22 noviembre, 2014

Ecole française : Fauvisme

1905 (France)


Le fauvisme est un mouvement pictural francais, découlant du pointillisme et du post-impressionisme qui connut une certaine renommée après l'exposition du Salon d'Automne de 1905.

Le fauvisme se caractérise par la simplification des formes, des perspectives et des ombres et surtout l'utilisation des couleurs pures provenant directement de leur tube.

Henri Manguin - La sieste (1905)

C'est lors du troisième Salon d'Automne du 18 octobre au 25 novembre 1905, sur l'avenue des Champs-Élysées que fut réuni l'ensemble des peintres qui ont donné leur nom au fauvisme.

Le Salon d'Automne fut créé le 31 Octobre 1903 au Petit Palais, à l'initiative du Belge Franz Jourdain (1847-1935), architecte, homme de lettres et grand amateur d'art et de ses amis Eugène Carrière, G. Desvallières, Guimard, Félix Valloton et Vuillard.

En 1904, le salon n'exposera plus dans les caves, il quitte le Petit Palais pour le Grand Palais. 33 tableaux de Paul Cézanne, 62 d'Odilon Redon et 35 de Auguste Renoir étaient réunis !

En 1905, dans la salle VII, sous la verrière du Grand Palais, furent exposées des oeuvres de Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, Marquet, Puy, Flandrin, Rouault, Van Dongen, Camoin, Manguin, Girieud et la toile "Le lion ayant faim" du Douanier Rousseau. Parmi ces peintures aux couleurs violentes (un "pot de peinture jeté à la face du public" a écrit Camille Mauclair) trônait au milieu de la pièce une sculpture en bronze d'Albert Marque représentant un buste d'enfant dans le plus pure style de la Renaissance italienne.


Dans le supplément au Gil Blas du 17 octobre 1905 (quotidien parisien créé le 19 novembre 1879 par Auguste Dumont (1816-1885),Le critique d'art Louis Vauxcelles (1870 - 1943) écrivait « La candeur de ce buste surprend au milieu de l'orgie des tons purs : Donatello parmi les fauves ». Cet art pictural avait dorénavant un nom : le fauvisme.

Beaucoup plus tard, en 1939, dans son livre "Le fauvisme", Vauxcelles reconnaît à demi-mot que cette comparaison lui a été inspiré par un critique inconnu passant par là et disant à Matisse : « Donatello dans la cage aux fauves », pour qualifier ce qu'il venait de voir.

C'est en 1901, à l'exposition Van Gogh, chez Bernheim-Jeune, que Derain présenta Vlaminck à Matisse.

Matisse, qui présenta au début de 1905 une importante exposition particulière chez Bernheim-Jeune et participa au Salon des indépendants, est considéré comme le chef de file de l'ensemble des Fauves.

Il est néanmoins important de souligner l'influence que Louis Valtat (1869-1952) eu auprès de Matisse mais aussi des futurs fauvistes : Rouault, Marquet, Camoin, Manguin, Puy et quelques autres qui suivaient en 1896 l'enseignement de Gustave Moreau à l'École des Beaux Arts de Paris.

Valtat présenta d'ailleurs, aux côtés de Kandinsky et Jawlensky, cinq peintures dans la salle XV de ce troisième Salon d'Automne. Mais c'est au Salon des Indépendants de 1896, sous la dénomination "Dans la baie", qu'il exposa des peintures réalisées à Arcachon durant l'hiver 1895-1896, ainsi que quatre-vingts aquarelles, des dessins et des bois gravés. Ces peintures comprenaient les caractéristiques du fauvisme, c'est-à-dire : des couleurs pures, des formes simplifiées, des perspectives abolies et des ombres supprimées.

Soit l'emploi de couleurs très vives inspirées des oeuvres de Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) et de Van Gogh (1853-1890).

Rejetant la perspective et les valeurs de l'art académique, les Fauves préconisent plutôt l'emploi des couleurs vives et la juxtaposition des tons purs.

Malgré la vie éphémère du mouvement, les Fauves ont eu une grande influence sur l'Europe entière.
(cf : Wikipedia)
http://www.insecula.com/salle/EP0675.html

**

Othon Friesz : le fauve flamboyant
HOME ACTUALITE LE FIGARO MAGAZINE
Par PAR VÉRONIQUE PRATMis à jour le 15/10/2007 à 03:30 Publié le 02/03/2007 à 06:00

