Our Creative Director is guilty of at least one thing: being creative.
His enlightened visual sensibilities often spill over to other, traditionally non-visual elements, like music and poetry. And the beauty that ensues is noteworthy. We happen to be extremely proud of that. And see no reason not to share it with the world. Or at least with whoever will take time to read these lines.
Ismael became an aficionado of flamenco music, a highly complex musical genre originating from his native land in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, later on in life. It was in that process of voracious reading and listening, of courageously interpreting the stories told by lyrics, of measuring time signatures, and a great deal more, that he realized that this art form had been a part of him from the very beginning. A part of him not indifferent to his ability to kick a ball, hug a friend, or cry. Really, it’s a matter of exposure, and he’s been exposed from day one, consciously or not.
Recently, Ismael learned that his father was a a founding member of his town’s most popular flamenco Peña (club), Peña la Buleria, and even saw pictures of himself and his family surrounded by the community of families who fervently cherished and appreciated the caste, toque, baile, paleo, palmas, and pitos of flamenco. And that’s just it, he allowed his own appreciation for something which he, technically speaking, knew little about, to become an exercise of immense learning and both self and cultural discovery.
And since it’s Isma, he likes to see things to better understand things. Which in this case means creating a visual universe for an otherwise intangible, invisible space. In doing so, he is interpreting the 54 cantes (types of singing) that configure flamenco music in a strictly graphic form. A formulation resulting from two essential parameters: the sensory – that which inspires Ismael when listening a certain song – and the musical – including rhythm, melody, timing, and more. The latter, he sets forth, is the most interesting because the different visual exercises account for just that; the number of compases (rhythm units) within a cante (song), the melody that characterizes it, the literary essence, etc. From there, it gets progressively more elaborate and for some of us, arguably impenetrable given the complexity. And yet, it’s absolutely worthwhile to delve deeper into the transformation of sound into visual, truly redefining the term perception.
His work has been published on the cover of El Canon, a select magazine of flamenco and art. So we have only left to thank Ismael for relentlessly continuing to pursue art, visual and other, and making us all the better for it.