and Supports, The System that Carvin sent us was fantastic.
I recently found this new product at gutiarplayernails, however when I checked today they dont seem to offer it any more, so on Sallys they offer it for 2.99 and your have great nails for flamenco guitar playing in 5 second. They last about two weeks and I have found them to be supper easy and quick.
Holds its shape without running
Blends well with filler powders for maximum strength and flexibility
Great for quick, on-the-go nail repairs
Easy to use formula
Easy brush on formula. Its thick formula is perfect for wraps, silk repairs, and strengthening natural nails. It has a no-drip formula that fills gaps and uneven nail beds. It also eliminates air pockets. This non-yellowing IBD gel resin is a versatile product offering maximum strength and flexibility for all nail services.
How To Learn And Master Flamenco
I would like to talk about an aspect of learning that is easily overlooked in today’s fast paced world: Patience and methodology.
In a world of instant everything, mobile texting, email, drive-through, microwaveable mash potatoes, etc, our expectation of the world around and what we believe it should provide us with is ever more immediate. If our computer stalls for 5 extra seconds we start to get annoyed and antsy.
If we carry these emotional attitudes into our learning process we are doomed to suffer frustration and our minds will stall more than 5 seconds, we can enter a cycle of endless impatience and dissatisfaction with our selves and our process.
How can we avoid that and how does this apply to learning flamenco?
First of all, to assume that because things change so quickly around us and therefore we should be able to do the same is counter productive and will set you up for failure in your own mind.
Every one has a different capacity of absorbing information, both mentally and physically. Skills that are worthwhile and complex simply take time and we should feel gratitude that we have the opportunity to be exposed to it and are able learn it.
Learning is one thing and absorbing and assimilating a new skill until you feel you own it, is another. That is where patience comes in. Just because we know how some thing should go doesn’t mean we are totally capable of doing it – yet. This is the crucial period where it’s make or break. Here are some strategies that are useful:
Honesty: Be honest with your self and your true ability and your current level. That doesn’t mean to be self deprecating nor unrealistic about your actual level.
Time: Realize that the body (your fingers in our case) take time to program information into our nervous system and cells. Our bodies are filled with so much intelligence but it needs time to be absorbed.
For a skill such as scales (picado) arpeggio, resgueado etc, to be ingrained into our second nature habit we must first embrace whole heartedly the journey of what that process may demand from us. It is during this trial period that we forge our character ( musical and otherwise) and start to build our mental muscles. If we can’t find a way to fall in love with the process then patience will be hard to achieve.
Strategies: Create a strategy of building on small successes. Whenever we sit down to practice and decide to work on either a skill such as scales, tremolo or a hard passage, we tend to want to solve the whole problem after one practice session. We want 100% improvement. How unrealistic. If it happens, then great, I’m not saying it can’t but don’t expect it.
But if we go for a 5% improvement at the end of the practice session and actually feel good about achieving it, we are creating little cycles of success, which in turn build our confidence and faith in our selves.
We many times feel more heroic when we fail at some thing difficult rather than succeed at some thing easy. But that is just our unrealistic ego wanting to get the better of us. It’s good to be ambitious, it’s better to be smart and strategic about how to go about it.
Imagine day after day a 5% improvement, now that sounds hopeful.
Simplify: If we spend too much time playing things too high above our level we will get impatient and frustrated. We must first accept our level and be happy about the place that we’re at this moment. If we turn our focus on mastering things that are at our level and or little bits of passages at a time, we will be able to absorb things faster and more effectively.
Mastery: Don’t just practice pieces or skills, practice Mastery, by taking a certain period in your life to just doing very easy things or in a very slow and easy way. We some times think that if some thing feels too easy then it has little value, so we attempt to play faster than we can without control or pieces that are too hard right now. Mastery can only come with the feeling of ease and relaxation. There can be no struggle in Mastery. By playing easy things really well for a while we are practicing the Feeling of Mastery not just the piece it’s self.
