Rafael Toral

Hosted at Second Home Lisboa

part of a series on Sound

About the speaker

Rafael Toral is a music performer and composer who’s been deeply involved with Rock, Ambient, Contemporary, Electronic and Free Jazz music, in different periods of his life.

Working extensively with the electric guitar and electronics, he created a blend of ambient and rock and recorded albums like “Wave Field” or “Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance”, regarded today as masterpieces in their genre. By the early 2000’s decided to start something new as radically different from the previous phase as possible, awakening to the idea that the world needed a different creative response. In 2004, as a transition from comfort to vulnerable action, 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, “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 ten 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 against information overload on any instance.

Performing solo or in numerous collaborations (among which Evan Parker, Sonic Youth, Jim O'Rourke, John Zorn, etc.), he has been touring the US, Europe and Japan. In 2014 he relocated to the mountains in central Portugal for a more sustainable life.

Local partners