2013 | BRATIMENE | Balkan Flamenco Tales
Arcángel & Theodosii Spassov

Arcángel flamenco singing, Theodosii Spassov kaval, Dani de Morón flamenco guitar, Agustin Diassera percussion

A musical encounter between two geniuses who present a energetic and exquisite multi- flavoured dish of flamenco and Bulgarian rhythms. Flautist Theodosii Spassov is a master of improvisation on the kaval, the Bulgarian wooden shepherd’s flute. He is a storyteller, blending traditional Bulgarian folk music with jazz and classical music into his own unique, highly individual style. In this concert his rich musical world will join up with the extraordinary universe of cantaor Arcángel, who the critics unanimously praise as the heir of the late and great Enrique Morente.

The singer from Huelva is one of the leading lights of a new generation of vocalists who is making waves internationally with his creative renditions of the classical jondo repertoire. Arcángel transcends flamenco borders with a subtle and rich imagination, always grasping the roots. He collaborated with the Orchestre Tetuan from Morocco and lent his voice to a number of contemporary pieces of the Spanish composer Mauricio Sotelo, with whom he performed during ‘Flamenco Sin Fin’, the final gala at the III Dutch Flamenco Biennial in 2011.

Arcángel and Spassov explore musical horizons from the Balkans to the flamenco breeding grounds of Andalusia and back again. This musical dialogue will offer both maestros the chance to follow their instincts in a swinging "open flamenco space", demonstrating the ease with which the shepherd’s flute combines with flamenco rhythms, as well as the richness and boundlessness of the world heritage treasure that is flamenco.

World Première: Barcelona, Mercats de les flors. May 26 2012

More information about Arcángel / More information about Theodosii Spassov

© Flamenco Biënnale Nederland 2013

Contact: Ernestina van de Noort
+31 6 21275088

In de media

La Vanguardia:
'Arcángel gives part of his solo part away to a phenomenal Bulgarian flute player with whom he initiates a musical dialogue that brings about the deepest feelings of two different cultures. Right from the start you feel that this is about intercultural respect. And through the interweaving of the voice of the singer and the sounds of the shepherd’s flute arise moments of incredible beauty.'

Kim Burton, Songlines:
'Theodosii Spassov is unquestionably the greatest virtuoso of Bulgaria’s shepherd flute, the kaval, and in his hands the simple tube of wood pierced by holes is capable of an astonishing range of sounds, effects and endless subtleties of phrasing.'

Newsweek: '
He actually created a new musical genre.'

Chicago Tribune:
'...like a jam session between Ian Anderson and Thelonius Monk.'

Berliner Morgenpost:
'What he manages to produce on his wooden flute is sensational.'

Howard Rovics:
'His work on the Kaval was nothing short of pure genius.'

Chris Nickson:
'Spassov sounds like the late flutist and saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Except Spassov plays a simple, rural shepherd's flute.'

Extraordinary brotherhood in Balkan Flamenco Tales (deflamenco.com)
'(...) Spassov did not only show once again virtuosity on his intrument, but also his impressive 
singing skills. Arcángel and Spassov merged their voices in a fascinating and successful way in 
many sections, both rehearsed and improvised. The group’s courage and creativity extend to the 
domain of rhthyms as well: the flamenco musicians played and clapped the complex Balkan 
rhythms, just as those from the Balkans did in the bulerias and tangos. The exchange between 
Balkan and flamenco rhythms ensued not only between, but also within songs, and it was as 
spectacular as it was surprisingly organic. 
(...) What should be emphasized, is that this extraordinary richness never slips into the pitfalls of 
chaos or imbalance, not even at the most intense and adventurous moments of improvisation.'
Heart to heart (flamencoworld.com)
'(...)But the understanding stems from within, since both groups uphold the same philosophy: give 
tradition some fresh air. That’s what is done by the two Macedonian guitar players, in charge of 
giving the concert a prologue. That’s what is done by Dani de Morón, who briefly gave concert 
guitar the place it is missing on the program. That’s what is done by Theodosii Spassov with that 
flute of his that tells tales. And that’s what is done by Arcángel, a cantaor who demonstrated with 
this return to the Bimhuis that flamenco cante –following the example of his maestros Morente and Carmen Linares - also has to create and think and break circles. And what better way to do so, as he said in English, than “heart to heart”. That’s what 'Bratimene' means; spiritual brotherly union.'