In 2004, Rafael Toral announced that he was to embark on a long term project, which was to be a multi-facetted work in progress representing his new approach to music. With the release of the first album of the program, the eponymous "Space" (staubgold 69 cd), he managed to disrupt
the notions of "avantgarde music" even of those who consider themselves well-versed in this field.
In the past, Toral's work had been based on the guitar and the myriad possibilities of generating sounds from it. More often than not, his music exhibited a tendency towards the concept of the drone. So many people familiar with his oeuvre were surprised to learn that none of those elements figured in "Space" (though he might re-introduce the guitar at a later stage of the "Space Program" - but that is what is called "artistic license"...).
In the program, Toral focuses on "single sound events". The sounds are generated by self-devised electronic equipment set into action by the performance of gestures, by bodily action (take a look at the video samples of the "Space Study 1" on his website, where he "plays" glove-controlled computer sinewaves). Thus, the music is created by individual decisions in real time - just like in Jazz, as Toral emphasizes. So basically, this is electronic music played with a jazz sensibility. Toral brings a performative aspect to electronic music that it often sorely lacked.
The initial album "Space" is like a roadmap. It is a point of departure for recordings in the "Space Program". It is accompanied by three "diversified" series: the performance series "Space Studies" (which started in 2004), and the record series "Space Elements" and "Solo Series". The latter are unaccompanied real-time solo recordings on one instrument only (as opposed to "Space Elements", where Toral collaborates with other musicians). The present CD is the first in that series and the second materialisation of t....... more