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Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Between Nothingness & Eternity (1973)


Presentamos el tercer álbum de la Mahavishnu Orchestra, que es su primer álbum en directo y el último con su alineación inicial. Después de este disco vendrán otras formaciones, pero pienso que la primera fue la más significativa.  Junto a este álbum ofrecemos otro, Unreleased Tracks from Between Nothingness & Eternity, con grabaciones del mismo concierto, que habian permanecido inéditas hasta 2011. Quiero dar las gracias a Hernia y al Mago Alberto. Sin ellos no habría sido posible este post. 


Artista: Mahavishnu Orchestra
Álbum: Between Nothingness & Eternity
Año: 1973
Género: Jazz rock, fusion, heavy progresivo
Duración: 42:25
Nacionalidad: EEUU


   Lista de Temas: 

1. Trilogy Medley  
 -The Sunlit Path 
 -La Mere De La Mer 
 -Tomorrow's Story Not The Same 
2. Sister Andrea 
3. Dream 

 Alineación:
 John McLaughlin / guitar
 Jan Hammer / keyboards
 Jerry Goodman / violin
 Rick Laird / bass
 Billy Cobham / percussion









Cuando, cada tarde, se sentaba el gurú para las prácticas del culto, siempre andaba por allí el gato del ashram distrayendo a los fieles. De manera que ordenó el gurú que ataran al gato durante el culto de la tarde. Mucho después de haber muerto el gurú, seguían atando al gato durante el referido culto. Y cuando el gato murió,  llevaron otro gato al  ashram para poder  atarlo durante el  culto  vespertino.  Siglos  más  tarde,  los discípulos del gurú escribieron doctos tratados acerca del  importante papel  que desempeña el gato en la realización de un culto como es debido.


Anthony de Mello - El Canto de un Pájaro




                                                           
En la década de los setenta  el anónimo hombre de la calle  tuvo la oportunidad de experimentar cosas que en decadas anteriores había conocido tan sólo una reducida élite. La psicodelia, por ejemplo, como consecuencia de la divulgación de las drogas psicoactivas por parte de sus profetas, Timothy Leary y Aldous Huxley, entre otros.  El movimiento teosófico, por otro lado, que había difundido en occidente ideas y creencias que hasta ese momento pertenecieron a las culturas de Oriente, o a sociedades secretas occidentales rodeadas de sigilo y  de misterio.

Louis Pauwels  y Jacques Bergier publican en los '60, "El Retorno de los Brujos" un libro que leí con avidez, y que durante dos decadas, aparte de ser un best seller, fue el impulsor del realismo fantástico, corriente literaria anterior a la latinoamericana del mismo nombrecuyo lema era: "Hay otros mundos, pero están en este".  Se estaba cociendo el caldo de cultivo mas favorable para  la proliferación de ideas, creencias y cultos foráneos. Empezaron a pulular gurus y maestros espirituales de toda índole. La falta de respuestas ante los cuestionamientos más profundos del ser humano por parte de la Iglesia sólo favoreció este proceso.
Por otra parte, la nueva física ponía en jaque el viejo modelo de realidad newtoniano que había sido dado por verdadero durante siglos. Todo parecía tambalearse.

En medio de semejante ebullición de nuevas ideas, - y de nuevas preguntas -tambien la música cambiaba: Los Beatles ejercieron de antenas retransmisoras al ser difusores de nuevas perspectivas y nuevos modos de sentir la vida,  a través de su música. Esa música con la que crecimos los jovenes de entonces.
Entre otras cosas, fueron la primera banda pop que se atrevió a experimentar con musica india, logrando introducir muchos elementos de ésta en la conciencia musical europea y con ellos, todo un cúmulo de ideas y cuestionamientos asociados. Esa "intrusión" de oriente llegaría después a dejar huella incluso en el  jazz, y en la llamada música culta de occidente.
John McLaughlin y la Mahavishnu Orchestra son fruto de ese maravilloso injerto.

Las enseñanzas venidas de oriente nos dicen que existe la posibilidad, en esta vida, de realizar la plenitud del ser, la iluminación de la conciencia. Es una enseñanza que tambien existía en el cristianismo primitivo, pero que fue quedando en un segundo plano, suplantada poco a poco por la idea de la salvación como premio en la otra vida. La idea de la iluminación espiritual caló hondo en las nuevas generaciones de los '70, dando  lugar a un gran mercado del éxtasis, que culminaría mas tarde en el movimiento New Age.