Finally, think of music as a journey of your own bliss. Don’t think of it as some thing to achieve. There is nothing to achieve only a process to enjoy. If you get too goal oriented you’re missing the point. Discipline must come from the love you have for the instrument and the music.
Today there are more people on the planet than ever, and yes, that includes musicians. Now, in the past, access to knowledge and information was hard to come by, but today you find anything on any subject on YouTube and Google and almost any one can have that access.
That means that at some point the big ‘achievement’ isn’t just in knowing how to do some thing ( you and ten thousand other guitarists…) but rather how are you going to enjoy this new knowledge and how are you going to use it in your ongoing creative process and make it your own.
Was up in NYC today and I picked up hafe a dozen sets of Luthier Set 30′s for bass strings and Titanium trebles. I also picked up a Barcus-Berry True Expression “The Outsider” Piezo Guitar Transducer to try on the DeVoe for large performances. I also picked up a Paco De Lucia cd con Ramon de Algeciras. played a few guitars as well, DeVoe 1964 and a Perice 2009. Oh I picked up the wifes Christmas presents as well. Nice day in NYC.
Today is my birthday and a wonderful friend of mine out in CA sent me this guitar kit to build my own Flamenco Cypress Blanca Guitar. Little did Charlene know what she has gotten me into. I am amazed at what luthiers do with wood. My guitar luthier Lester DeVoe made the guitar in the below picture. It amazes me how you can take wood like in the first picture and in the hands of the right person you can create beautiful instruments like the Lester DeVoe makes. Well Im on a journey to see what I can do. I think it may work whether it sounds good and looks good well we will have to see. This is really a cool gift. Im excited about building my first guitar. I thinks guitars just look and sound beautiful.
This is the guitar kit from LMI
This is my Favorite guitar a Lester DeVoe 2008 Flamenco Negra made of Madagascar Rosewood.
Vicente Amigo Paseo do Gracia I can’t wait to listen to this. I hope my copy comes soon. Tomorrow its released in USA
Since he published his first album in 1991, Vicente Amigo has been considered one of the great minds of the flamenco guitar and his career has progressed continually until the release of the much awaited “Paseo de Gracia”, marking the creative summit for the Andalusian artist. “I felt like I was growing as a musician, finding new ways of expression”, says Vicente Amigo about “Paseo de Gracia”. “I have let my imagination fly and my hopes and my music with it, and what can be listened to is part of me “
Amor de nadie
The tracks that opens “Paseo de Gracia” has a rumba-tango rhythm, with the vocals of Niña Pastori and the magnificent balance that the drummer Tino di Geraldo and the bassist Antonio Ramos has accustomed us to.
With the voice of Enrique Morente and the guitar of Vicente Amigo as backbone of a long, deep, serious and vertical track. It’snearly nine minutes of beautiful music, where the guitar shows its imagination and inventiveness in the instrumental development that are an original brand. “I have had the roots of Autorretrato for a while but I hadn’t developed them, they are a reflection of my experiences” says the guitar player.
Bolero del amigo
This is a serene track, featuring Vicente Amigo discovering some details of himself on the electric guitar, very well orchestrated with violins and mandolins. “The bolero melody – well that’s how I call it anyway – is very interesting. It develops very naturally but it isn’t easy to manage. You have to find the harmony, it’s like maths, you have to find the way to order the notes”, says the guitar player. “I picked up the electric guitar as an experiment, it’s a musician thing. I liked the experience, to be a chameleon in a territory that isn’t yours, with that Metheny or Benson thing”.
Azules y corinto
Track dedicated to the bullfighter Manzanares junior. The vocals are by Rafael de Utrera and Nani Cortés and have a bulería vive with Vicente Amigo showing an exceptional sense of rhythm
Y será verdad
With the collaboration of Enrique Morente, Alejandro Sanz(“Enrique said he is singing more flamenco than ever “, said the guitar player smiling) and Pedro Heredia on vocals. An exquisite, undulating and sinuous rumba in half time on which the drums by Tino di Geraldo give it a bright and southern pop sound, accompanied by the percussion of another great Paquito González, that also run through the whole album.
