The use of the electric guitar in David Bedford's 18 Brick Left on April 21st: Texture, immersive listening and rock influences
This text presents an analysis of 18 Bricks Left on April 21st (1967) by the English composer David Bedford, a work in which the sound possibilities of the electric guitar are used to create a texture that develops along the range of audible frequencies. The use of effects such as distortion and feedback intensify the aural space, resulting in an increase in the register range, register density and dynamics. This saturation facilitates an immersive listening with which the listener immerses himself in the set of sounds that form the texture. On the other hand, the inclusion of the electric guitar, its sounds and its techniques demonstrate the influences of popular music on the composer, who dedicated much of his career to collaborating with progressive rock artists. The analysis methodology, focused on the recording and the score, is based on the theories of perception developed by Stephen McAdams and Brenda Ravenscroft around the concept of auditory stream. In turn, we use Murray Schafer’s visualisation of the aural space, a sound notation system in which register, dynamics and density are represented. All this is complemented by the use of Sonic Visualiser, which is used to measure different aspects of the audio track of the recording.