                                                               










                      El Disco

Between Nothingness & Eternity es el tercer álbum de la Mahavishnu Orchestra, y su primer álbum en vivo. Salió al mercado en el año 1973.  De acuerdo con el catalogo de conciertos de la Mahavishnu  de Walter Kolosky, todo el material que recoge este disco  fue grabado en vivo en el festival de música de Schaefer , celebrado en Central Park , Nueva York,  el 17 y 18 de agosto de 1973,  aunque  las grabaciones disponibles parecen demostrar que todo el contenido del álbum se grabó en realidad tan  sólo en la segunda noche. Los temas del disco son tres, el primero de los cuales es una suite compuesta de tres partes. Los titulos de los temas ya no son tan obviamente religiosos como ocurría en los dos albumes anteriores, excepto el tema inicial de la suite que se llama  El camino iluminado por el sol, que parece aludir al camino que conduce al despertar espiritual. En todo caso, el título del álbum, Entre la nada y la eternidad, es claramente de talante místico. 
En un principio, el tercer álbum de la Mahavishnu Orchestra  iba a ser de estudio, de hecho ya había sido grabado en junio de 1973 en los estudios Trident de Londres , pero fue desechado en los días finales del proyecto.  En su lugar salió este álbum en vivo que contiene versiones de tres de las seis pistas originales. El disco de estudio original fue lanzado en 1999 con el nombre de The Lost Trident Sessions
Between Nothingness & Eternity fue incluído en 2011 en el boxset The Complete Columbia Album Collection, junto a los otros discos de la primera formación de la banda, incluyendo The Lost Trident Sessions. Esta última edición incluye una nueva mezcla de Sister Andrea, en la que tiene un minuto más de duración. El boxset también contiene un disco llamado Unreleased Tracks from Between Nothingness & Eternity que es una selección de grabaciones inéditas de los dos  conciertos de Central Park. 

En ese boxset podemos encontrar, pues,  toda la produccion musical de la Mahavishnu Orchestra  en su primera etapa, que concluye precisamente con este concierto, por las desavenencias de tipo económico entre sus miembros. La disputa estaba relacionada con los derechos de autor de los temas, que hasta ese momento habían sido atribuídos exclusivamente a McLaughlin. El resto del grupo consideró que merecía más dinero y reconocimiento del que había obtenido, y disolvió la Mahavishnu Orchestra original. 
Lástima que la época dorada de la Orquesta Mahavishnu terminara así: después de que esos hombres conectaran a unos niveles casi sobrehumanos, resulta sorprendente que por asuntos contables rompieran su relación musical... o tal vez no: tal vez eso indique que su  espiritualidad fuera sólo un espejismo psicodelico...? No lo se. Queda la música. Y sea cual sea su origen, esa música está llena de  inspiración. Es, como dije, la música sacra del siglo XX.









Unreleased Tracks From Between Nothingness & Eternity:

como dije en la introducción, les ofrecemos, aparte de  Between Nothingness & Eternity, un segundo álbum, que es una selección de grabaciones tomadas en el mismo concierto que aquel, pero que no fue publicado hasta 2011. Este álbum se titula Unreleased Tracks From Between Nothingness & Eternity, y consta de los siguientes temas:

01. Hope
02. Awakening
03. You Know, Youn Know
04. One Word
05. Stepping Tones
06. Vital Transformation

de los cuales, 01 y 04 son versiones de temas sacados de Birds of Fire. 02, 03, 06 de The Inner Mounting Flame y 05 es un tema de Laird que originalmente estaba en The Lost Trident Sessions.


para terminar, un par de reseñas:


