It’s a long-term work-in-progress, an evolving project with performance as the fundamental element. The project was begun by Rafael Toral after reaching a natural point of completion with his pioneering drone-guitar work in 2004, realizing that in order to move forward, he needed to completely re-evaluate his approach to music. Toral is now focussed on electronics, using custom built instruments to create Jazz inflected explorations of sound and silence; a radical reappraisal of performance, tone and space.
The program will consist of three series "Space Studies", "Space Elements" and "Space Solos". The space studies are live, the inaugural performance – "Space Study 1" – was in 2004. Each piece in the series focuses on one of Toral’s specially constructed instruments teamed with collaborators, the first was a sine wave generator, accompanied by cellist Rute Praça. "Space Elements" will be a set of six albums, each concentrating on a specific sonic element of the Program. Volume 1 will be sine waves with guest musicians Praça, Cesar Burago
(percussion), David Toop (flute) and Margarida Garcia (double bass). "Space Solos" is also a projected series of recordings of solo performance. Space Solo 1
is out on Staubgold's Quecksilber
offshoot in March 2007.
The first album of the "Space Program", titled Space
was released late last year on Staubgold. It is not part of either the "Elements" or "Solos" series, but is rather the fundamental release of "Space Program". For the recording, Toral was joined by Fala Mariam
(Trombone, alto) and Sei Miguel
(Trumpet, pocket). Miguel has been a regular collaborator since the early 90s and a key influence on Toral’s development. At CTM.07 the Sei Miguel Quartet and Toral will perform "Garden : Space : Beyond", a concert in 3 parts. The first part is meant to evoke the "Tone Gardens" (refering to the album of the same name by Sei Miguel). The second evokes "Space" (refering to Rafael Toral's recent work). The third points to future developments.
is well known for pioneering, guitar-based avant sounds, and has collaborated with the likes Sonic Youth and John Zorn. Toral lives and works in Lisbon where he was born in 1967; he has been performing live since 1984 and making solo work since 1987. After abandoning conventional music studies he focused on electric guitar. In the 90s he become involved with production, particularly with the Ama Romanta label which released Nuno Canavarro’s influential Plux Cuba
(1988), a collector’s album of late 80s Electronica, an important record particularly in Germany where it influenced Mouse on Mars and ToRocoRot among others. In 1998, it was Toral who mastered the reissue on Moikai.
He has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Canada, the US, and has worked with a wonderfully diverse range of artists including Phill Niblock, Rhys Chatham, John Zorn, Thurston Moore, Dean Roberts, Christian Fennesz, Lee Ranaldo, Jim O'Rourke, Alvin Lucier. Keith Rowe and Peter Rehberg and David Toop. He is a member of MIMEO and has also produced rock bands (Pop dell'Arte, Tina and the Top Ten, Supernova, Toast, Clockwork), and is known for his sound installations and video pieces.
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