In Brief

  • Title: Aurora.
  • Musicians: Edsart Udo de Haes (gitaar), and various guest musicians amongst others Mario Garcia Blanco (vocals).
  • Identification: Nldisco 7139589317216.
  • Recorded: 2011.
  • Published: 2012.

Recuerdos de una Noche de Verrano by Edsart Udo de Haes


When I just started playing the guitar and guitar music became more interesting to me, I sometimes heard recordings of traditional flamenco music. My ears were not used yet to the Arabic/Jewish sound that is characteristic for this music. So, I did not like it at all, some passages sounded out of tune and offensive in my opinion, particularly the singing.

During the years, I found out that guitar music is not merely built on the classical harmonic structures from the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Baroque taught me something about the yearning of dissonant to dissolve. The Romantic Era integrated traditional Spanish sound (including Flamenco themes) in “serious” music. In the contemporary music, the tension of dissonant returned, together with daring chords that painted quite different colors than the traditional classical forms.

I listened and fout out that Flamenco has its rightful place amongst the many styles of music and evolved in time too. I heard some interesting mixes between Jazz and Flamenco, for instance

Many years ago, Flamenco players were Spaniards or at least people with a Spanish surname. Stories recounted that they only got taught via oral tradition and that Flamenco had no written history. The interest in Flamenco grew, and apparently, conservatories stepped in, the Amsterdam and Rotterdam conservatories have a professor for Flamenco guitar!

If you teach a guitar technique and musical style, in many cases pupils will show up that want to learn. Or is it the other way around, if people want to learn, teachers will emerge? Anyway, for sure there will be players that become very good in this style!

One of the Dutch Flamenco talents is the guitarist Edsart Udo de Haes. After his conservatory study on the guitar he took off to Spain to learn the finesses of Flamenco music and its composition.

I met him myself on the Twente Guitar Festival in 2009 and again on the Nordhorn Guitar Festival in 2011. At the Twente Festival I attended a workshop with him that was quite useful for me. His enthusiasm and dazzling demonstrations taught me to appreciate Flamenco. On the other hand, I also found out that this style would never be mine as a player (I left class with a sore wrist and worn down finger nails!)

This year I happened to lay my hands on the first CD by van Edsart Udo de Haes and having met him, I became quite curious. The name of the CD was Aurora.

This name bears a strong association to me to the rosy fingered dawn from the Phaeton by Ovid. Yes, this translation of Roman poetry from Latin that I had to make on Grammar School keeps impressing me. The tranquility and soft tones of the dawn in this poem are in sharp contrast with the ride that reckless Phaeton will make on his father’s sun chariot. It resembles a bit trying to drive a Porsche at top speed on a highway without skills and driving license, so the poor guy finds a grievous end.

The name Aurora tells something about the atmosphere of the music that is apparent from various tracks. It is an interesting album that shows traditional Flamenco moods, but also includes a jazzier sound. Edsart Udo de Haes performs a number of attractive compositions between ‘smooth Flamenco’ and the relatively more unpolished variants. From all pieces on the CD, Edsart’s excellent guitar technique and smooth performance are apparent.

For me the most interesting tracks were Recuerdos de una Noche de Verano and the almost jazzy Eeuwigelaan. Well, interesting is a relative matter, because the other tracks had interesting melodies and instrumentation too.

The guest musicians are perfect partners for De Haes. I particularly liked the bass player with his beautifully singing fretless bass. My appreciation goes to the sound technicians too, it’s quite a feat to catch the Flamenco passion in bits without loss of clarity.

Aurora, for me this CD was an enjoyable introduction into easy listening contemporary Flamenco-fusion.

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