Two years ago, the ZEMOS98 people were handling a happy coincidence between my project Vivir en Sevilla and a citizen’s cultural initiative in Presupuestos Participativos (“participative budgets”). The dream almost became a nightmare. Local government management turned it into a living hell, but one Orthodox was a flame that really caught fire. Antonio Ramírez, from Mentes de ácido, the anonymous citizen who wanted to take the fresh air of 70s underground culture into neighbourhood Civic Centres, was the person who showed me the fire and told me about Orthodox’s legendary concerts on Thursdays in Holy Week. For many people, still governed by the superstitions of science and the magic of technology, Holy Week can be about religion or tradition. But in reality it is a powerful technology that transforms the social body of this city of Seville, in a way no other infomedia, no other chemical stimulant, no other passion, can match: sex, drugs and rock and roll.
I was working with Israel Galván on El final de este estado de cosas, his very personal reading of the book of the Apocalypse. I introduced him to the music of Orthodox - which includes, among other virtues, the fact that it is music to be seen and played - and he understood that we had to include the group in the eschatological work we were engaged in. Then he witnessed their stage presence: hooded penitents with electric guitars and a drum kit. And we ended up in Brest, France, at the Antipodes avant-garde festival, dragging, for more than an hour, walls of sound, mechanic chains, electronic lechery that Galván’s body - literally more galvanic than ever - miraculously transformed into flamenco.
We kept working with them, and for the Malaga en Flamenco biennale we upped the challenge: put two cataclysms face to face - the doom of Orthodox and the voice of Fernando Terremoto. For me, Orthodox’s concert at the San Clemente convent, when it was the caS, is already in the realm of the legendary. I should have been paying more attention to the Mother Superior’s reprimands and the way she spoke to the local authorities. It would have saved me some suffering. The thing is, that the memory of Terremoto’s face when he saw, heard and felt the Orthodox experience has a special place in that story. So we took him to Malaga: he saw, heard and overcame the sound fury of Orthodox, raising his "saetas" above the sound storm of the Sevillian heavy metal group, so the high point of his traditional Holy Week flamenco songs ended up high above the roar of electrical distortion.
In short, it must be very special indeed to see Israel Galván, Fernando Terremoto and Orthodox together now. We were recently discussing Holy Week, and while some were hostile and others indifferent, paradoxically, the members of Orthodox were its most passionate defenders. Their music, Earth, John Coltrane and Ligeti, in equal parts have their source in the band’s music, horns and drums. As far as Fernando Terremoto - what can I say? It’s the power of his voice, not just his volume and endurance, but his power and his potential to be the best flamenco singer today. The exceptional Israel Galván would be able to reorganize that criminal act that is the war of Iraq and make it sound flamenco. Because we’re playing with fire, but as the poets say, there where danger is, the saving power also grows.
Pedro G. Romero
A co-production by
directed by MÁQUINA PH
Dancing and coreography: Israel Galván
Singing: Fernando Terremoto
Lighting: Antonio Alonso
Sound: Félix Vázquez
Production: Cisco Casado, Chema Blanco e Isabel Amián
Documentation: María Velasco
Administration: Rosario Gallardo