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Toral, Rafael

Constellation In Still Time

Toral, Rafael: Constellation In Still Time (Room40)

A long-form ambient composition from Portuguese composer and electroacoustic performer Rafael Toral, combining piano (Joana Gama), harp (Angelica V. Salve), vibraphone (Luis Bittencourt), clavinet (Joana Baulho), Rhodes (Riccardo Dillon), and sinewaves (Rafael Toral) a generative piece that avoids repetition while creating a floating and vast sense of reverberant space.
 

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product information:


UPC: 739027482307

Label: Room40
Catalog ID: RM 4115CD
Squidco Product Code: 29338

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Australia
Packaging: Cardboard Sleeve Sealed
Recorded on location at Noise Precision Mobile, February and March 2019.


Personnel:

Rafael Toral-composer, performer, computer sinewaves

Angelica V. Salvi-harp

Joana Bagulho-clavinet

Joana Gama-piano

Luis Bittencourt-vibraphone

Riccardo Dillon Wanke-Rhodes piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Rafael Toral, born in Lisbon, 1967 has been intrigued by the potential of sound and the functions of music since he was a teenager. As a composer and performer, he has been deeply involved with Rock, Ambient, Contemporary, Electronic and Free Jazz music in different periods of his life.

Working with electric guitar and electronics, in the 1990's he created a blend of Ambient and Rock and recorded acclaimed albums like Wave Field or Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance. By the early 2000's he arrived to a sense of accomplishment about his previous 15 years of work, also realizing the world needed a different creative response. He decided to start something new, as radically different from the previous phase as possible. In a transition to vulnerable action, he launched the alien-sounding Space Program in 2004, using experimental electronic instruments. It's been an ambitious long-term project exploring an approach to electronic music based on silence, through decision making and physical gesture, in a way inspired by post-free Jazz. The resulting music, "melodic without notes, rhythmic with no beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free - riddled with paradox but full of clarity and space", has been described as "a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers".

In the last 15 years he's been thinking and practicing an understanding of silence as "space", with a clear function in music creation but also as a metaphor for social relationships and a statement on information and sensory overload.

Performing solo or in numerous collaborations (including Jim O'Rourke, Jim Baker, Sei Miguel, Chris Corsano, John Edwards, Evan Parker, Tatsuya Nakatani, Manuel Mota, Alvin Lucier, Phill Niblock, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, C Spencer Yeh, and many others), he has been touring throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Also active in visual and spatial arts, Toral has produced video and several installations from 1994 to 2003.

In 2014 he relocated to the mountains in central Portugal for a more sustainable life. In 2017, having concluded the Space Program's recording series, Toral is entering a wider field with multiple directions and possibilities. From his mountain studio, he also offers mastering services."

-Rafael Toral Website (http://rafaeltoral.net/about/)
8/10/2020

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"Angélica Vázquez is a harp player from Spain currently based in Oporto, Portugal.

She studied with Maria Rosa Calvo-Manzano (Spain), Carrol McLaughlin (United States) and Ernestine Stoop (Holland). She performs in experimental music, new music and live improvisation.

As a soloist she has performed in US and in Europe, working with composers like Takayuki Rai, Anne La Berge, Richard Barret or Joseph Waters and Improvisers like Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Han Bennink or Michael Moore.

She has performed with symphony orchestras like ¨Filarmonía¨ Symphony Orchestra, Radio Television Symphony Orchestra from Spain, Arizona University Symphony Orchestra, Casa da Música Symphony Orchestra from Porto and contemporary music ensembles like Insomnio, Modelo 62, BrokkenFabriek and Remix.

She holds a Bachelor from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, a Master on contemporary harp and a ¨NAIP Music Master for New audiences and Innovative Practice¨ from The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Currently she works as a harp professor at the Oporto Conservatory of Music, directs the proyect Female Effects, is one of the members of RPM Electro Travelling Band (Holland), and also from Vertixe Sonora Ensemble (Spain)."

-https://www.discogs.com/artist/3774676-Ang%C3%A9lica-V-Salvi (Discogs)
8/10/2020

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Joana Bagulho is a Portuguese harpsichordist, born 1968 in Lisbon. She is a member of String Theory.

