Flamenco Artist Entices The Imagination|
A Review by Jocelyn Barton
Ronald Radford does not play his guitar. He coaxes out images colored by the
vibrant hues of a gypsy dancer's skirt and tempered with the centuries-old
eyes of a traveling flamenco player. During his solo two-hour-plus show
Wednesday night in Meacham Auditorium, Radford offered a concert that brought
the full house to its feet and elicited spontaneous shouts of "Ole!"
The show opened with a brief introduction to flamenco as an art form, which
Radford defined as a "spontaneous and creative unwritten folk music."
Radford's concert was unique in that he carried on a conversation with the
audience about the customs and history of flamenco and Andalucia - the sunny,
southern region of Spain where flamenco originates. But Radford didn't
lecture; he enthused, enchanted with his subject.
After his introduction the magic began. Like an elegant spider spinning its
web in the branches, Radford's fingers moved through the strings, creating
sounds which seemed impossible. At times the instrument became a distant snare
drum, snapping out a martial rhythm. It became the trilling wail of a gypsy
singer. And at times, it became the snap of a flamenco dancer's heels on the
Perhaps one of the most entrancing was the zambra, the sounds of which are
traced back to the medieval Moorish toots of Spain. In it Radford conjured up
images of weathered men sitting around an open fire, listening as their cares
are strummed away.
Radford closed the evening with his personal favorite, a mournful Taranta. It
brought the crowd to its feet with demands of "Otro, otro," begging for an
The encore capped an evening filled with the spirit of Spain, and the shouts
of "Ole" perhaps will still echo until Radford again visits the Norman campus.
The Oklahoma Daily, Norman, Ok - By Jocelyn Barton.