Between Nothingness And Eternity is a landmark album for a number of reasons.
It is, of course, the final album by the first incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin's legendary jazz-fusion ensemble. Arguably the most influential group of the genre besides that of Miles Davis, the MO released two stunningly impressive studio albums in addition to this live work - only in Shakti did McLaughlin again reach the heights scaled by this unit. Although McLaughlin used the Mahavishnu name for further group ventures, it wasn't quite the same thing - Apocalypse and Visions Of The Emerald Beyond were good albums, but subsequent releases under the McLaughlin/Mahavishnu name could be painfully disappointing (check out Mahavishnu or Adventures In Radioland if you don't believe me ... and the reports I've seen of Inner Worlds aren't exactly glowing either).
This album may also have been the logical conclusion (and therefore the dead end) of this particular brand of jazz-fusion performance. Long extended compositions with long extended solos could be magic in the hands of the masters, but the popularity of the genre invariably inspired a series of less talented imitators. The decline of jazz-fusion has been chronicled in various outlets, and there's no need for me to add too much to the assault. Let us say, however, that Between Nothingness And Eternity has at least as much appeal to fans of "flash" as to fans of "music". While I can appreciate the first guitar solo on "Trilogy", I have to conclude that it probably did more harm than good. Perhaps there was a reason why McLaughlin created the more classically-inspired Apocalypse after this release, and then returned to shorter fusion compositions on Visions Of The Emerald Beyond - there simply isn't much further that he could have gone in this direction without becoming redundant.
Whatever damage it may have contributed to in the long run, however, Between Nothingness And Eternity is a landmark work for another reason as well -- it's extremely good. As live fusion albums with rock-band arrangements go, it may very well be the best of its type (Zappa never quite did a live album entirely devoted to this sort of music, so there's no competition from his side). As mentioned above, extended solos by the masters aren't anything to shy away from; and, while I wouldn't recommend this as the ideal introduction to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, I would suggest that it complements The Inner-Mounting Flame and Birds Of Fire extremely well.
The album begins with two ten-minute tracks, the first of which is the appropriately titled "Trilogy". The entire performance (recorded in Central Park, by the way) is commenced by the solemn sounding of a gong -- giving more the impression of an advanced ritual than a typical American concert performance. This then leads to the first part of the trilogy -- a fairly laid-back fusion passage that soon develops into a more elaborate trade-off between McLaughlin & Hammer (with the former taking the more dominant role). I must admit that I was not overly enthralled with this guitar part the first time that I heard it; even now, I wouldn't quite rate it with the best of McLaughlin's career -- the subsequent entropy of fusion is mapped out here, even if it's independent value is still fairly high.
The second part of the trilogy is somewhat akin to the first -- everybody goes back to the beginning, and Goodman appears as the dominant "voice" on this particular number (with Hammer providing birdsong effects from his Moog, for some never-quite-explained reason). Cobham's backing role is particularly notable in this section -- the man's reputation is not unfounded. The switch to the third section is rather abrupt -- out of nowhere, the band suddenly switches to a more fast and aggressive fusion passage; after a brief violin lead, McLaughlin comes forward with a solo that easily obliterates any concerns the listener may have had about the first guitar lead (for a few minutes, at least). The subsequent ritualized development/repetition of the lead riff is an impressive feat -- one of those rare cases where a group can hammer away on a motif without dulling the overall impact (it seems to go on forever, and that's not necessarily a bad thing). Finally, the group reverts to the original theme at the end (as per most tracks of this sort, it makes much more sense after the journey has been completed).
One might be a bit apprehensive about a track written solely by Jan Hammer, given some of his later ventures (and I'm not even thinking about the Miami Vice years ... check out "Ethereggae" from John Abercrombie's Night for an example of his writing habits gone horribly wrong). As it is, the actual composition of this song is a tad on the prosaic side -- a blues-jazz opening section performed by the entire group; followed by solos; followed by a fade-out. This, however, is a case of a performance outdoing any limits in the composition (probably due to the fact that the solos take up the bulk of the track, timewise).










