Many flamenco guitarists from outside Spain have released brilliant solo recordings (Robert Svärd from Sweden being one of the latest phenomena). For a singer, though, it is harder to find one’s own way of being a flamenco singer – which is required if one is planning to go as far as recording. Among the elements in flamenco (song, dance and guitar) the evolution of the song is the slowest, and it is also bound to the Spanish language.
Anna Murtola is the first among Finnish flamenco singers to bravely go ahead and release her own record. Simply recording one’s own interpretations of traditional flamenco does not work that well, and accordingly that is not her chosen path – the most radical tunes here are the most interesting ones, showing just how much a meeting of cultures can add to the musical world.
Finnish avant-garde flamenco guitarist Joonas Widenius plays an important role here as accompanist, producer and composer (of the catchy title song, for instance). I was glad to hear some of Murtola’s own compositions as well, especially the touching and intimate Andando sola. One of the best tracks is her personal take on Volver – here she sings in Finnish and uses the whole spectrum and dynamics of flamenco song to its full effect. The adaptation of an old Arabic tune into Spanish is also interesting.
ANNA MURTOLA: Fuego por dentro
Alba ABCD 430