Luz de la sombra
Another bulería with Vicente Amigo’s special perspective with the vocalists Miguel Ortega and José Parra to give character. An essential, naked and complex track, with a full on Vicente Amigo.
Paseo de Gracia
Track that gives its name to the album. Offers another great balance between high calibre flamenco and a poppy beat on an instrumental tango-rumba that’s all frills. A demonstration of how a simple melody can be developed and branch out to fantasy, seeming always new and original.
This is the greatest thing on the album. Agile, dynamic and rumbeado, Vicente Amigo once again demonstrated his talent with the electric guitar Pat Metheny style, while the violin is Grappelliesque that gives it both a modern and old style flavour.
And to finish off, Estrella Morente appears to take hold of this long tango that is incredibly elegant and delicate. “Estrella was going to do another track, but she didn’t like it. I showed her a few ideas and when Enrique Morente Heard these tangos he said immediately: this would be great for Estrella”, says Vicente Amigo. A final gem for a brilliant, open, and subtle album that’s going to be a huge hit.
The new album by Vicente Amigo, “Paseo de Gracia”, will be released on the 5 May. It is an open, rhythmic, high quality flamenco album focusing especially on the harmonies and on which Vicente Amigo’s guitar finds unique expression. It is enriched by amazing arrangements which make this album particularly outstanding and different. It’s an exquisite piece that has the potential to be very popular and maintains the essence that Vicente Amigo is known for.
“There is a lot of melody and it’s risky because I step out of flamenco a bit sometimes”, says Vicente Amigo. “Half the album are tracks with a flamenco perspective, because that is what I have lived. I develop them differently, as a challenge of singing with the guitar and the harmonies that I think is interesting“.
Produced by Vicente Amigo, en “Paseo de Gracia” there are collaborations that are really special. It features the full Morente family, headed by the patriarch Enrique along with Estrella, Soleá and Enrique junior. With them are Niña Pastori, Alejandro Sanz, Rafael de Utrera, Pedro Heredia, Miguel Ortega, José Parra, Lin and Nani Cortés, who also bring their vocals, wisdom and flamenco to the album.
And lovingly enveloping Vicente Amigo’s music are a host of great musicians like Tino di Geraldo (drums and percussion), Antonio Ramos “Maca” (bass), Alexis Lefêvre (violin) and Paquito González (percussion) making up a truly great cast of musicians.
“It’s an album with lots of collaborations “, says Vicente Amigo. “I had the lyrics and wanted to use them because they are very personal. All of those on the album have put their heart into it and I’m very happy. I think we’ve managed to make it so when you listen to it; it goes very deep and forms part of your life . Some of the tracks have been composed to offer my music to other audiences, but although sometimes some of them sound poppy, I’m the one that’s behind it all and I’m flamenco. Flamenco is a form of expression, a feeling, not just playing soleá or bulerías”.
Here are the observations of four guitarists dealing with what it takes to learn to play the flamenco guitar.
