Spanish artist Francisco López has been a key figure in experimental electronic music for over 20 years, his prolific output underpinning the development of electronic soundscape aesthetics internationally. A modernist past the post, he pursues visions of acoustic purity and aural perfection with intensity, sincerity and unwavering determination. Often grouped with the classical soundscape movement, his work in fact has developed along a very different philosophical trajectory. Despite his past alignment with organisations such as the Environmental Tape Exchange, the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology and the Nature Sounds Society, known for their rigorous documentary approach to field recording, López’s goal is not representation, but rather the production of ‘an ideal concrete music’.
López’s distinctive approach embraces environmental sounds without rejecting their musicality; the conceptual foundation of his work is pure minimalism arising from an ascetic ideal of excluding functional, virtuosic, linguistic, relational, structural or procedural elements; what López calls ‘dissipative agents’.
Drawing material from field recordings and found sounds, López strips away the context leaving listeners with meticulously constructed compositions, which unfold slowly, to reveal subtly layered, powerfully deep sonic explorations.
During his frequent live performances, López insists on blindfolds for the audience. With turntables, powerbook and a mixer, López delivers his ‘absolute concrete music’. From silence to deafening loudness, built from surprisingly disparate sources – including death metal – listeners enter an intense world of pure sound. He has toured extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, North, Central and South America, Japan and Australia.
Some of López’s minimally packaged releases also come with blindfolds (Live in Montreal
, Alien8, 2005).
To date, his prolific catalog comprises more than 120 sound works, which have been released by 80 record labels from Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, UK, Italy, Poland, Austria, Norway, Greece, Canada, USA, Japan and Australia, and he has received commissions from a number of renowned institutions and organizations, such as the Dutch and Spanish National Radios, the Goethe Institute, V2 Organization (Rotterdam), Yale University Theater (New Haven), the Ralph Lemon Company (New York), the Zeitkratzer Ensemble (Berlin), Sound Traffic Control (san Francisco), Creative Time (New York) and Quartier Ephemere (Montreal).
He is also founder of the Absolute label with bases in Seattle, New York, London, and Osaka.