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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

‘Entre Dos Aguas’, between two instruments - Paco de Lucía and Paco Montalvo

‘Entre Dos Aguas’ is probably the most heard, most played, most covered and most loved instrumental song in the field of flamenco. Even if you’re not a flamenco fan or not familiar with the title, you’ll still recognise the song if you hear it.

Paco de Lucía - Flamenco Guitar

Originally created by the legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía in 1973 as a part of his album ‘Fuente y Caudal’, the song surprisingly didn’t have instant success. Since it was re-discovered by music fans and journalists in the mid 70’s, it has gradually gained massive worldwide sales and popularity until it became a masterpiece.

‘Between Two Waters’ is said to refer to a coastal town of Algeciras, his home town, where the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea meet. This song was actually born as if waves are merged and weaved. He didn’t pre-compose it before the recording. Rather, it was an improvised creation at the time of recording, hence it’s being said that there are some references to other music pieces in it. Nevertheless, the outcome is a fresh and innovative ‘original’, incorporating unconventional (as of 70’s) usage of a bass, bongos as well as the second guitar by his brother, Ramón de Algeciras.

Even now, many flamenco guitarists play it to practice their technique or to perform on stage, with a respect to this maestro. However, to be fair, meeting Paco’s genius and musicality is a hard game. To be honest, I hadn’t heard a better version than the original, until I discovered another Paco.

Paco Montalvo - Flamenco Violin

Paco Montalvo had already achieved international fame as a classical violinist before he established his status as ‘flamenco violinist’. Not only does he have extensive training and a successful career in classical music but also he has deep knowledge and solid technique to express flamenco-ness through his violin.

He featured ‘Entre Dos Aguas’, the violin version, in his 2017 album ‘Corazón Flamenco’, along with other quality pieces such as famous ‘Volando Voy’ or ‘Volver’, apparently all played on the violin. When I first listened to his version of ‘Entre Dos Aguas’, I got so excited, as if I discovered this treasure for the first time.

His violin sings. It might be due to the characteristic of the instrument that the tones of the violin can be more melodious than the guitar which is comparatively percussive. Even though the violin isn’t regarded as a main flamenco instrument, you can tell that it has such a power and potential to express flamenco-ness - or it might be simply because of his talent.

His interpretation of ‘Entre Dos Aguas’ by violin will take your spirit to the wide and deep ocean of the duende of Spanish music, just like the original masterpiece. Even though we’re living a hard time, I hope you discover uplifting and inspirational soundscapes through their music to be able to cherish our lives.

Paco de Lucía ‘Entre Dos Aguas’ (album 1981)

Paco Montalvo ‘Corazón Flamenco’ (album 2017, including ‘Entre Dos Aguas’)

Paco Montalvo “Entre dos Aguas” Paco de Lucía


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