Grant awarded to Rafael Toral for the project Electrical Guitarmedia Perception
Honorable Mentions: Daniel Blaufuks e Nuno Rebelo
Jury: Phill Niblock, Paul Panhuysen, Manuel Costa Cabral, Rui Eduardo Paes, António Cerveira Pinto e Isabel Alves
Electrical Guitarmedia Perception
Intermedia performance using guitar with electronics, oscilloscope, videotape, photo-electric cells, recording media, dynamic filters and one assistant. These components are brought into play not only simultaneously, but closely interacting with each other. The oscilloscope permits the visual observation of the shapes of sound. The sounds produced by both the guitar system and the videotapes cause variations in a lighting system, while being recorded, altered and played back by the assistant. The result of the assistant's actions is affected by a dynamic filter, in a way determined by the intensity of the lights. Lastly, the guitarist and the assistant are performing music in interaction with each other and with the audio on the videotapes. This performance has the effect of bringing up an enhanced way of perceiving events, that may be both heard and seen. Sounds which timbre's changes can be observed on video monitors, lights which intensity variations have an audible effect on sound events. Of course this is not an ending in itself. What is really being done is a dip into the poetry of electricity.
Rafael Toral (Lisbon, 1967) is a music performer and composer active since 1984. Working extensively with electric guitar and electronics, he created a blend of ambient, liquid-rock and contemporary music, having recorded albums like Wave Field and Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance, regarded today as masterpieces of their genre. By the early 2000's he decided to start something new and as radically different from the previous phase as possible. In 2004, he launched the Space Program, 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 was "melodic without notes, rhythmic with no beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free – riddled with paradox but full of clarity and space", or as it has also been described "a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers".
Toral has been collaborating with many musicians including Jim O'Rourke, Sei Miguel, Evan Parker, Tatsuya Nakatani, Chris Corsano, Manuel Mota, Alvin Lucier, Phill Niblock, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham and Lee Ranaldo. He has been a member of MIMEO electronic orchestra since 1998, together with Keith Rowe, Marcus Schmickler, Christian Fennesz and Peter Rehberg, among others. Since 2008, he has directed the Space Collective, a slowly developing orchestral group. By 2012 he had realized, in a life-changing consciousness leap, that personal development, the evolution of culture and the evolution of the universe are intimately connected. And that each human being is intrinsically responsible for its advance, through the conscious creation of the future.
Rafael Toral has performed throughout Europe, Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.