Catalogo de la exposición
Dans le microcosme de l'art, on s'ennuie à Paris en ce printemps 1905. Après avoir fait hurler au scandale, à la fumisterie et au barbouillage, les toiles impressionnistes ne choquent plus personne. Tout cela est bien fini et la moindre des expositions de Monet ou Renoir est un succès assuré. Le postimpressionnisme de Seurat et de Signac a fait long feu, lui aussi : l'idée de poser la couleur par petites touches, mécaniquement, ne séduit plus guère. Quant au mouvement des nabis avec, à sa tête, Bonnard et Vuillard, il s'embourgeoise : ceux qui passaient pour des contestataires sont maintenant de gentils vieux messieurs.
On s'ennuie donc à Paris en 1905, sauf dans le petit groupe de peintres qui entourent un jeune artiste de 36 ans : Henri Matisse. Ils vont même s'amuser beaucoup en provoquant cette année-là un scandale au Salon d'automne : ensemble, ils vont exposer une trentaine de toiles qui, toutes, affichent des couleurs d'une violence inouïe. Le public et les critiques vont se sentir agressés par ces «excentricités coloriées» qui déchaînent immédiatement des quolibets et des insultes. A côté de ces toiles bariolées, les sculptures exposées semblent bien sages, presque classiques : apercevant parmi les toiles stridentes un buste de femme et un torse d'enfant signés Albert Marque, le critique Louis Vauxcelles s'écrie, prenant Matisse à témoin : «Ce pauvre Marque, c'est Donatello dans la cage aux fauves !» Le mot fit rapidement fortune. Il allait désormais désigner le mouvement pictural qui s'était créé autour de Matisse et rassemblait Marquet, Manguin, Vlaminck, Derain, Dufy, Braque. Et Othon Friesz.
Friesz a eu moins de chance que les autres : aussi connu que ses camarades au début du siècle, il sera peu à peu oublié. Alors que tous ont été célébrés dans de somptueuses monographies, aucun ouvrage n'a été consacré à Friesz depuis 1957. Alors que le fauvisme, première révolution picturale du XXe siècle, fait régulièrement l'objet d'expositions qui insistent sur le rôle de Matisse, Vlaminck ou Derain, le pauvre Friesz n'a eu droit qu'à une seule rétrospective, d'ailleurs modeste, organisée en 1979 pour le centenaire de sa naissance. Apollinaire, puis Cocteau et Malraux ont beau avoir dit tout le bien qu'ils pensaient du peintre, il a été relégué au purgatoire. L'exposition que lui consacre aujourd'hui le musée de Roubaix prend donc des allures de réhabilitation : avec plus de 150 oeuvres empruntées à de très grandes collections publiques et privées, françaises et internationales, elle répare une injustice et révèle la diversité d'une longue vie d'artiste.
Gil Blas du 17 octobre 1905
Friesz est né au Havre en 1879. Le père, capitaine au long cours, est souvent absent. C'est la mère d'Othon qui se chargera de son éducation. Excellente pianiste, elle aurait bien aimé en faire un musicien mais, tout jeune, le garçon manifeste attirance et talent pour le dessin. Elle accepte de l'inscrire à l'Ecole des beaux-arts. A 20 ans, comme tous les jeunes artistes d'alors, Friesz est encore sous l'influence de l'impressionnisme, séduit par les vieux maîtres que sont devenus Monet et Pissarro. Comme eux, il s'attache alors à rendre les effets éphémères de la lumière, le jeu sur l'eau des reflets colorés. Pendant plusieurs années, Friesz va partager son atelier avec Dufy, Havrais comme lui. Ensemble, ils font la connaissance de Matisse, Marquet, Manguin et Camoin qui sont tous dans l'atelier de Gustave Moreau à l'Ecole des beaux-arts. Quelques mois plus tard, il rejoint Vlaminck et Derain qui se sont installés à Chatou. Le petit groupe des futurs «fauves» est maintenant constitué, mais pendant quelque temps chacun continuera à peindre en restant plus ou moins fidèle à l'impressionnisme.
En 1899, Matisse rentre d'un séjour d'une année en Corse. Il en rapporte une série de petites toiles brossées en tons purs, émeraude et garance. A Paris, cette violence chromatique s'affirme avec des natures mortes et des nus saturés de violets et de bleus, d'orangés et de vermillons. Pour les peintres qui entourent Matisse, le choc est brutal, décisif : ils renoncent à l'impressionnisme dont ils avaient été nourris pour suivre Matisse et utiliser, comme lui, les couleurs «comme des cartouches de dynamite». Bientôt naissent les premières toiles véritablement fauves, qui feront sensation au mémorable Salon d'automne de 1905. Pendant l'été 1907, Friesz et Braque, qui a rallié le mouvement, partent travailler à La Ciotat et autour de Cassis. Les paysages que Friesz peint alors sont la plus belle partie de son oeuvre et quelques-unes des toiles phares de l'histoire du fauvisme.
Cette révolution fauve n'était pas mince : pendant longtemps la couleur n'avait été qu'un complément du dessin. Elle était maintenant regardée comme un moyen d'expression à part entière. Curieusement, ce mouvement sera aussi bref qu'il a été intense : l'année 1907, qui est le point culminant du fauvisme, est aussi celui où il commence à se désintégrer. La couleur vive et la ligne courbe vont s'effacer au profit d'une construction géométrique du tableau. Et d'ailleurs, comme un signe de cette évolution, la rétrospective du Salon d'automne de 1907 est consacrée à Cézanne dont l'art construit s'oppose à l'art rayonnant de Matisse et ses amis. Déjà, sous l'ultime poussée fauve, le cubisme se fait jour : en octobre, Picasso achève les Demoiselles d'Avignon qui en est l'acte de naissance.
Jusqu'en 1914, l'art de Friesz rend parfaitement compte des courants picturaux qui se succèdent : impressionnisme, fauvisme, cubisme. Parfois même, dans certains paysages de 1907, le peintre atteint à une forme de lyrisme qui annonce l'abstraction. Mais cet état de grâce ne dure pas : Friesz connaît un vrai succès, il vend bien, il est exposé à Londres, à New York, à Berlin, mais ce confort matériel va ruiner son talent. Désormais, l'artiste se préoccupe plus des prix de ses oeuvres sur le marché que de ses propres recherches picturales. Dans ses toutes dernières années, sa production, avant tout commerciale, est médiocre. On attend d'un artiste qu'il imagine, en marge du temps, une nouvelle forme de beauté. Othon Friesz, lui, nous intéresse parce qu'il rend parfaitement compte de son époque avec ses contradictions et ses faiblesses. Ce n'est pas suffisant.

La Piscine (musée d'Art et d'Industrie André-Diligent), 23, rue de l'Espérance, Roubaix, jusqu'au 20 mai 2007. Catalogue par David Butcher, éditions Gallimard.
http://www.lefigaro.fr/lefigaromagazine/2007/03/02/01006-20070302ARTMAG90425-le_fauve_flamboyant.php

**

Fauvism: Le Salon d'Automne de Paris 1905

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2010

"Donatello en medio de las fieras!"

"Donatello au milieu des fauves!"



La petite histoire:

1905, le troisième Salon d’Automne de la ville de Paris, au Grand Palais, sur l'Avenue des Champs-Élysées bat son plein. Depuis trois années déjà, ce nouveau Salon d’Art imaginé par Franz Jourdain, existe vaillamment comme “tous les groupements nouveaux à qui les groupements anciens refusent le droit à la vie¹.”

