jueves, 1 de agosto de 2013

Organum - Vacant Lights (Aeroplane, cs,1987)





La obra de David Jackman es un auténtico filón para amantes de Maurizio Bianchi o Nurse With Wound. Entre esos dos universos se coloca una obra de tan rotunda belleza oscura como "Vacant Lights", dos extensas piezas que sobrecogen y son una auténtica debilidad. Una de las recomendaciones más encarecidas que puedo hacer.

"There are few artists more elusive than David Jackman. Active in modern music since the early 1960s, Jackman took part in British composer Cornelius Cardew's crucial Scratch Orchestra, which at various times has featured luminaries such as granddaddies of noise AMM, composers Howard Skempton and Gavin Bryars, and the legendary Brian Eno. Since then-- either under his own name or under the more recognized moniker, Organum-- Jackman has released countless records that exist on the peripheral edges of industrial and experimental music.   As private as Jackman is, his list of collaborators reads like a who's who of experimental heavyweights: Jim O'Rourke, Nurse with Wound's Steve Stapleton, Current 93's David Tibet, Main, Eddie Prevost, The Haters, The New Blockaders, and Christoph Heemann have all had roles in his Organum project."

Vacant Lights works so well because it seems so simple. There are two players, David Jackman (who is the center of Organum) and Dinah Jane Rowe. In what appears to be an improvised live performance, they bow metal (perhaps gongs or cymbals?), roll metal pipes along the ground, and play breathy fragments of melodies on what sound to me like shakuachis, or wooden flutes of some sort. The ever-present coating of reverb that accompanies most Organum recordings adds portense to the spare movements of the players, but it isn't overbearing here as it is on Ikon or other less successful Organum records. What takes Vacant Lights to the next level is that it appears to have been recorded outside, on a city street.

The Organum duo plays along to the sounds of passing cars, city buses, honking, wind, distant urban noise... throughout, they are highly sensitive to their surroundings, treating all sounds as equal compositional elements. At times, they play beneath the city sounds, adding a layer of rolling fog under the environment. At other times, the flutes poke through, but find some aboveground pitch to blend into; eventually, environment and intentional playing become indistinguishable. Two producers (including Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton) are to credit for bringing the environment into the recording with such detail and clarity, but ultimately the success belongs to Organum for creating a record that is part field recording, part improvisation, and finally something unique. It's such a simple and well-executed idea, that the depth of music belies its illuson of naturalness and effortlessness"