Mind. Blown: The Making Of Peter Gabriel's "Security" Album!

You are a musician: a creative individual who strives to be the best they can be.  Whether you're in a metal band or an indie-rock two-piece, you are, at heart, a creative person who finds inspiration in artists who, all musical genres aside, march to their own drum.

Peter Gabriel would not only fall into this category, he would be its poster boy.  From his earliest days dressing as flowers with Genesis to embarking on a solo career for which the word "groundbreaking" was invented, he has shunned convention in search of sounds the world has never heard before within the confines of popular music.

"Won't you be, please won't you be...my neighbor?"
In this documentary on the making of Gabriel's fourth album, Security, we see the creative process unfold.  The cameras follow Gabriel to a scrap yard, where he and producer David Lord sample audio of smashing car windows, TV sets, and blowing into bits of pipe, to the studio.

Did we mention that the "studio" in question is in the backyard of his spacious English estate?  There, he and Lord feed audio into their flashy new Fairlight sampling synthesizer and saving the files to floppy disk.  Gabriel's love for ethnic music inspires him to "steal" (a word he uses repeatedly throughout the interview) rhythms and sounds from that which would become known as "world music" years later.

Over the course of eighteen months, Gabriel painstakingly coaxes inspiration from both the digital and the human worlds, relying upon the earliest available computer/sampling technology and some of the best musicians in the world to bring this conceptual, logistical and musical Frankenstein to life.

What starts out as one man's obsessive quest for unique sounds, which could have just as easily turned into one man crawling so far up his own ass that he's never heard from again, sees Gabriel literally creating his own musical genre.

This certainly wasn't prog.  The term seems a tad quaint once you attempt to apply it to what Gabriel was now doing.  It wasn't post-punk, there were barely any guitars.  New wave?  No, this is more sophisticated than that.  The lyrics were socially-conscious in a way that Dylan never was, yet accessible in an almost nonsensical way - "Shock the monkey" anyone?

And for as varied and disparate a collection of musical influences as is gathered here, it's a small miracle that Gabriel was able to condense it down to the most challenging yet accessible album possible.

Of course, the sampling of sounds and the ease of recording these days making Gabriel's recording process then completely obsolete.  Still, it is completely charming and inspiring to see Gabriel going about his madness with the patience and focus of a scientist.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

No comments:

Post a Comment