Sunday, June 13

‘My poems and a song’: Estrella Morente: “I would break a spear in favor of the young people who have been blamed so much during the pandemic” | People



These are strange times for families, whose existence and convenience, whose nature or forgetfulness, seem to return to public debate. Extended families, of course, are no longer as popular as the nuclear family, but the Morentes family is something more than that. It is a clan. “For me, family is everything”, explains Estrella Morente (Granada, 1980), “we like to be united, I do not conceive of any important date, no celebration, without the family: each time we occupy larger tables”. In fact, the whole family has been involved in some artistic and performance activities, strictly black, at the Spanish Theater in Madrid or at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.

For Morente, when he speaks, when he writes, the family comes out of his mouth or through the verse. The almighty figure of his father, the singer Enrique Morente, who for a decade has been protecting from heaven; his mother, bailaora Aurora Carbonell (who illustrates the book); his sister, the singer Soleá, etc … Above all, his grandmother Rosario Muñoz, “which for me is the most beautiful poetry in the world,” he says. Your grandmother is your guide, and one glance at her facial expression is enough to let you know whether or not Grandma approves of what is presented to her, like an oracle.

When Estrella Morente speaks of her poetry, she does so with passion, with roots, but, above all, with humility. “These verses are just a tadpole, a beginning: I want to learn to write,” he says. It refers to the collection of poems My poems and a cante (Beatus Ille & Cía) that is now published and that, like so many cultural products, came out of the fertile breeding ground of confinement (although not alone). “You do not have to apologize for writing, just for hurting others,” he adds. The poems are in a book and the cante in a CD, unlike in his first work, from 2001, entitled just the other way around: My song and a poem. The circle is closed.

“I come from a house where poetry was everywhere,” says Morente, “and not only in poems.” In his work there are confessed influences: San Juan de la Cruz, Teresa de Jesús, the rhymes of the fandangos, María Zambrano or Lorca. “In Granada we call him Federico and so much of the family it seemed that as a child I thought he was a great-uncle who was going to perform at home any day,” recalls the artist. The poet’s places, such as the Huerta de San Vicente, in Granada, or Fuente Vaqueros were like second homes during his childhood. Short and “flamenco” texts where contemporary breaks are sometimes found. Her sister Soleá says, “what is indie and philologist ”, that what Estrella writes are“ micropoems ”. In some it puts its name in this guise:.

He looks like this at the new generations, who in his house are Currito, 20 years old, who is not bad at rapping, and Estrella, 16; both the result of the singer’s long-standing relationship with the bullfighter Javier Conde, whom she married in 2001. “I would break a spear in favor of young people, who have been blamed so much during the pandemic,” says Morente, ” You have to be patient, not only to scold them, but to teach them well. We do not want a future of people angry with previous generations ”. His people “fly with technology”, but since childhood they have been in strong contact with culture, meeting figures such as Leonard Cohen, Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman or Luis Miguel, something of which the mother is proud.

A few days before the coronavirus landed in Spain, Morente was at the center of a controversy for defending bullfighting, which her husband practices, in the program Triumph operation, changing the lyrics of the song Return with some verses by José Bergamín. The virus has made that seem a long way off. “During confinement I took the opportunity to grow up, for example, writing poems, but also practicing other arts that I like, such as ceramics or painting, listening to cante”, recalls Morente, “at least in the moments when we were not dying of fear and insecurity and panic seized us ”. He believes that the pandemic may have served to strengthen family ties in some homes. The opposite has probably happened in others.

His work is not alien to contemporary debates. In one of his poems “transversal” machismo is mentioned: “The world of flamenco has been and is very machista”, says Morente, “but I have not experienced that at home, because my father never allowed it”. She flees from extremism, but believes that the vindication of women’s rights is very necessary. The father, while alive, sang to the Saharawi women; that’s where the commitment also comes from. In another text, reference is made to migrants, to refugees. “I am very sensitive to those seas of aimless people fleeing with the mat on their shoulders,” says the artist, “to those children clinging to bars trying to go from one place to another.”


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