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.
- Circus-Tocata (17:10)
For percussion and synthesizer, 1983
Guillermo Barreto, timbales
Tata Güines, congas
- Tañidos (12:47)
For synthesizer and tape, 1983
- 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(?)