Grand Palais & Petit Palais, Paris


Cette année là, c’est la la salle numéro 7 du Salon d’Automne qui est le théâtre de spectaculaires réactions et critiques:
Sont exposés dans cette salle, 39 tableaux de 12 artistes dont ceux d’Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Charles Camoin, Henri Manguin et Albert Marquet.

Exhibition catalog of Salon d’Automne de Paris,1905
List of works exhibited in room #7 can be found in the catalog's link above, at the following fotos:
Matisse #47 - Derain #34 - Vlaminck #85 - Camoin #27 - Manguin#61 - Marquet #62


Parmi ces peintures aux formes simplifiés et aux couleurs violentes déployées sur de larges toiles, trônent au milieu de la pièce, deux sculptures d'Albert Marque, représentées dans le plus pure style de la Renaissance italienne.

Room number 7 at Salon d’Automne de Paris, 1905



Le critique d’art Louis Vauxcelles, relevant l’ironie de la situation, écrit alors dans le supplément du journal Gil Blas du 17 Octobre 1905:

« Au centre de la salle, un torse d'enfant et un petit buste en marbre d'Albert Marque, qui modèle avec une science délicate. La candeur de ces bustes surprend au milieu de l'orgie des tons purs : Donatello² parmi les fauves »

Mr Vauxcelles ne s’imaginait pas alors que sa critique acerbe, allait en fait baptiser ce nouveau groupe d’artistes qui, loin de s’offusquer de la critique, adoptèrent effrontément le sobriquet de “Fauves”.

Cover of news paper Gil Blas



Parmi les oeuvres exposées dans la salle numéro 7 du Salon d'Automne de Paris 1905, les peintures suivantes pouvaient être vues:



Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

715 - Fenêtre Ouverte³


717 - Matinée d'été


718 - Femme au chapeau


719 - Japonnaise


722-Baigneuse, later renamed: Luxe, calme et volupté



André Derain (1880-1954)



438 - Vue de Coullioure




440 - Sêchage des voiles



Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)


1577 - La maison de mon père


1580 - L’Etang de Saint-Cucufa



Charles Camoin (1879-1965)


286 or 287 - Le Port de Cassis



Henri Manguin (1874-1949)


1014 - La Sieste



Albert Marquet (1875-1947)


1044 - Le port de Menton




¹ Jacques Elie Faure (1873-1937) Historien de l’art et essayiste français.
² Donatello (1386-1466) sculpteur et artiste italien de la Renaissance (voir la photo du titre)

³ Les numéros à côté des titres des oeuvres font référence au catalogue du salon d'automne de Paris, 1905 disponible au lien suivant:

21 noviembre, 2014

Neoliberalismo, corporaciones mediáticas, sujeto Por Jorge Alemán*

Después de Gramsci, el poder no puede ser pensado en el campo emancipatorio sólo en su aspecto coercitivo y localizado. Hay una línea que, partiendo de Gramsci y siguiendo por Althusser, Foucault y otros, nos indica que el poder no sólo oprime, sino que fabrica consensos, establece la orientación subjetiva y produce una trama simbólica que funciona de modo “invisible”, naturalizando las ideas dominantes y donde siempre, y en esto consiste su éxito definitivo, esconde su acto de imposición. El procedimiento de los medios orientados por las corporaciones dominantes se define como un acto de enunciación que siempre busca esconder su carácter histórico como también los intereses que promueve bajo un modo supuestamente universal. El orden simbólico que atraviesa al neoliberalismo se comporta como un dispositivo racional que aparenta promover diversas formas de subjetividad, mientras la repetición de lo mismo en el circuito ilimitado de la mercancía prosigue su marcha incesante y circular. Sin embargo, en la medida en que los medios de comunicación, más allá de sus diversas modalidades de transmisión, se sostienen en el lenguaje, es necesario, según nuestro juicio, despejar una confusión muy habitual entre las ciencias sociales y las filosofías contemporáneas concernidas por esta cuestión.

fuente: http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/contratapa/13-260201-2014-11-20.html

20 noviembre, 2014

La escopeta, cuento de Enrique Wernicke

Soy un hombre corrido. He vivido la mar de aventuras. Pero nada de cuanto he visto y oído tiene comparación con el terrible caso que voy a contar. Este suceso, en cierta forma, cambio mi carácter. Deje de ser desaprensivo. Me torné receloso y timorato. Es que hoy me sobrecoge el secreto que rodea nuestra existencia y temo hasta la presencia de las cosas inertes.
Yo tenía un compadre a quien quería muchísimo. Desde niños anduvimos juntos. Los mismos gustos, las mismas diversiones, la misma estatura y el mismo tronco. Éramos dos amigos inseparables, de esos que alegran la existencia y los boliches.
Era una costumbre de años que cada fin de semana saliéramos a cazar.

19 noviembre, 2014

Roy Thomas Baker & Gary Langan: como se hizo Una noche en la opera

"Una fastuosa producción muy por delante de su tiempo, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' sigue siendo uno de los mejores momentos del rock británico. Veinte años después de su lanzamiento original, MARK CUNNINGHAM aprende como la musa mercurial era registrada en cinta por productor, Roy Thomas Baker, y el (entonces asistente) ingeniero de mezcla, Gary Langan."

"¿Cómo se ubicaron los miembros de la banda Queen en relación el uno al otro para la grabación de la pista de fondo?
"Roger Taylor se sentó detrás de su kit de batería al final del estudio en vivo y John Deacon estaba contra la pared, con su pila de graves Marshall en el lado derecho visto desde fuera de la ventana de la sala de control. Brian estaba en una cabina portátil aislada y Freddie en el piano, junto a la ventana."

Roy Thomas Baker & Gary Langan: The Making Of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'


Published in SOS October 1995

A lavish production well ahead of its time, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' remains one of British rock's finest moments. Twenty years after its original release, MARK CUNNINGHAM learns how the mercurial muse was committed to tape from its producer, Roy Thomas Baker, and (then assistant) mix engineer, Gary Langan.