by Paco Sevilla
RODRIGO ON LEARNING TO PLAY THE FLAMENCO GUITAR
|Rodrigo, who unfortunately passed away abruptly at a young age in 1996, had some unique and helpful insights into one approach to learning flamenco. And he certainly had the qualifications. As a teenager in California, he was obsessed with learning to accompany the cante, using recordings of Melchor de Marchena and Manuel Morao as his models. When he went to Spain he was able to accompany anything thrown at him. He chose Ronda as his home base, which, in spite of that city being off the beaten path of flamenco, turned out to be a wise decision. As the only guitarist around, he was soon much in demand among the local singers, both amateur and professional. During a two-year period he devoted thousands of hours to accompanying singers in all-night parties, gypsy fiestas, small clubs, and peñas. He appeared in small town contests ofcante, where he would accompany up to fifteen singers in a single night. He spent an additional year in the Málaga area accompanying gypsy rumba singers in bars, or in the pubs of Torremolinos. He worked in a tablaoin Nerja with the dancer Caraestaca, and in the tablao once owned by La Repompa de Málaga. He lived in Algeciras, supported by the local peña, which had him accompany their singers every night. Then he worked in a tablao in La Linea. Finally, he began to appear in festivals, accompanying such popular figures as El Turronero and Curro Lucena. With Curro Lucena he cut a record for the Belter label. Only then did he return to the USA with his Spanish wife and begin to focus on solo playing. Here’s what he had to say about learning flamenco (although he refers to an era somewhat different from today, I think there is still some relevance for today’s aspiring flamencos):
“It all depends on what you want to study. For singing, I can’t really comment on that. It is something that happens to our vocal cords when we are little. They develop in a certain way. There has to be a reason why only Andalusian people can sing flamenco. Germans, French, Italians, Americans can all sing opera in Italian, but the only people in the world who can sing flamenco are certain people from Andalucía. It might be a plumber, an ice-cream vendor, whoever—they’ll sing you a fandango that no one in the world can sing. It makes you wonder whether soleares might be more difficult than what Pavarotti sings! So for the singing I don’t know. There have been some Americans who have tried, but I think it is basically a language thing.
“As far as dancing goes, the opportunities seem to be great. You can study in Madrid. If you get good enough, there are all kinds of foreign people working in tablaos. American or Japanese people who are learning how to dance have opportunities that are much better than what the best dancers in flamenco history had. Carmen Amaya—who taught her? As they say, she watched the waves rolling in at the beach. In those days people didn’t go in and study for two or three years with a maestro like you can do nowadays. They say El Farruco was dancing on the banks of the river when he was ten years old! Who the hell taught him?
“Either you’ve got it or you don’t. If you’ve got it, you’ll get it, you will learn itcAnd if you really want to learn it, you will eventually find a way to get good at it. And you will suffer the way I did to get to work in atablao. You’ll do it for free and every day you will get better. And if you don’t give up, some day you will be a good dancer. It doesn’t work like some people say, eI’ll go to Spain for two months and I’ll get to be a good dancer.’ No, even the good people there have had to struggle to get a steady job and to keep it. The last time we were in Spain, just before coming home, dancers in the tablaos were being paid 400 pesetas [about $6], much less than they were being paid ten years ago—and those are the really good people who know how to dance!
“As for the guitar, I think my advice is just like with the singing or dancing: If you want to learn to do flamenco the right way then plan on at least a good ten years of learning it little by little. That will give you plenty of time to learn it. After those ten years you’ll be playing flamenco. You’ll pick up some in the States, pick up some in Spain, at parties, get a job, and little by little it will all take form. But our mentality is to go buy a book and in six months you think you are doing it. No, it takes a good ten or fifteen years to get it all together, maybe even twenty years to put all the pieces together. If you live in Spain for a while, you’ll pick it up. A lesson here and there, practice, listen to recordings, and you’ll get it all together, you’ll learn it. There is no quick method.
“Here is what I am going to do with my two sons if they want to play the guitar. Before they get into anything, I’ll have them learn to accompany old-style records. I’ll have them learn how to imitate Melchor de Marchena or Diego del Gastor and people like that, and teach them how to accompany La Fernanda. After that they can learn from El Camarón and get ready for whatever else might happen. But you shouldn’t begin with Camarón because you’ll have missed the whole thing. You have to start from day one, from the beginning of flamencocthat’s the only way you’ll learn how to play. You see, Paco de Lucía knows how. He can sit down andcI’m sure that one day he played tientos like Manolo de Badajoz with La Niña de los Peines. He didn’t sit down and start playing Paco de Lucía falsetas when he was five years old! You have to begin with the old style and learn the compás and then work your way up. Anybody who starts with Paco de Lucía, or the Habichuelas, or someone like that will have missed a lot, because all of these new styles of playing are throwing out a lot of it, are skipping a lot of the old compás. But they know it’s there because they knew how to play it when they were little. That’s why they are able to play and understand the new so well.
