#Noticias

Numero Group revive el legado pre-New Age de Jordan De La Sierra…

18.09.14
Frankie Pizá

«Jordan De La Sierra arrived well before New Age was a genre», apuntan desde Numero Group, imprevisible, experta y prestigiosa marca de Chicago que podría considerarse como el mejor sello del mundo. Desde la compañía, sus fundadores y dirigentes, se esfuerzan en cultivar una imagen y personalidad que no descarta ningún tipo de estilo o movimiento a la hora de acometer sus exploraciones: desde el Hard Rock negro de los 70 al Gospel menos conocido pasando por clásicas revisiones de etiquetas Soul/Funk locales o retrospectivas de artistas tan singulares como Iasos, de manera unánime considerado el padre del New Age como movimiento musical.

Ahora, la reedición de «Gymnosphere: Song Of The Rose», llega para dinamitar esa creencia o al menos ponerla en tela de juicio; el compositor de San Francisco, de ascendencia minimalista y contemporáneo de Erik Satie, LaMonte Young, Terry Riley o similares, editó su álbum debut en 1977 a través de la que más tarde sería considerada «primera marca New Age», la local Unity Records; un material que ascendía a los 120 minutos, fue distribuido en un doble álbum, ya conectaba con conceptos importados de las creencias del hinduismo (incluyó un libreto de 20 páginas con bocetos inspirados en dicha temática, realizados por el mismo De La Sierra) y que fue impulsado gracias al empeño del productor Stephen Hill.

La historia del disco, que será cuidadosamente reeditado por el sello norteamericano (en formato de doble LP y doble CD respetando las ediciones originales, tanto de la edición promocional como la posterior) el próximo 2 de Diciembre, puede ser consultada en la extensa nota de prensa que os dejamos a continuación:

«A descendant of Erik Satie and a student of Terry Riley, Jordan De La Sierra adhered to the “pure sound with shape” school of piano tuning, his notes unconfined by Bach’s “well tempered” Western tuning. Instead, De La Sierra’s work incorporated the point of view of nature, what La Monte Young called “well tuned,” in which notes are left to reverberate to the full extent of their potential, at varying lengths, to be bent by their player’s improvisation and textural sonic explorations.

In 1977, Gymnosphere producer Stephen Hill convinced Unity Records—the San Franciscan label that’s been called the first New Age record company—to issue an unedited double album, nearly 120 minutes of music, with an accompanying 20-page booklet lavishly decorated by De La Sierra’s India-inspired drawings and musings on a pre-Star Wars concept called “the Force,” to him a “consciousness itself…without an object.” The sumptuous musical object had little hope of selling well, even in the wake of mainstream ambient recordings by Brian Eno and others. Gymnosphere arrived well before New Age was a genre within Tower Records. It was neither Classical, nor truly Avant-garde. In its day, Gymnosphere would be filed most often under World Beat.

After it floundered in the marketplace, Unity trimmed Gymnosphere down to a single LP, with no booklet, no musings, no context. Jordan De La Sierra, a massive physical presence at well over six feet tall, didn’t disappear exactly. But upon his reemergence in the 1980s, a profusion of post-Windham Hill wind-chime tinklers had come up behind him. Gymnosphere, scheduled for cassette and CD reissue a handful of times, was lost to certain organizational shake-ups. Unity itself had folded. De La Sierra went into landscaping, to “generate a profoundly tangible sense of space,” as his 1977 work might’ve had it. The Gymnosphere tapes—five hours and more of shapely, ethereal piano sonatas draped in Grace Cathedral reverb—sat silently on a shelf.

De La Sierra referred to part of this work as “Music For Gymnastics,” and he thought it best heard at night, “at the nexus in the diurnal-nocturnal cycle that the harmonics present.” But to us, Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose has proven a peerless accompaniment to the toils of the day, a calm and motivating force, forever barely there and yet encompassing. It says, in its myriad tone clusters and seductive repetitions: “We are here and we are now.”

@FrankiePiza