 Fuente: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/oct95/queen.html

Few singles can boast the technical and commercial achievements of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Released on October 31, 1975, it was a production beyond comparison, residing at the top of the UK chart for nine weeks and honoured in 1977 by the BPI as 'The Best Single Of The Last 25 Years'. Later, propelled by the tragic death of its composer, Freddie Mercury, the single returned to Number One for a second time in 1991.

Metamorphosing from wistful ballad to an operatic pastiche with a fiery rock climax, all within six short minutes, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was greeted like manna from heaven in the dull musical wasteland between glam-rock and punk. Although 'Killer Queen', a year earlier, showed the band was a cut above the rest of the rock pack in terms of inventiveness, nothing could possibly prepare the listener for 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. With one broad sweep, it sealed Queen's future in the Premier Division of rock performers and studio experimentalists.

Queen junto a Roy Thomas Baker
(Ir al título para leer el artículo completo)


THE RECORDING SESSIONS

Recording began at Rockfield Studio 1 near Monmouth on August 24, 1975, after a 3-week rehearsal period in Herefordshire. During the making of the track, however, a further four studios -- SARM (East), Scorpion, Wessex and Roundhouse -- were used. At the time it was the most expensive single ever made and guitarist Brian May was to later refer to the track's parent album, A Night At The Opera, as "our Sgt Pepper".

Vital to Queen's palette of sound was producer Roy Thomas Baker who, while at Decca and Trident Studios, had gained vast experience in rock, opera, and classical music. Baker had already produced Queen's first three albums (Queen, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack) by the time Mercury casually previewed a new song called 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Little did the producer realise that every ounce of his acquired expertise would be called upon in moulding this epic.

'THIS IS WHERE THE OPERA SECTION COMES IN...'

Baker recalls his first hearing of the song: "We were going out to dinner one night and I met Freddie at his apartment in Kensington. He sat down at his piano and said, 'I'd like to play you a song that I'm working on at the moment.' So he played the first part and said, 'This is the chord sequence', followed by the interim part, and although he didn't have all the lyrics together yet, I could tell it was going to be a ballady number. He played a bit further through the song and then stopped suddenly, saying, 'This is where the opera section comes in.' We both just burst out laughing. I had worked with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at Decca where I learned a lot about vocals and the way vocals are stressed, so I was probably one of the few people in the whole world who knew exactly what he was talking about.

"It was the first time that an opera section had been incorporated into a pop record, let alone a Number One. It was obviously very unusual and we originally planned to have just a couple of 'Galileos'. But things often have a habit of evolving differently once you're inside the studio, and it did get longer and bigger. The beginning section was pretty spot on and the end section was fairly similar, although we obviously embellished it with guitars and lots of overdubs. But the opera section ended up nothing like the original concept, because we kept changing it and adding things to it."

Baker and Queen recorded the basic backing track in three sections at Kingsley Ward's Rockfield Studios, later transferring to Scorpion Studios in North London and SARM for work on the guitar overdubs and extensive vocals. "The first half or ballad section was done with piano, drums and bass -- the normal routine. We never really started the opera section at that point. We just left a 30-second strip of tape on the reel for later use, not knowing that we would even overrun it. Then the end rock section was recorded as a separate song, in the way that we would normally record a loud rock number of that period. The thing that made it difficult was that even the end had lots of vocals on it (the 'Ooh yeah, ooh yeah' part), so we had to record the basic backing track of drums, bass, guitar and piano, then do the background vocals without having the lead vocal on first. That wasn't the regular way of doing things, because the lead vocal would normally dictate the phrasing of the background vocals. But we wouldn't have had enough tracks left for the rich backing vocals if we hadn't gone down this route.

"The opera bit was getting longer, and so we kept splicing huge lengths of tape on to the reel. Every time Freddie came up with another 'Galileo', I would add another piece of tape to the reel, which was beginning to look like a zebra crossing whizzing by! This went on over a three or four day period, while we decided on the length of the section. That section alone took about three weeks to record, which in 1975 was the average time spent on a whole album.

"We formed a 3-part harmony by recording one harmony at a time and bouncing. So we did three tracks of the first part and bounced it to one track, three of the second, and three of the third. We would then double bounce to one section, so that particular phrase would have a 3-part harmony just on one track. We would do this to each background vocal part across the song and ended up with fourth generation dupes on just one of the parts. By the time we mixed two of the other parts together, the first part was up to eight generations. This was before we wore out the master and began making 24-track to 24-track tape transfers. Once that had happened, the distortion factor on those vocals was very, very high."

Although a project of this magnitude would understandably cause anxiety among many in Baker's position, the technical restraints of the era did not alarm him. "If something had to be longer, we would just add extra tape. If we needed more tracks, we would track bounce to free some more room on the tape. The making of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was basically one continuous track bounce!"

Due to the complex nature of the recording, it is not surprising that the occasional vocal faux-pas was noted by Baker's keen ears. He was not militaristic, however. "There were a few harmonies that were a little dissident, such as two notes next to each other which weren't quite spot on in passing phrases. We left those there, because they weren't classed as mistakes. In classical music they are allowable, whereas in rock music they normally are not. But in passing phrases it seems to work OK. If there was anything we heard at the time which we thought we wouldn't get away with, we would just wipe it and re-record it. So everything you hear was planned, albeit disjointedly planned, the way it should be."

POSITIONING & MIKING

How were the Queen band members positioned in relation to each other for the backing track?

"Roger Taylor sat behind his drum kit at the live end of the studio and John Deacon was against the wall, with his Marshall bass stack on the right-hand side as you looked out of the control room window. Brian was in a portable isolation booth and Freddie was at the piano, close to the window.

