Jondo on #WordyMonday
“It’s Hondo” says Jackie.
“Yes, Jondo” I reply.
I’m staying with an old friend in Gibraltar while consolidating the information gathered from two days of research on the influences and growth of the art of flamenco in Huelva. In a way, we’re both right.
The two words may well be related but Cante Jondo is a term in and of itself. Until this trip I’ve thought I understood it. Certainly any flamenco (by that I mean anyone who lives or is, or feels like an essential part of the flamenco world) assumes that they do too.
In researching for the articles I’m writing I’ve discovered it’s not very simple at all. As with many other art forms controversy abounds, and it seems that, despite the formal establishment of a concurso experts still interpret the art form in very different ways. On this tour, where I am trying to find ways of expressing both the different local influences that have given (and are still giving) rise to flamenco and the differing viewpoints and influences of the people of Andalusia it’s quite a challenge. Rather than presenting my own interpretation and the reasons behind it I need to present that of those who represent their area and to do that I first need to be sure I understand what they mean. During an intensive two days in Huelva and casual conversations in Malaga, La Linea, Marbella and Gibraltar I’ve found that that not only are these lines drawn in intriguingly different places, but an awareness of the politics and heirarchy of flamenco makes many so careful what they tell me that I might easily loose nuances in a language that’s not even my second.
I hope I’ve got around this by making recordings that I can review carefully later. In the mean time it seems appropriate to define the word in its most general sense as a #wordymonday post.
The fundamental meaning of jondo is the authentic expression of profound emotion in the flamenco form. Cante is a particular form of typical Andalusian song. It seems that although letters ‘j’ or ‘h’ are interchangeable (ie jondo or hondo), the word is always pronounced in the way you’d expect to say a Spanish ‘j’ while Jackie’s automatic interpretation, hondo, which is a more everyday word meaning deep, profound or heartfelt is spoken with a missing ‘h’.
The photographsposted here are of a lunchtime celebration of cante jondo at the impressive Peña del Cante Jondo in Moguer about which I’ll be writing much more.
(because I’m on assignment I’m not able to post as regularly as I would like. I’ll make up for this on my return, but as a jobbing freelance journalist, gathering information and my own health must come first)