There’s a world of world music to explore at the Fringe, from Japanese drumming, to all-American bluegrass, to West African rap, to traditional Korean sanjo. For a hint of Spanish soul, though, you needn’t look any further than Art Of Believing, an hour of full-throttle flamenco from Andalusia-born, Scotland-based guitarist Daniel Martinez and his seven-strong company.
The show, a condensed version of a concert that has been successfully touring the UK since 2017, consists of seven songs, played in a variety of flamenco styles – opening number 'Mar del Norte' is a soulful taranta, 'Jugando con el Tiempo' a gradually building seguiriya, 'El Portillo' a rich, rollicking tango.
At the centre of it all is Martinez. Bearded, but with boyish good looks and a soft, swift Spanish accent, he’s a remarkable musician. His left hand spiders up and down the frets of his classical guitar at lightning speed, while his right plucks and strums with infinite intricacy.
Martinez moved to Edinburgh from his native Cordoba in 2015, and, he says, is very happy here. Hence the title of the show’s fourth number, 'Alegria En Escocia', which translates simply as Happy In Scotland. A Celtic tinge creeps in in the following number, too, which ends with a spiralling violin solo.
Martinez is joined by his company—two support guitarists, two wailing singers, and a violinist—and by his manager and fiancé Gabriela Pouso, who dances gracefully through a few songs. All eyes, though, are on him and his miraculous hands.