“You go to Spain and you get off the plane and you are in Málaga and you walk into a bar with your guitar. You know, you could go into a bar—there are certain barrios where you can go in with your guitar and start playing if it’s not too late at night. You might get a couple of people to sing for you. And they’ll invite you over for dinner. Then you’ll get two more people to sing. That’s the way to start, that’s what I would do. I would go into a small bar in Sevilla or Málaga, pick up my guitar and start playing. I might get kicked out, or I might meet somebody who could sing and he’d take me over to his house where I’d meet another person, and another person, and then years later I might be a good flamenco player. I would have had a lot of jobs, and I would know how to accompany everything, and I would have lived in Spain as a Spaniard would, and I might even become a great flamenco player. That’s how to do it.
SABICAS ON LEARNING TO PLAY THE FLAMENCO GUITAR
(From an interview by El Niño Chileno; Jaleo, April 1981)
[Sabicas was asked to elaborate on his statement that in order to be a good soloist you must first accompany dancers for twenty years and singers for another twenty. Many top guitarists have supported the essence of this assertion, from Juan Habichuela and Paco de Lucía to Tomatito and Vicente Amigo. Here is how Sabicas explained it.]
“The flamenco guitar, as I said on one of my records, represents three careers in one. The way it used to be, the guitarist never rehearsed with the dancer. If she told him, for example, to play epor alegrías,’ he could do it with his back to her if they each knew what needed to be done. Nowadays, dancing is very different. Now they tell you, here you do a falseta, here you end, and so on. That makes it different. So, your first career is playing in a cuadro flamenco for twenty years, for everyone who dances—naturally, without rehearsing! Singing may be even more difficult. You have to emeasure’ the singer’s voice, to determine at what speed he sings. There are some who sing slowly, and if you play too fast he will drown—and vice versa. You have to play exactly the way each person sings; this is very difficult. And then, of course, [when you play solo] you must play correctly, epor derecho” as we say. Each one of these phases takes twenty years. Now, there are some who take less than sixty years and think they can do it in thirty or fifteen. And there are those who play well for thecante but not for the baile, or well for the baile but not for the cante. There are those who are corto [have a small repertoire] or largo [have a larger repertoire]. To be complete and well rounded, however, is very difficult. To know all there is to know in the flamenco guitar is very difficult indeed.
“You must go to Spain. That is where it is, and you must immerse yourself in it. Otherwise, you may have good fingers, good technique, but to play the true flamenco, in compás, you must go to Spain. There is no other way. For anything that has to do with flamenco you must go to Spain and get into a good cuadro for two, three, four, or five years. In that way you can become a good artist and have the knowledge you need. Otherwise it is very hard, and I do not think you can ever make your mark.
“There are some muchachos who play very well, but as I said, without the ambiente it is very difficult. Without ambiente you cannot do flamenco. A guitarist by himself, playing only what he wants, may have the fingers and the talent, but alone he cannot do it. He needs the ambiente, the palmas, the singing and dancing. Every single day. That helps very much. Nevertheless, one must admire their dedication because it is really admirable. There are some who go to Spain. They want to work, even for free. The same for the Japanese. They go to Spain and they get into a cuadro flamenco. They want no money. They just want to learn. That is really admirable.
[You must practice]cas much as possible. The more the better. Nowadays, the way things are in the world, one does not have enough time. Normally, though, two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening should be enough, but no less than that. And you must do everything. You cannot do just one thing, because you will improve on that but the rest will suffer. You should do fifteen minutes of picado, tremolo fifteen minutes, arpeggios another fifteen minutes, thumb work another fifteen minutes. After one hour, then you should go over whatever you think you need. But never practice one thing more than others unless you have fallen behind on that. If everything is equally good, then fifteen minutes to half an hour of each should be sufficient.