"We weren't into multiple snare miking back then, so there was just a single mic on the snare. We tended to use mostly condenser mics at that time and generally Neumann U67s or U87s on the toms and overhead. The transformation between U67s or U87s was going on at that point and studios usually had one or the other. An AKG D12 was used on the bass drum. They were the days before the D112, which seems to be the standard now. John's bass was DI'd. Studios tended to make up their own DI boxes then, because no manufacturers appeared to be making them. They weren't active DI boxes either; people would make them with a transformer sticking out of the end with wires going all over the place. There was always a slight sound loss when you plugged them into the amp, so we had to compensate for that. We also used an Electro-Voice 666 and sometimes a Neumann U67 condenser on John's cabinet to pick up a bit of air.

"I was standing at the back of the control room and you just knew that you were listening for the first time to a big page in history. Something inside me told me that this was a red letter day, and it really was."

"Freddie's piano was miked with two Neumann U67s and we also set up a Shure mic for his guide vocal. He didn't sing all the way through the backing track takes, just the first couple of words of each line as a reference for the band."

But, as ever, much experimentation was undertaken before Brian May's guitar sound was perfected. "We used to have a few different types of mics set up, from which we would choose or blend signals for any one given sound, and it's a technique that I still use today. Brian's Vox AC30 amps were backless, so we also set up some mics behind them and near the wall, to capture some ambience and the full spectrum of the guitar sound. There was always a lot of experimentation going on during our sessions. Brian generally used AC30s but John Deacon had also thrown together something like a Tandy Radio Shack speaker with a 3 Watt amplifier, and we tried that with a treble booster. We tried putting microphones down metal and concrete tubes to get more of a honky sound, and it all seemed to work. It certainly all stands up today when I hear it all again."

24-TRACK DILEMMA

While the first three Queen albums had been recorded on 16-track equipment, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' benefitted from 24-track technology, although not without a few problems.

"We found that the different 24-track machines we used had different formats, but we managed to compensate for that. We just used the one machine, because there was no syncing available to us. We started off at Rockfield on the Studer 24-track, which looked like a huge fish fryer. Then we did the vocal overdubs at Scorpion Studios, where they had a Telefunken machine. Telefunken had this great idea to make their edge tracks (1 and 24) wider than the inside tracks, because they claimed there would be a higher risk of dropouts on the edges, but this made their machine totally incompatible with others. Unfortunately, Telefunken's attitude was: 'We invented the tape machine, we can do what we want!' So we threw that machine out and used a variety of machines from there onwards, including an Ampex which sounded phenomenally good but had transport tension problems; a track would play at a different speed by the end of the reel. The only contemporary machine we never tried was a Stephens."

THE ROYAL MIX

Along with engineers Mike Stone, Gary Lyons and Geoff Workman, Baker took the helm on a variety of consoles at the sessions, including a custom-built desk at Rockfield, a Cadac at the Roundhouse, and "an old, blue Neve with big knobs on it" at Wessex. When Baker and Queen retreated to SARM (East) Studios for the mixing sessions, they were treated to a Trident B console.

"That console was the second B-series model that Trident delivered from Malcolm Toft. It was a great board with such a unique sound, although I couldn't say why. I noticed that when it was resold, it was described as the board used to mix 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and I think they got more money than they originally paid for it. We used an MCI machine at SARM which we called 'Munchy, Crunchy and Intermittent', because it was always falling apart!"

Now famous for his work with The Art Of Noise and Trevor Horn, and productions for Spandau Ballet and Mick Jagger, Gary Langan was a fresh-faced, 18-year-old assistant engineer at SARM when he came to work alongside Baker, Stone and Lyons on the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' mix. Langan's first task at the sessions was to put together a composite multitrack master from the three distinct sections of the song. He says: "Nobody really knew how it was going to sound as a whole 6-minute song until it was spliced together. I was standing at the back of the control room and you just knew that you were listening for the first time to a big page in history. Something inside me told me that this was a red letter day, and it really was."

One new item of equipment which was installed at SARM only days before the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' mix was the Alison computerised mixing system. Langan laughs: "It was the first automated system in the world, but it was ridiculous because it never worked properly! You had to store data on two tracks, so you'd end up with no more than 22 tracks of music on your tape, to provide room for the data."

"Every time Freddie came up with another 'Galileo', I would add another piece of tape to the reel... That section alone took about three weeks to record, which in 1975 was the average time spent on a whole album."

Baker adds: "It was an old VCA system, which was responsible for the distortion at the end of the opera section. If you listen to the record closely you'll notice it. But there wasn't a single thing we could do about it. It was a combination of the extra track-bouncing and the use of the old VCA technology that was employed for the computerisation. When it got to that stage, the meters were so pinned that the VCAs in the board would not take any more volume. So we had to turn the computer off and the end rock section of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was actually mixed by hand in the traditional way, where we each had control over a fader or group of faders."

It was planned that the highly pronounced snare beat at the beginning of the heavy rock section would be a distinct edit point, its crashing velocity a by-product of the manual mixing. "That was the point at which the VCAs were turned off," Baker explains, "but I did also push it there. You hear a marked difference on the end section, where it totally cleans up; it's crystal clean and loud. It wasn't planned that way; it was purely an error because we couldn't get rid of that distortion. It didn't worry me too much though, because one of the trademarks of Queen was the heavily saturated sound.

"On Queen II and some of the big Queen themes, especially 'Bohemian Rhapsody', the generation copies caused so much distortion on Roger's drum tracks that it became a trademark sound in itself -- which people have since tried to copy with outboard equipment. Even today, people are still trying to recreate that in-your-face distortion with machinery! So by accident we started a trend without even knowing it, in the same way that with an electric guitar, if you turn it up to 10, you'll hear distortion. But that became the band's sound."

CREATIVE TENSION

With a band whose four individuals were no shrinking violets when it came to writing songs and taking the creative lead, one of Roy Thomas Baker's major tasks was to singularly encourage the band to work as a concise unit while keeping the distinctive Queen sound. "It was a more difficult situation than working with a band with only one songwriter, because they were all so good. But it didn't matter who had written the song; it still had to sound like a Queen record.

