The radical modernity of La Niña de los Peines


25 November 2021

Luis Ybarra Ramirez

Update: 11/25/2021 02:10 p.m.


She had to take a knife and open it, as the song says that she turned into bulería, dear dear, the heart of something. Discover the secret of the columns of the Alameda de Hércules by searching through the stone for shared emotions. A girl with agitated vibrato became the emperor of the golden age of flamenco, from the 1920s, from a square on the back of what some parents would want for their children, just as this art took the body of a great show. In fact, he got his back and raised it later. More, to be a woman, a gypsy and a teenager at the turn of the 20th century, with what those three attributes meant when they took your proposal seriously.

Pastora has brought together what comes from here with what is from there to filter it through the sieve of her culture. It is said that she played tangos in which she mentioned cinnamon combs and from there she took her artist name: La Niña de los Peines. They say there was no one with their speed, and through their throat they entered couplings in the form of three by four with an air of grace. Letter and compass merge into the same entity in his mouth. It is, in essence, a rare symbiosis that arises from two elements that are built together. This is why it seems, let us put it this way, that his discourse is made up of two principles impossible to separate without breaking the other, like a random formula which, after several centuries of lethargy, hatches in a different state. In art, we also say that, you have to know how to wait for it. His contemporaries witnessed it.

He lived with this primordial art at home, later taking it out of its walls to find it with that of the talents who came to the Andalusian capital: Manuel Torre, Antonio Chacón, Niño de Medina… Among these teachers he placed his voice, can – to be the most transcendent in this history. Viscerality and eloquence were thus embraced in the same cosmos which was forged, probably, at dawn., all full of albero, with the whores, the gentlemen, the bullfighters, the bohemians and the strange intellectual who left the night to blur. He was at the epicenter, where things are happening. And he responded to the stimuli of the scene he must have wandered through with force, so much so that he turned the curtain several times until he made a sculpture of the mess. For his native Seville, in Madrid, wherever he went.

His little brother, Thomas pavon, cultivated the light of inner understanding. He resigned from the public. On the contrary, she threw her nut in the sky: she invented a stick, the bambera, from the folk songs of the swing. From popular Asturian music, he made the cante jondo. From the texts of a poet friend, lorqueñas. And of the petenera, a tool to repopulate the planet: “I would like to deny / this whole world / return to live / see if in a new world / I would find more truth”.

He recorded a total of 260 sound recordings, although two of them are still unreleased. She became an early reference, a figure on which the rest suddenly began to orbit, who also wanted, like her, to work throughout Spanish geography. Lift your face and conquer the breath of each chair. La Niña de los Peines was ancestral in this tension produced by the search for the center and the stone, which led to José Angel Valente to write an essay, and, in turn, radically modern. It’s the exact combination, made up of precise doses to play with, always paying attention to the chest. He married a flamenco and song star, Pepe pinto, much younger. And her husband took a step back in his equally stellar career to take it forward. There was so much love that when the Pinto got sick took a shortcut to life and was ahead of him by a few months in death. Without notice. Without understanding, for the first time in years, the meaning of measure. While many women could not professionally devote themselves to singing due to obstacles beyond their wishes, Pastora took the absolute truths of her time and brutally destroyed them. He was early.

Posed before Romero de Torres and Zuloaga. It travels through Spain as its echo does on slate, either in a soleá de la Serneta, or by seguirillas de los Puertos. He traveled a thousand times without ever touching two points in the same way. He dominated very diverse repertoires and transformed them, using the wide possibilities offered by his good work, this natural ability polished after several decades. He gave height to his: to the faded sound of his other brother, Arturo Pavon, also an artist, but with fewer resources to project it. From what she heard tall and small. It fills the palette with changing colors, with hues that turn from black to white in an instant. He handed the duros to Charon por alegrías on the back of a giant, on the back of a work that claims to be one of the most powerful Spanish-speaking music of all time. She discovers mountains and sunsets, projects that continued to work in the 1950s and legions that still revere her today. Pastora is the ubiquitous name that takes place on anyone’s tongue. Live where the sound is emitted. In the cantaores and cantaoras that arrived after its wake, when making a cuplé and some tenos, in the saeta, in the Sevillana, in the cantiña, in the farruca…

There is no modernity on the horizon that surpasses yours. Neither originality nor creative desire. At least fifteen minutes of each flamenco recital that has taken place since its passage through the world belongs to him. He created a fantasy to tell us the story in another way, placing it on a universal altar. November 26 marks the 52nd anniversary of her death, but she is just as alive as when she left. Leagues and leagues of oblivion.

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