“There are some guitarists who have constant fingernail problems. They break them often, and not necessarily from playing too much. I just do not know why. Maybe it is the way they strum or tap. There are others who use their fingernails too much while playing. That is not good technique, because they do not play with seguridad or strength. The fingernail should be as short as possible, almost at the level of the flesh, maybe just slightly longer. That is enough. You will have more security and perhaps your nails will not break as often.”
PRACTICE AND PICADOS
(Miguel Ángel Cortés is from Granada (born 1972) and the younger brother of well-known guitarist Paco Cortés; he has won awards in competition, has been accompanist for Mariquilla, Manolete, El Güito, and Carmen Linares, and he has an album, Patriarca; he was interviewed for the Spring 1997 issue of The Journal of Flamenco by Giovanni Ricciulli)
When I am on tour I don’t have time to study because of contacts with people, rehearsals, and the changes of routine. But if I am in Granada and I have to study seriously, say for a contest, I can spend a couple of months practicing for eight to ten hours each day. Under normal conditions I only study two or three hours in the morning and three or four hours in the afternoon. Then I go outside for a stroll.
Many guitarists strive to improve their picados by forcing their hand flat along the guitar top because they have seen Paco do it. It becomes somewhat of an obsession. When I was younger it caused me many problems, too, trying to force myself into that position. Fortunately, the advice of maestros such as Sabicas made me realize that if it isn’t the natural way of holding the hand, then copying Paco is a foolish thing to do.
I keep my fingers straight. My brother does, too. In fact, many guitarists keep their fingers straight and achieve speed. Take Marote. Aren’t his picados fast and powerful? Yet he kept his fingers straight because he felt natural that way.
My best advice is that the picados must be done without arrastrar [dragging the fingers from string to string]. You must alternate fingers when you switch strings. Otherwise scales will turn out messy and irregular.
|GUITAR TECHNIQUE TODAY|
(from: “Honored Traditions: Progressive Directions,” an interview with Pedro Cortés, hijo, by Greg Case in The Journal of Flamenco Artistry, Fall 1996)
“Technically, the flamenco guitar is probably the most complex in the world today. In flamenco it used to be that even mediocre guitarists could play [professionally]. Today, if you are mediocre you really cannot play. Today, to be able to play and survive you can’t just do a couple of rasgueados here and a couple of alzapúas there and get away with it. You just can’t. Today you must have the technique to play and there is nothing you can do to get around it.
“Some people who take flamenco as a hobby don’t realize how sophisticated it has become. To play well takes time and dedication. You can learn, but it takes dedication. It’s not sitting home for a half an hour practicing a rasgueado or a simple paso de bulerías or sevillanas for a dance class. Anything really advanced requires a lot more and it won’t happen without practice. If you want to play flamenco you can do it, but you have to dedicate the time and work hard at it. If you can understand something easily and play it fairly easily, that’s really cool and you accept it because you can do it. But if you are dealing with Paco de Lucía’s complex, intricate technical harmonies, then you won’t like them as much if you can’t play them in two seconds. You’ll have to spend precious hours really listening and learning them, and if you don’t understand them you won’t be able to play them and you are not going to like them. You’ve got to work! And that goes for all of us. Chuscales gets up at eight in the morning, picks up the guitar and starts practicing. And if I don’t pick up the guitar for two days, I won’t be able to play like I want to. No way! With experience you can invent ways of getting around without practicing, but your chops won’t be there. You simply have to dedicate the time.
“Today’s flamenco guitar generation takes for granted that practicing ten or fifteen hours a day is required just to be able to play. The next generation will probably lay down a minimum standard of technique like Paco de Lucia’s. When today’s kids become young men, playing with Paco’s technique and knowledge of harmony will probably be nothing unusualcFlamenco has become a very highly sophisticated art form, whether you want to admit it or not. I’m not saying it is necessarily evolving for the better. It may even be evolving for the worse. But for better or worse it has gone from a tiny little space where it was performed for a few to where it is presented on the most renowned and prestigious stages in the world.”