The blues-jazz intro (which is fairly good on its own terms, if nothing too special) quickly fades into a background setting, with a rather prominent "space" left empty for a few seconds -- it doesn't take to much grey matter to realize that a guitar solo is on its way, and McLaughlin does not disappoint in what follows (a tricky solo it is, too, with quite a few surprising twists here and there). After reaching a crescendo on his own, McLaughlin then outdoes himself with an even better solo over the entire group's performance. After this, Goodman's violin solo makes its appearance -- a bit more flashy than the guitar part, this is still a fairly impressive number (even if it doesn't develop as well as McLaughlin's part). After Laird briefly teases a bass solo, Hammer then bursts forth on his own with a fairly wild Moog performance. By this time, the main theme of the song has also improved to the point of perfectly complementing the solo performances (and let's not forget to credit Cobham's stellar performances in the background ... though, for reasons of posterity, it may have been a good idea not to have thrown in a drum solo).
Already, we clearly have a substantial album on our hands. But what happens next transcends even that.
"Trilogy" and "Sister Andrea" are very good performances. But they pale in comparison to "Dream", an amazing twenty-minute number that easily rates among the best material that McLaughlin has ever released. To give a blow-by-blow description of the work's development would be more prosaic of a treatment than this number deserves. I can say, however, that the combination of mood and musicality is sublimely mixed here -- from the quasi-psychedelic murkiness of the introduction (with individual performances slowly emerging from the mix), it's obvious that we're dealing with music that's meant to affect as well as impress. And I can also mention that the mid-song jamming on the "Sunshine Of Your Love" bass line isn't nearly as awkward as the very idea may sound. One particular highlight of this track is the final guitar solo, just as the track seems to be trailing off into its unformed beginnings -- a final burst of energy prior to the ceremony's end. The sounding of the gong afterwards underscores the nature of the performance once again. I cannot emphasize this enough -- this is a very impressive track, and deserves the attention of anyone interested in this sort of music.
Between Nothingness And Eternity is the sort of album that fits equally well with analytical listening and sonic enrapture. Those who can fit in both should be doubly rewarded.
Newer Mahavishnu fans should buy the studio albums first, but this is still highly recommended.

The Christopher Currie



Between Nothingness And Eternity

By  
Between Nothingness and Eternity was released in 1973 and proved to be the swansong of the first edition of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. While the band had produced two truly great studio albums previously, BNE was intended to showcase its legendary live performance. Disappointingly, this recording does not fully capture that experience. Despite that failing, the album remains a powerhouse of a recording and is a fitting testament to the driving force that was the original Mahavishnu Orchestra. 



BNE was recorded live in NYC’s Central Park in 1973. (The stage was set up in an outdoor hockey rink, and tickets for the event cost a whopping two dollars!) The members of the Orchestra were not getting along at this time. In fact, parts of the studio version of this album, along with new tunes from Jerry Goodman and Rick Laird, were already in the can. However, due to creative differences, the album was never finished. In 2000, some 26 years after the fact, Columbia finally released this incomplete album as The Lost Trident Sessions. 
“Dream,” a long extended piece, is often cited as one of the best all-time Mahavishnu explorations. Extensive unison playing and a guitar-drum duel that very well may be the most exciting ever-put on record highlight this tune. McLaughlin and Billy Cobham may not have been getting along off stage, but they were damn telepathic on it. Over the course of 25 minutes, “Dream” sounds lush and ferocious. At several points during this performance, you will feel the hairs on the back of your neck stiffen. “Dream” is all about tension and release.

“Trilogy” emphasizes the amazing interplay of the band. Much of this interaction runs through Jan Hammer, who was featuring his Moog synthesizer. Conversely, this is also the main weakness of the album. The problem is not contained in Hammer’s performance. He was in top form. But for some reason, the recording does not capture his sound in an entirely pleasing way. One can only guess that the recording equipment or the sound equipment on stage was not up to the task. Simply put, there are passages in which Hammer can barely be heard! This is a very serious problem during the call and response sections. In fact, the overall sound quality of the album is not very good. We must remember that the Mahavishnu Orchestra played VERY LOUD and perhaps the technology at the time just couldn’t handle it. Some fans may actually enjoy the fact that the M.O. seemed to overpower it equipment; this is especially true of McLaughlin’s wailing and distorted guitar that over-modulates from time to time. It was as if no man made equipment could contain the energy produced by this band! 

All in all, despite the obvious sound issues, BNE is a fine production. This album andThe Lost Trident Sessions are a must-have in order to appreciate how the group fleshed out their compositions in concert.









La condición humana queda perfectamente reflejada en el caso de aquel pobre borracho que a altas horas de la noche estaba fuera del parque golpeando la verja y gritando: "¡Dejadme salir!"


Anthony de Mello - La Oración de la Rana II



Cuidense

        el Canario




1 comentario:

  1. Excelente, Canario!! Adoro a la Mahavishnu y a maese John McLaughlin!

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