Juan Blanco – Música Electroacústica

Juan Blanco - Música Electroacústica LP front cover
Juan Blanco - Música Electroacústica LP back cover
Juan Blanco - Música Electroacústica LP cara A

This was Juan Blanco‘s 2nd album after his groundbreaking 1979 debut LP posted earlier. (Note I differ with world-renowned Blanco specialist Neil Leonard on this chronology. My estimation is based on the LPs’ reference numbers.) Regarding Música Electroacústica and comparing the reference with other EGREM releases, it appears it was published in or around 1984. At this time, Blanco (1928-2008) was director of the ICAP’s Estudio Electroacústico.

This LP collects electroacoustic compositions from 1983 and 1984. The paranoid mindscapes of Espacios II, composed 1984, confront a classical guitar with synthesizer sine waves. The guitarist plays repeated notes on an ascending scale in parallel with Blanco’s high pitch synthesizer sounds, which he keeps altering and de-tuning to create a rather unstable effect, like in a Shepard scale. This very simple but clever set-up is incredibly unsettling upon hearing, as the atonal, changing pitch lets the listener undecided for the duration of this otherworldly piece. Like Espacios II, Tañidos, composed 1983, is played on the mighty Roland Jupiter 8 synthesizer – the latter was in production between 1981 and ’84. This expensive synth is the one featured on the cover of the LP. Tañidos means ringing sounds and the sounds crafted by Blanco in this piece indeed recall the pealing of bells, minus the strike. As the piece progresses, the notes’ duration increases until, near the end, they seem to be sustained for ever. These sounds have another specificity: for some reason, they seem to resonate inward, as if an embodiment of Involution. These factors contribute to the stasis-like quality of Tañidos. Circus-Tocata, composed 1983, is one of Blanco’s better known compositions, thanks in no small part to the stunning performance of virtuoso percussionists Guillermo Barreto and Tata Güines. During the course of the piece, Blanco insinuates homophonic, synthesizer staccato notes in the interstices left by the percussionists until,  when the drums gradually disappear, the synth will ultimately take over with rhythm duties.

  1. Circus-Tocata (17:10)
    For percussion and synthesizer, 1983
    Guillermo Barreto, timbales
    Tata Güines, congas
  2. Tañidos (12:47)
    For synthesizer and tape, 1983
  3. Espacios II (8:52)
    For guitar and synthesizer, 1984
    Mirtha de la Torre, guitar

Total time 38:49
LP released by EGREM, ref. LD 4211, Cuba, 1984(?)


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10 Responses to “Juan Blanco – Música Electroacústica”

  1. 1 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián June 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Gorgeous at first listen!…glad the cuban avantgarde is back!

    a big thank you!


  2. 2 continuo June 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for your continuous support, Joaquín.

  3. 3 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián June 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    thank you for putting wonderful music on the web for everyone =)

  4. 4 markus July 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    you have a wonderful blog here. thanks for the music

  5. 5 continuo July 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    You’re welcome, Markus. Enjoy!

  6. 6 Brian August 22, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Have not heard of Juan Blanco before but your description of the compositions have done the trick: downloading as I type. Many thanks!


  7. 7 Brian August 22, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Hello again. As I was downloading this Juan Blanco disc I was reminded of a pair of recordings I have been hoping to find for over a year now: do you happen to have Luis De Pablo’s “Nosotros” or “Soledad Interrumpida/Comme D’Habitude” on the Spanish Clave label? I haven’t heard either in many years but I recall them as being exceptional compositions/recordings. Thanks again.


  8. 8 continuo August 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Hi, Brian. I don’t have the recordings you mention and I’m not familiar with Luis De Pablo. I’ll try to hear them if I can. Thanks for your comment.

  9. 9 Joseito May 28, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Could you repost this? Would really appreciate that.

  10. 10 continuo May 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    See the 2012 Re-ups page.

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