-Squidco 8/10/2020

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"Joana Gama (Braga, 1983) is a pianist and a researcher. She was awarded the first prize at the Young Musicians Awards (PT), in 2008. Her performing activity unfolds in solo concerts and collaborations with different Portuguese groups. She was a student at Conservatório de Música Calouste Gulbenkian (Braga, Royal Academy of Music (London) and Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. In 2010, she finished a Masters in Piano Performance, in the class of Antonio Rosado, at the University of Évora, where she recently finished her thesis entitled "Performance studies on Portuguese contemporary music for piano: the particular case of evocative music of elements of the Portuguese culture", with a scholarship by FCT. As a pianist and performer, in the last few years, she has been involved in projects that associate music with dance, theatre, cinema and photography. QUEST, piano and electronics project shared with Luís Fernandes was released by Shhpuma and considered one of the best albums of 2014 by diverse Portuguese critics. During 2016, with the support of Antena 2, Joana is dedicated to SATIE.150 - a celebration in the shape of an umbrella, a series of concerts and events around Portugal that celebrate the 150th anniversary of the french composer Erik Satie. In this context she coordinated a special edition of the piano score "Embryons desséchés" by Erik Satie (Pianola Editores), lectured in several Portuguese schools and made an uninterrupted fifteen hours performance of the work "Vexations" in the Festival Jardins Efémeros in Viseu. She is preparing the launch of HARMONIES - an authorial project that departs from the music of Erik Satie - shared with Luis Fernandes (electronics) and Ricardo Jacinto (cello and electronics). (November, 2016)"

-Joana Gama Website (http://www.joanagama.com/biografia--biography.html)
8/10/2020

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"Luís Bittencourt is percussionist, composer, artist-researcher and music producer. An active performer in a range of various styles - from classical, folk south american music, free improvisation to contemporary experimental music - Bittencourt is considered "a master of sound experimentation" (Vision Magazine, Portugal) and has performed solo in Europe, Oceania, north and south America. His performances, which are "a torrent of originality" (Casa da Música, Portugal), include first auditions of his own compositions, and by composers Tan Dun, Gabriel Prokofiev, Steve Reich, Vinko Globokar and some contemporary Portuguese composers.

Bittencourt has also been featured in many contemporary art/music festivals and concert venues like IKLECTIK, Sound Res, Lisboa Soa, Casa da Música, Sonoscopia, The Cockpit, Convento de São Francisco, Theatro Circo, Serralves em Festa!, GNRation, Ciclo Do Audible, Arquipélago Centro de Artes Contemporâneas, Solilóquios, Museu de Lisboa, among other. He performed and collaborated with Lee Ranaldo and Leah Singer (Sonic Youth), Jeffrey Ziegler (Kronos Quartet), Phill Niblock, Kuniko Kato, Ney Rosauro, Helga Davis, Katherine Liberovskaya, David Sheppard, Paola Prestini, Found Sound Nation, Ali Hossaini, Gabriel Prokofiev (Non Classical), David Cossin (Bang on a Can), Jon Rose, Rafael Toral, Miquel Bernat & Drumming GP, Mina Tindle, Emily Hall, among others. As composer and music producer he obtained 1st prize in the contest "Legends of China - Confucius Arts Institute Award 2016" and has already collaborated with artists and institutions, such as Cecile Elton, Lange Studios, Instagram® and Cannes Lions.

As an artist-researcher, his interests include percussion, sound, musical performance and performance studies, practice-based research, embodied knowledge, contemporary music, philosophy of music, interdisciplinary collaboration, sound art, extended techniques, unusual instruments and sound sources, instrumentality, improvisation, experimental music and experimental artistic practices. Bittencourt is author of two pioneer studies, namely Percussion and instrumentality: exploring the performance of unusual instruments and sound sources, a doctoral artistic research, and The use of water as a percussive sound source: analysis of Tan Dun's Water Music, a master study on the possibilities of water as musical instrument. His investigations have established new insights on experimentation in percussion music and on the instrumentality of found instruments and have been published and presented at many institutions and events around the world, such as the Conservatoire Supèrieur de Musique et Dance de Lyon (FR), Leeds College of Music (UK), Conservatório de Valencia (ES), Guildhall School of Music and Drama (UK), Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (BR), International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt (DE), Bath Spa University (UK), Queensland Conservatoire/Griffiths University (AU). Bittencourt holds a PhD in Music Performance and a Master in Music Performance from University of Aveiro, Portugal, and a Bachelor Degree in Percussion Performance (Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil). He is also hired researcher in the project "Xperimus: experimentation in music in Portuguese culture: history, contexts and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries" and integrated researcher at the Institute of Ethnomusicology - Centre of Studies in Music and Dance (INET-md)."

