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Constellations of Duende: Music
Direction: Ernesto Estrella Cózar

Ernesto Estrella“The arrival of the Duende always anticipates a radical change of old surfaces, giving unspoken sensations of freshness, with a quality of a newly blossomed rose.” (Federico García Lorca)

In Andalusian folklore and in the Flamenco realm, “Duende” (literally, elf) refers to the creative force that exists in all types of cultures and people. But what is it? Where does one encounter it?  Following Lorca’s inspiration and proposal, this series of workshops examines Spanish and Latin American art, ideas, and social customs, in pursuit of the seeds —at times controversial and polemical— of this Duende. A dynamic and creative setting will be given to participants through an array of experiences —sound, image, movement, taste, thought— that ultimately will lead us to a new question: What to do now with this Duende and its personal, national, European, or global occurrence?

Constellations of Duende is composed of six autonomous thematic blocks:

I. Music. II. Society. III. Image. IV. Movement. V. Literature. VI. Gastronomy.

MUSIC OF DUENDE (April-june 2013)

The first Constellations of Duende workshop will explore music phenomena of the Hispanic world through dimensions that go from general questions of our listening habits—personal, shared, passive or active—up to the role of music in the construction of social roles and the national image.

Dates: 18.04.- 06.06.
Time: Thursday, 19-20:30h
Price: 80 € /72 € reduced
Location: Instituto Cervantes Berlin
For artists and everyone interested in Hispanic culture and creative production
Register: Sending the

Workshop will be held in English; texts and other materials will be offered both in Spanish and English or German translation.

Participants will create materials based on the contents and ideas formed during the workshop. Among our specific tasks, we will develop keen insights into the different modalities of the most common musical genres of the Hispanic world, craft lyrics for flamenco and tango music in different languages, and devise improvisational exercises using objects and notions that are normally part of our daily life.

Introduction: listening modes, the diversity of music in the Hispanic world, folklore and improvisation.
Flamenco: origins and development, flamenco and the gypsy culture, flamenco in Spain, the disappearance of the lyric in the flamenco voice, flamenco in Spain today (flamenco pop, flamenco chill).
Tango: masculine and feminine roles in the culture, choreography, and lyrics of tango, the milonga as social satire, Piazzolla and the reinvention of tango, the tango outside Argentina (Finnish tango).
Conclusions: folklore and national identity, listening to sound and silence (John Cage, Helmut Lachenmann).


Ernesto Estrella is an educator, poet, and musician born in Granada who has lived in New York since 2000. He obtained his Ph. D. at Columbia University and between 2007 and 2011 he was Assistant Professor of Hispanic Poetry at Yale University’s Spanish and Portuguese department. While an educator at Yale, along with Latin American and Spanish literature, culture, and cinema courses, he regularly taught workshops that interweaved philosophy, politics, arts and ethics. As a musician, his work concentrates on the voice’s exploration of sound, rhythm and word. Along this line, he has created a wide array of pieces, which have been presented in his poetic performances at international festivals in Argentina, Uruguay, Austria, Germany, Russia, Finland, Latvia and the U.S. Since the spring of 2012, he has turned to Berlin as a second base for his artistic and academic endeavors.