Martirio: A Soothing Spanish Songstress
By Yurema Perez-Hinojosa
Aubin Pictures just wrapped up a film shoot in Spain, which included an interview with Maria Isabel Quiñones Gutiérrez. Amor Puro y Duro Co-producers/directors Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi sat down with Gutiérrez, more famously known in the flamenco music world as Martirio (which translates to "martyrdom"), to discuss her experiences and how Chavela Vargas has influenced her.
Martirio is famous for her distinctive fusion of Flamenco musicality with other genres such as jazz and pop. When listening to her songs, she emotes in every note. Her vibrato can be reminiscent of great sorrow or immense joy. Each melody, rhythm, and cadence carry a story.
Martirio had a close relationship with Chavela throughout her life who was an idol, a mentor and a friend to Martirio. Martirio dedicated an entire album to Chavela Vargas entitled "De un mundo raro" (From a strange world) in 2013. When reflecting on her relationship with Chavela, Martirio stated:
“I still reflect on all the teachings and experiences that I lived with Chavela and I still have so much to learn from her - her enviable freedom, her unmistakable dignity, and her strong personality.”
Martirio's most recent album "De un Mundo Raro (Cantes Por Chavela)" (2013) is the singer's tribute to Cha The songs are soothing and exhibit a gentle flow. It's the type of music you would play on a late spring evening, the open windows letting in a breeze as Martirio's voice courses through the room.
Martirio is considered an influential innovator in the Flamenco music scene. She is not confined by the standards of sticking to one genre. Her unique aesthetic has contributed to her success and her work continues to pay tribute to her mentorship with Chavela Vargas.