I have always been interested in two different modes of thinking in music. The first is what we have in the East, the Middle East, and Africa, which is melody-based music, in which the harmonic intervals are blindly related to each other in a horizontal way. The second is found in Western music, which comes from Christianity, and which has intervals that are related to each other vertically, like erected physical spaces.
One day I decided to apply to study with Paco Peña, a London-based flamenco guitar legend. I still don’t know why he accepted me, as I was a visual artist with only nine months of private guitar lessons.
During my lessons with him I discovered something. Paco is a very good friend of Tony Blair, and he has been teaching Blair how to play flamenco guitar for twenty years. Tony Blair is a flamenco guitarist.
In 2010, I approached Paco and asked him whether he would be interested in giving a lesson to both Tony and me together. He liked the idea, but said, “You have to convince Tony yourself.”
With the help of a former minister of culture in the UK, we approached Tony. But in the end, Tony didn’t accept the invitation; his assistant wrote that he was very busy with the peace process in Israel.
But I hope he will accept when we ask him again, as I read that he resigned from the peace process negotiations.