13 de noviembre de 2007

Contacto en Jamaica 2: El Agente Brian Eno

En el libro descargable Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound el erudito de la brigada ambient Eric Tamm hace notar el parelelo entre los procedimientos del dub y las técnicas de producción-composición de Brian Eno.
Like many other white musicians of the late 1970's (most notably the Police, who forged a distinctive popular style based on the angular vocal melodies and off-beat bass lines of reggae), Eno was fascinated with the sounds of Jamaican reggae music. Once again, it was the procedure of how the music was put together, as much as the sound itself, that interested Eno:
'The contemporary studio composer is like a painter who puts things on, puts things together, tries things out, and erases them. The condition of the reggae composer is like that of the sculptor, I think. Five or six musicians play, they're well isolated from one another. Then the thing they played, which you can regard as a kind of cube of music, is hacked away at - things are taken out, for long periods.

A guitar will appear for two strums, then never appear again, the bass will suddenly drop out, and an interesting space is created. Reggae composers have created a sense of dimension in the music, by very clever, unconventional use of echo, by leaving out instruments, and by the very open rhythmic structure of the music.'
The 'sculptural' approach has clearly influenced Eno's own way of composing. It is characteristic that he has shown no interest in reggae's political implications, neither in terms of the indigenous philosophy or life-style of Rastafarianism nor in terms of Western white musicians and audiences finding some sort of meaning in expressing solidarity with the Third World through the reggae beat - Bob Dylan's use of a Jamaican rhythm section on his 1983 album Infidels being a typical case in point. Eno's interest is in the sound of the music, in the engineering point of view, in what the music can teach him as a composer, if a 'political' meaning of music is important to Eno at all, it is restricted to the local level of interaction between musicians and between musicians and audience.
Eno es famoso por introducir elementos aleatorios y generativos en su proceso creativo y Eric Tamm hace notar la forma en que hace uso de los efectos y procesadores de sonido:
Other important components of Eno's mega-instrument are the innumerable electronic boxes or devices that can be added to a circuit, usually between the guitar or keyboard and amplifier, to alter the tone color and sound envelope characteristics. Typical effects to be got from these linking machines include echo, reverb, (intentional) distortion, flange, phase shift, chorus, and wah-wah. Some of these effects can also be produced at the mixing board, but it often makes a difference where in the total electronic circuit the sound-altering device is located: echoed fuzz may have a different sound profile than fuzzed echo. Possibilities multiply, as Eno has said,
'The whole point of using effects devices is to try to reintroduce those idiosyncrasies into the sound, to take the sound out of the realm of the perfect and into the realm of the real. I'll put any amount of junk in a long line after my synthesizer to see what will happen to it [the sound].'
Where possible, Eno likes to work with devices that make use of a foot-pedal - again, to give him a sense of physical control. He has no standard 'line of junk' - his configurations of sound-altering devices are always changing. He sees graphic equalization as being totally essential' in most of the circuits he puts together, echo effects are almost as important, and he is liable to use two or even three echo devices at once, normally at the end of the chain nearest to the tape recorder. Echo and reverb are in a sense in a different class than other effects, since they create the illusion of the physical space where the music is taking place. The same instrument can be made to sound as if it is located in a small room, a large room, a concert hall, a stone cathedral, or even the Grand Canyon. Echo and reverb effects can evoke a whole geography.
Aquí hay una reseña del libro, con mayores detalles y otros contenidos. Ver también: Contacto en Jamaica; Burroughs Captura a King Tubby