"They were great to work with, although like most bands there was an element of internal bickering. I always told them that it was too embarrassing for them to have an argument in front of everyone in the studio. So I would always make a room available for them to go to and argue in private. I think most of their arguments were about who had the B-side -- that royalty thing. I remember Roger moping about because he really wanted his song, 'I'm In Love With My Car', on the B-side of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. He locked himself in the tape closet at SARM and said he wouldn't come out until they agreed to put it on!" [Eventually, they did.]

The trend-setting video, made to promote the single, was directed by Bruce Gowers and cost just £4000, but information regarding the total cost of the audio recording seems to have disappeared. "It must have been very expensive," Baker comments, "but it wasn't something that worried me, because it didn't seem to be my department. As always, I was out to make the best record possible. I was just given a start date and a deadline for the whole album. We were still mixing one of the songs for the album during the press playback at the Roundhouse, so the press heard one track as a rough mix. We never worried about budgets at that time, but it was cheaper to record then."

Unfortunately, there are no rough mixes around to audibly demonstrate how 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was created in stages. This can be attributed to Queen's paranoia of having unfinished recordings lying around the studio. Baker explains the rationale behind it: "We never did a rough mix because we all had Philips dictaphones that we'd stick near the studio monitors and record a mix for private listening. We'd attempt some rough mixes ourselves for other songs, just to see if edits would work, but rough mixes had a habit of getting into the record company's hands prematurely. So if we ever did any, we would hide them or disguise them. Once, at Trident Studios, Billy Cobham was working next door and we hid our tapes in that control room, labelling them 'Cilly Bobham'. If it had been labelled 'Queen', we knew that EMI would have a copy the next day."

CREATIVE MONUMENT

20 years on from the original release of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Baker rightly believes that the song still deserves attention as a creative monument. "I listen to it now and it's a great piece of art, although I didn't realise at the time we had made a classic. It was the first combination of opera and rock, and the summit of everything we were doing before recording and mixing became automated. If we hadn't produced certain effects by hand, nobody would have bothered to invent the box that did it automatically, and I'd like to think that a lot of the stuff we were doing in the '70s started trends and got copied later by machines."

After working on the album A Night At The Opera, Baker took a break from the Queen camp and concentrated his activities on American bands, only to be coaxed back by Roger Taylor for one more Queen album (Jazz) in 1978. Does 'Bohemian Rhapsody' represent the pinnacle of Baker's achievements?

"It's definitely one of several, but I saw a backlash against over-production so I changed. One of the ways was to get involved with The Cars, because I could use all my production techniques as a way of under-producing. The punk thing was bubbling under and bands were trying to get through with a more raw, understated sound, and I really enjoyed making sparse records with The Cars and Alice Cooper. I could see the backlash coming, though, just as I could see it happening in the 1980s and out of that came Pearl Jam and Nirvana. There are times I can clearly recall where I have made a conscious move to change my direction, and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was the pinnacle of my over-indulgence as a producer."


TRIDENT DAYS

Roy Thomas Baker served his 'audio apprenticeship' at Decca Records in the heady mid-1960s, starting as a tea boy-cum-second engineer and quickly progressing to an engineer's role. Then, in early 1969, Baker joined the newly-opened Trident Studios as a staff engineer -- a move which was to help make his name. "It was a great period for me, because it gave me the chance to work with international artists," says Baker. "One day I'd be working with Zappa, the next Santana, and I'd be going from American music, which I love, to American-orientated English music like T-Rex and Free. It was a great stepping stone."

Trident was one of the first UK studios to have 8-track facilities, a sufficient reason for The Beatles to temporarily leave their Abbey Road 'home' for the recording of 'Hey Jude'. In friendly competition with George Martin's AIR production company, Trident started its own independent initiative, Trident Audio Productions, after luring some of the country's best engineering talent, including EMI's Ken Scott and Robin Cable from Saga.

"Ken was working with Bowie and Robin was engineering for Elton John and other more mainstream acts with Gus Dudgeon. The people at Trident weren't too happy about starting a production company, as they felt they would be competing against their clients for studio time, but they realised there was a lot of talent out there which needed an outlet. It was around then that I first met Queen."


THE NIGHT AFTER THE OPERA

Although Queen and Baker were united in the belief that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' should be a single, the song's 6-minute length gave EMI's decision-makers cause for concern. "It was, after all, breaking all the rules," says Baker. "So we rang EMI and told them we had a single, inviting them down to have a listen. We told them how long the track was and before they had even heard it, the comment was, 'Oh, I don't know. I don't think we'll be able to get any radio play with a song that long.' We said, 'But you haven't heard it yet.' They said, 'Well, just going by what the current formula is, if it's longer than three and a half minutes, they won't play it.'

"The way I rationalised it was that there had previously been Richard Harris' 'MacArthur Park' and Barry Ryan's 'Eloise' (1968) which were very long, and that justified to me that it was probably the right time to release a long song and get away with it. We thought we'd better get some outside advice and around the corner to Scorpion Studios was Capital Radio, where Kenny Everett worked. We invited him over, for his professional opinion, and his response was very animated. He said, 'I love this song. It's so good, they'll have to invent a new chart position. Instead of it being Number One, it'll be Number Half!' It was the oddest thing I'd ever heard! So we all went out for an Indian and Ev asked for a copy. We had a reel-to-reel copy but we told him he could only have it if he promised not to play it. 'I won't play it,' he said, winking...

