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On Moon Field, Rafael Toral breaks new ground, it is his first edition that moves outward, beyond the Space Program series. This collection of three extended and interlocking works, mark the beginning of a transitional period into a new phase. Building on the explorations of his almost decade and a half of work with the Space Program, Mood Field seeks a more open sensibility and integrates a range of new elements and new directions. These elements reposition the potential interplays of his chosen musical elements. "Moon Field was originally written for live performance by a configuration of the Space Collective 3," Toral explains, "It was with Ricardo Webbens on modular synths, Riccardo Dillon Wanke on electric piano and myself on electronic instruments. While working on it, the piece revealed a strange hovering quality, a kind of stasis. It's alive and awake, like all the recent Space Program music, but doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. The music wanted to be something very peculiar and I changed it a lot in response to that. It also revealed what I find a kind of nocturnal mood, as if we were listening to alien signals with satellites crossing the sky under the moonlight." Moon Field's middle section, "The Horizon", sees Toral entering a broader acoustic field. The piece weaves a fresh examination of the ambient music he worked on between 1987 and 2003 with the fabric of post- free jazz-inspired phrasing with electronic instruments. The results extend the free roaming aspects of the Space Program and mark out a distinctive and deeply personal approach to sonic atmospherics. This is the first step into a much larger, richer universe.
Rafael Toral, born in Lisbon, 1967 has been intrigued by the potential of sound and the functions of music since he was a teenager. In the 1990s he created a blend of ambient and rock and recorded acclaimed albums like Wave Field (1995) or Violence Of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance (STAUB 017LP, 2001). By the early 2000s, he decided to start something new and 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. Performing solo or in numerous collaborations, he has been touring throughout the world. In 2014, he relocated to the mountains in central Portugal for a more sustainable life.