Dickson is an interesting chap. A chef by trade, he designs his own furniture, once ran an antique shop and restores vintage cars. One of the tracks on the CD, Himalayan Descent, captures his dream to one day charge down the Himalayan mountains. "Something for when I have some money."
"Flamenco music is joyful, exhilirating," enthuses Dickson. "The gypsies are passionate sentimental people, and they put that into their music. You can play flamenco in any country, and you can't fail to uplift people. You have to play it with passion. It's no use having the flamenco technique if you don't have the spirit. Melbourne is one of the great melting pots of the world. You can hear some stunning cultural fusion music in its clubs and streets. Reviewers of "Flamenco Falcetas" are intrigued by the Spanish/Indian mix and its add to Australia's world music.
But Dickson emphasies that fusion is a natural one. "Being a nomadic tribe, they took Indian percussion and tonality to Arabia and Persia, where they added local textures to the sound. Hungarian and Yugoslavian gypsies use piano accordians and violins but the Indian tonality is there."
"From there, the caravans took the music to Southern Europe and to Spain. The 12-beat in tabla music is used in the rhythms flamenco performers bang on their guitars. The French gypsies brought a jazz-swing flavour which is obviously there in Django Rheinhardt's music."
"The first time I heard Spanish music was in London in 1983, and I was struck by how similar they were. It was a path I had to take."