Space Elements Vol. III


This is the third volume of Rafael Toral's Space Program Space Elements series. In this series, each volume features guests and is focused on a compositional function. The Space Program is a long-term project launched in 2004 for performing music with a post-free jazz mind-set but using strange sounds from electronic instruments. Playing physically, the body is involved in making decisions. The Space Program is about articulating silence and sound, structuring musical flow on experimental instruments with a simple and clear sonic identity. "All these instruments are different but have a few things in common. The first is that they don't have a conventional interface, which means that for all of them I have to find out what they do and develop technique to play them," says Toral. "The second is that none of them respond accurately to performing action. So there's always a live tension between an accurate decision and its somewhat unpredictable outcome. I meant to play music technically free from any school and teachings, but beyond that, I also wanted the music somehow to escape my own self, playing instruments with a sort of life of their own, never allowing complete control and making any repetition virtually impossible." Dan Warburton's write-up in The Wire about Space fits Space Elements Vol. III perfectly: "The melodic logic that drives certain instruments within 'Space' also recalls birdsong, with dense, convoluted runs of twittering melody ending in single piping notes, as spontaneous as Messiaen's birdsong transcriptions were painstaking and meticulous." Toral's music is a jazz-inspired reevaluation of live electronics: "Despite working in a sound world that is cosmetically closer to R2D2's vocabulary than Louis Armstrong's or John Coltrane's, Toral has claimed a kinship to jazz because it models instant music-making within a disciplined framework." --Dusted Magazine; "Toral is looking for nothing less than a totally fresh language to work in" --The Wire. Mastered by James Plotkin. Featuring contributing musicians such as Afonso Simões (drums), Riccardo Dillon Wanke (Rhodes piano), César Burago (maracas, tamborim, shakers, cowbell, claves, kokiriko), Tatsuya Nakatani (percussion), Victor Gama (acrux), Marco Franco (drums), Toshio Kajiwara (lap steel guitar) and Toral (electrode oscillator, modified MS-2 pocket amplifier feedback, glove-controlled computer bass sinewaves, filtered feedback circuit, modified MT-10 portable amplifier, modulated noise, modulated synthesizer and tamtam).