-Luis Bittencourt Website (https://www.luisbittencourt.com/bio-3)
8/10/2020

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"Riccardo Dillon Wanke (b. Genova, Italy 1977) established in Milan from 1982 until 2005, lives and works in Lisbon. multi-instrumentalist and composer. From 1995 active in arts (music, installations), his interest includes classical, improvised and exploratory music and it is focused on the diffusion of contemporary art. He is particularly interested in digital and analog manipulation of sound and its use into musical compositions. His work with guitars, keyboards (piano and rhodes) and electronics has started from pure radical improvisation and has drawn to the investigation of drones sounds, static music. Recently he explores sonic interactions, binaural beats and extreme microtonality.

He collaborates with musicians such as Giuseppe Ielasi, Rafael Toral, David Maranha, Manuel Mota among others. He set up a trio with Maranha and Mota, "Dru", and regularly collaborates with italian classical cellist Francesco Dillon with whom he co-founded 'Amuleto' collective. He published music for international labels such as Sedimental, Glistening Examples (USA), DieSchachtel (IT), Three:Four (CH), Headlights (PT), Apice (MX) among others.

Riccardo studied Chemistry, Piano, Sax, Music Harmony, Improvisation and worked as Musical Label Editor, Chemist and Musician and he's currently investigating contemporary experimental music at Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music - CESEM, at the University 'Nova' of Lisbon. He is Member of Editorial Board of Journal Of Temporal Design."

-Riccardo Dillon Wanke Website (http://www.rdwmusic.com/index.html#bioenglish)
8/10/2020

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track listing:


1. AER 7 G 1:12:47
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Portugal's electro-acoustic maestro reimagines one of his seminal compositions from his lauded Sound Mind Sound Body album (1994). Extracting the harmonic essence of AER 7, Rafael Toral explodes it outward into a fully orchestrated evolving constellation of sound. A remarkably simple and compelling piece of reductive composition, AER 7 G combines piano, harp, vibraphone, clavinet, Rhodes, and sinewaves to create a music that generates sensations of the infinite, through the acoustic.

From Rafael Toral: "... The music I recorded between 1987 and 2003 somehow sends its message and there's a story behind it. By 2006, with Space, I radically changed both the message and the story. I have always found that both need to be in tune to what is happening in the world, because they are a response to that. However, since Moon Field (2017), i have been arriving to a 'third phase' that somehow (re)unites the previous two, a space where the divergent messages and stories from those different periods are both needed and make sense in these days.

Feeling a general need to slow down almost accidentally shed new light on my background in ambient, inspiring new forms to the future. This is the context where this release is emerging from . . . 'AER 7' (the record's only track) is a piece i wrote in 1992, of which a guitar version is included in my debut album, Sound Mind Sound Body, released two years later. It was a departure from the earlier 'AER' pieces I made from 1987 to 1990, replacing a drone guitar sound with empty space, in a similar kind of structure. The empty units are in sync but their contents are not, rendering the sequence of time events almost random.

I had the idea to produce the present 'AER 7 G' version back then, but at the time there were no instrument players in Lisbon who might be interested in it. Commitment to other projects like Wave Field (1995) and all the ensuing work kept it in the drawer until now. A new generation of generous, open-minded, highly skilled musicians made it suddenly possible to develop the project.

I have always regarded 'AER 7' as a melodic generator, or 'generative', a word I would learn later on. It's written in a way that prevents repetition and generates unpredictable results, apart from the pace and the set of notes. Curiously, Constellation In Still Time is by far the most quintessentially ambient record i have ever done."-Room40

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Electro-Acoustic
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
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Ambient & Minimal Music
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