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The Jam musical composition Illustration: Mayo Bous / Magazine AM: PM.

In defense of space

Someone (with whom I disagree) told me that in each musical work, the composer should deploy all the knowledge he has accumulated. To a certain extent I understand this, but I don't think that in each creation one should throw up all one's resources. The overdose of information is the disease of the century, one whose danger lies mainly in its capacity to envelop anyone who contracts it, since it is much more stimulating to receive and receive, without processing. The oversaturation of information creates a state in which its absence is perceived as something negative, as if the empty space was a lack. As if silence were not part of the music, as if the listener were a passive receiver and did not have enough capacity to project something in that space that is left. 

I like songs that allow me to inhabit them and not those that engulf and cloy me with information, sound and textures. As a thinking being, I possess and enjoy the ability to reason and interpret information, either to find the meaning or the reason that motivated the creator, or to find how to apply it in my favor or against me. 

One of my favorite sports, in my time as a musician in Ruido Blnco, was to debate with Marcos González each and every one of the seventeen million things we love about Vetusta Morla (or Silvio, Fito, Drexler, Sabina, Calamaro, Izal, or whatever the author of the moment was at that rehearsal). In one of those endless debates we came to the conclusion that the main magic of compositions lies in their ability to create spaces, without necessarily delimiting them. I don't remember which of us said it, but the conclusion was something like the value of being "a space".a canvas on which to project''. Every now and then, an old song gives me something new; however, after landing on it, and listening in retrospect to all the composers I love, admire and study, I realize that they possess precisely that ability to communicate, under specific codes, stories or situations archetypal enough to be honest, coherent and tell a personal story, while leaving enough space for the listener to add his own story to it. 

Phrases like: He ran, he was never taught to walk or It was such a long mourning that at the end/ I almost mistook it for home. or Leave your luggage on the riverbank/ It's no good to you when you cross the border. are some of the examples of what we affectionately called "resources". vetustiansThe last lines, for example -taken from the last lines of the poem- have enough poetic flight to take you somewhere without limiting your space. In the last verses, for example -taken from June 23rdbelonging to the disk Same Site, Different Place by Vetusta Morla-, the listener can project any situation that plays with the idea of going from one place to another while leaving something behind. 

I think that's where the magic of composition lies, and what I, as an intense music lover, look for in music: a phrase that catches me off guard and gives me the image I need to realize what's going on in the back of my mind, so violently and inevitably that it's painful not to have been aware of it before.

When Drexler talks about the White Belt in the song of the same name, he does so for the reasons he has shared in a video-interview-analysis together with Jaime Altozano about Ink and Timehis most recent work. And me, fanboy Finally, I understand, however, that he does not need to explain himself as his narrative is applicable to any situation related to learning and the comfort zone.

In another dimension of images and meanings, an artist I admire very much, Luis Alberto Spinetta, forged a song of pure words with no coherent structural link between them, pure images with no apparent link between them, beyond the purpose of moving. The concept is the creation of a sound experience where the listener is the one who creates his own story. I refer to the theme By, of the album Artaud, Pescado Rabioso, a work that, while remaining coherent, creates sensations from images and sound spaces while challenging the concept of structure, inspired by the ideas of the Dada, the Surrealists and their "smoky" experiments with the dismemberment of form. 

I would not know how to point out with a rule where exactly lies the point that delimits the border between lyrical vagrancy and abstraction, but if a work manages to take me to a place that no other can, I feel that it has fulfilled its purpose: that it allows me to modify reality, through, in this case, words, images and sounds. 

Is all this necessary to make a decent song? Of course not, but I think therein lies the line between a song that works, and a good song, and if you can have both in one, why not try?

Avatar photo Daniel Rosette Aguilera He's probably listening to music or talking about it. Someday he'll make a living from making music and playlists. More posts

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