"On his radio show the following morning he played the beginning of it, saying, 'Oh, I can't play anymore, 'cause I promised.' Then he played a bit more later. Eventually, he played the track 14 times over the course of the weekend. By Monday, there were hordes of fans going to the record stores to buy 'Bohemian Rhapsody', only to be told it wasn't out yet. There was a huge backlash at our end from EMI's promotion department, who told us we were undermining them by giving Capital Radio a copy. But they said that we had no option, because they told us that nobody would want to play it. In the meantime, John Reid [Queen's then new manager] had got together with the MD at EMI Records and they just went ahead and started to press the single. During the same weekend that Ev was playing the song, there was a guy called Paul Drew, who ran the RKO stations in the States. He happened to be in London and heard it on the radio. He managed to get a copy of the tape and started to play it in the States, which forced the hand of Queen's USA label, Elektra. It was a strange situation where radio on both sides of the Atlantic was breaking a record that the record companies said would never get airplay!"


NO SYNTHS!

Queen's early albums were all notable for the inclusion of the phrase 'Nobody played synthesizer' in the sleeve notes. Many people assumed it to be a reaction against the growing use of synthesizers in rock and pop music, although producer Roy Thomas Baker insists that this was no moral protest.

"There was no stipulation that we wouldn't have any synths, but the statement 'No synths' was printed on the album sleeves because of peoples' lack of intellect in the ears department. Many people couldn't hear the difference between a multitracked guitar and a synthesizer. We would spend four days multi-layering a guitar solo and then some imbecile from the record company would come in and say, 'I like that synth!'"


GARY LANGAN & SARM

SARM started life at the beginning of the 1970s as a tape copying facility with two Revox machines, trading in Osborn Street, Whitechapel, as 'Sound And Recording Mobiles'. Encouraged by his session musician father, Gary Langan joined SARM straight from school. He recalls: "Gary Lyons and Mike Stone taught me everything I knew about engineering. There isn't anybody these days like those two guys. Compared with many of today's engineers, they had a different, better level of technical skill."

Langan first became involved with Queen when Roy Thomas Baker brought two songs from the Sheer Heart Attack album to SARM for remixing. "After working at SARM on a few projects, it seemed that Queen didn't want to mix anywhere else for some time. So I ended up working on all of their 'Marx Brothers' albums -- A Night At The Opera, A Day At The Races, and News Of The World.

"The only band with whom I'd worked was Queen; I didn't know about how other bands recorded. So spending weeks doing guitar solos with Brian and even more weeks doing vocals seemed like the norm to me. My job was really to learn and look after the band. To be 'seen but not heard' was the task in those days, but I became really good friends with all of them."


MEETING ROYALTY

It was in 1972, while on an inspection tour of the De Lane Lea studio complex in Wembley, North London, that Roy Thomas Baker first met Queen, who were then still using the band name Smile. He recalls: "Queen were recording free of charge while the engineers tested. I didn't know of the band then and I was more concerned with going over to see what this big, new studio was like. That's when I ran into the guys and heard their demos. They were doing a song called 'Keep Yourself Alive', which immediately sounded like a hit to me. I just thought that here was a band doing something new and fresh. You could tell Queen were so good just by listening to the musical content at that stage, and sitting down and chatting to Freddie Mercury."

After signing to Trident Audio Productions, Queen began work on their debut album [Queen] with Baker and engineer John Anthony during 'downtime' at Trident, often working from 2am through to the following lunchtime. Brian May's idea for lush, multi-layered guitar parts was already in place by the time of Baker's arrival. "Brian was already on to something different, in terms of trying to orchestrate his guitars in a different way to how most people would approach it. I had quite a bit of an orchestral background through working on classical music at Decca, and that helped with structuring the phrasing of the guitar parts. We never thought of Brian's guitar as a raunchy instrument, like most guitarists do; it was an orchestral instrument. Brian's great strength was in phrasing a part then double-tracking or harmonising very accurately and quickly."

The gong which graces the dying moments of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' made its debut on the experimental 1974 Queen II album. "It became a trademark which started with us pissing around during the second album. We were experimenting with ideas, both musically for themselves and technically for me. Freddie said to me, 'If there are any ideas that you've had that you can't use with boring, human type bands, we'll try them out on this.' A lot of it was backward cymbals, backward gongs, and backward tom fills. Anything that Queen ever did was encompassed in that second album. Queen II was like the 'kitchen sink' of every known Queen effect. Musically, there were the ballads, the heavy bits, and complex arrangements -- it all stemmed from there. Phasing too, and everything had to be done by hand, because there were no effects boxes that could do it automatically. We had to get tapes and run them around the room by hand, just to get phasing."

Published in SOS October 1995

Una noche en la opera

A Night At The Opera, el mejor disco en la historia de Queen



fuente: https://es-es.facebook.com/pages/Los-70-fueron-la-mejor-%C3%A9poca-de-Queen/119868458026363?sk=notes

("Una noche en la ópera") es el cuarto álbum de estudio de Queen publicado originalmente en 1975, famoso por tener los éxitos "Bohemian Rhapsody" y "You're my Best Friend", además de canciones conocidas del grupo como "Love of My Life", "Death on Two Legs", "Prophet's Song", "I'm in Love With My Car" y la versión de May y Taylor del himno británico.
Incluye géneros como Hard Rock, Ópera Rock, Heavy Metal, Blues-Rock y Rock Progresivo

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Después de terminar su álbum anterior, Sheer Heart Attack, los integrantes de Queen hicieron una pequeña gira local y luego se tomaron unas cortas vacaciones, que incluyeron la boda de John Deacon y la ida de Brian May a Tenerife haciendo estudios sobre astronomía. Después de ello se fueron a Estados Unidos, luego a unas vacaciones en Hawaii y luego a su primer visita a Japón, de la cual volvieron en mayo, se tomaron un tiempo para su vida personal y a inicios de agosto se fueron a los estudios Elstree en Hertfordshire a ensayar. Un aspecto importante es que cambiaron de representante, al terminar su relación con Trident y firmar con EMI; su nuevo encargado, John Reid, convenció a la discográfica que les dieran enormes cantidades de dinero para poder grabar "el mejor álbum posible", sabiendo bien que era un riesgo, pero afortunadamente para la banda, valió la pena correr con el mismo, ya que gracias a la inversión de EMI pudieron alquilar numerosos estudios de la más alta calidad.
Las sesiones comenzaron el 24 de agosto en los estudios Rockfield al sur de Gales, durante las cuales grabaron las pistas de fondo de los temas (piano, bajo y batería, más que todo). Después se fueron a Londres y alquilaron simultáneamente los estudios Olympic, Sarm, Scorpio y Lansdowne así como la sala de conciertos Roundhouse. La razón por la que alquilaron varios estudios es que uno o varios de los integrantes de la banda podía estar trabajando en un tema, y los demás en otro, al mismo tiempo, sin necesidad de sentarse a esperar que cada uno termine. También había una cuestión de cercanía ya que todos los estudios estaban a 20 minutos o menos (en automóvil) de la casa de cada uno de los integrantes (que de por sí vivían muy cerca).
Y también está que algunos estudios tenían mejor sonido para una cosa pero no para otra: a Queen nunca le gustó como quedaban las voces en Rockfield (en Gales), así que cuando se trataba de cantar grababan en Londres; el eje central de éste álbum fueron los estudios Sarm (después bautizados Sarm East), que contaban con una excelente acústica debido a que fueron diseñados por un pianista profesional y se habían usado entre otras cosas para el famoso musical Rocky Horror Picture Show unos años antes. Todo el álbum fue mezclado ahí, y se realizaron numerosas grabaciones, incluyendo partes de "Prophet's Song" y "Death on Two Legs".

Créditos:

Freddie Mercury fue el principal compositor, arreglista y supervisor en éste álbum, algo que ha sido confirmado por los ingenieros y el productor en numerosas entrevistas (comentan que el rara vez se alejaba de la consola, y se encargaba que todo quedara lo mejor posible). Tocó piano e hizo la mayoría de voces.

Brian May compuso cuatro temas, como era usual, cada uno muy distinto al otro. De ellos cantó dos y le dejó los otros dos a Freddie. Además de tocar guitarra, participó como segunda voz en varias canciones y tocó otros instrumentos como arpa y ukelele.

John Deacon compuso "You're My Best Friend", donde toca el piano eléctrico, y participó en el álbum en bajo y contrabajo. No tocó guitarra en ningún tema ésta vez (aunque sí lo había hecho en los dos álbumes anteriores y lo haría en los dos siguientes).

Roger Taylor escribió "I'm in Love With My Car", la cual él mismo canta, y participa en el álbum tocando batería, pandereta, timbales, gong y agregando su voz en varias obras, siendo él quien hizo las notas altísimas en "'39", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Seaside Rendezvous" (imitando trompetas onomatopéyicamente) y "Death on Two Legs".

Roy Thomas Baker produjo el álbum, con Mike Stone como ingeniero, siendo ésta la última vez que se usó dicha fórmula Baker/Stone (los dos álbumes siguientes seguirían con Mike Stone pero sin Roy Baker, y Jazz' sería con Roy pero sin Mike). Todo el álbum se grabó en veinticuatro canales, excepto por el himno del Reino Unido, el cual ya había sido grabado años atrás (en dieciséis canales) pero no se había incluido en ningún disco (una posibilidad es que Sheer Heart Attack ya quedaba muy largo con trece cortes, así que guardaron el himno para después).

Éxito

Fue lanzado por EMI en el Reino Unido. En Estados Unidos lo publicó inicialmente Elektra Records, pero la discográfica Hollywood Records lo volvió a publicar en septiembre de 1991. El álbum llegó al número cuatro en este país y ha sido certificado como triple platino (tres millones de copias vendidas).

El 21 de noviembre de 2005 fue relanzado otra vez para celebrar el trigésimo aniversario del álbum y de su primer sencillo, "Bohemian Rhapsody", acompañado por un DVD con los vídeos originales, secuencias de conciertos viejos y nuevos (incluyendo "'39" de la gira del 2005 y a Brian May interpretando "God Save the Queen" sobre el techo del Palacio de Buckingham) y comentarios de los cuatro miembros de la banda.

El álbum, al igual que el siguiente álbum A Day at the Races ("Un día en las carreras"), de 1976, toma su nombre de la película de los hermanos Marx del mismo nombre.

"Death On Two Legs ("Dedicated To...")" fue escrita por Freddie y trata sobre Jack Nelson, su anterior mánager y co-propietario de los Trident Studios, aunque se eliminó la dedicatoria para evitar problemas legales. Queen nunca sintió que Nelson les diera apoyo promocional o financiero, así que cortaron sus relaciones antes de que comenzaran las sesiones de grabación del disco.

"'39" tiene la interesante distinción de ser la 39° pista de álbum lanzada originalmente en un álbum de Queen. Cuenta la historia de un hombre que viaja desde la Tierra para colonizar un nuevo mundo y experimenta el fenómeno de la Teoría de la Relatividad Especial de Einstein (que dice que el tiempo se ralentiza a medida que se uno se acerca a la velocidad de la luz). De esa manera, el hombre envejece solamente un año mientras la tierra han pasado 100 años, así que cuando regresa su familia y sus seres queridos están muertos desde hace tiempo, aunque sus descendientes sobreviven. Este tema fue escrito por Brian, que estaba a punto de terminar su tesis doctoral en astronomía poco antes de incorporarse al grupo.

"The Prophet's Song" fue escrita después de que May tuviera un sueño sobre Noé y el diluvio universal.

"Love Of My Life" se convertiría en un clásico en los directos de Queen en una nueva versión acústica, en la que el público empezaba a cantar con la banda. A menudo, Freddie paraba de cantar y dejaba que el público tomase el relevo, haciendo él de director de orquesta (los discos posteriores Live Killers y Live at Wembley son buenos ejemplos de esto).

Este álbum fue nombrado por Channel 4 como el mejor decimotercer álbum de todos los tiempos incluido en el libro 1001 álbumes que debes escuchar antes de morir.

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Las sesiones de grabación de Una noche en la opera en fotos:














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