Rafael Toral premieres first taste of otherworldly new album Moon Field, shares upcoming tour dates

Rafael Toral premieres first taste of otherworldly new album Moon Field, shares upcoming tour dates
Toral has a close encounter of the coolest kind.

To describe the aesthetic concerns of lifelong Lisbon-born sonic adventurer Rafael Toral as “outward-looking” is a little like saying that the moon is “far away.” Yeah, a quick and dirty description like that gets the job done, but it kinda sucks all the gravitas out of the situation, right?

This is a man who launched the incredibly ambitious Space Program series back in 2004 (dedicated to the jazz musician’s approach to electronic music as an exploration of the organic interactions between performers and their instruments — real or artificial — and a focus on “personal decisions and musicianship,” rather than software and hardware). This is also a man who has dedicated his career to performing in an extremely flexible variety of ensemble-configurations in order to foster the kind of growth, change, and unpredictability that would allow his unique blends of ambient, electronic, noise, rock, free jazz to exist as spacial/temporal moments than as brittle, codified, or conclusive documents.

And now, on his latest album for the illustrious Room40 label, this is a man who is ready to blur his relationship with music once again as he moves outward in all directions at once, beyond the Space Program series, towards the strange new shapes, unpredictable patterns, and bold frontiers of its chosen musical elements. Toral’s new collection, entitled Moon Field and due October 6 on CD and digital, consists of “three extended and interlocking works” which integrate “a range of new elements and new directions.” As Toral explains:

Moon Field was originally written for live performance by a configuration of the Space Collective 3. 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.

To help you put your finger on this palpable yet unnamable new vibration, TMT is honored to premiere the first taste Moon Field’s brave new world. Listen below as the excerpt’s free-roaming drones nimbly arc over its rich jazz chords and squelches of garbled U.F.O. static before disappearing through holes in the very logic that first created it. After that, check out the album art, tracklisting, and a list of imminent tour dates that Toral has planned in one or another of his many performative iterations. But before you hit “play,” be warned: you might be left with more interesting questions than satisfying answers. Are you down?


Moon Field tracklisting:

01. The Stars
02. The Horizon
03. The Field

Rafael Toral tour dates (ensemble configurations indicated below):

09.13.17 - Chicago, IL - Elastic Arts%
09.15.17 - Milwaukee, WI - Sugar Maple%
09.16.17 - Chicago (Northbrook), IL - Northbrook Library#
09.17.17 - Muskegon, MI - The Credit Union&
09.19.17 - Lexington, KY - Institute 193^
09.20.17 - Athens, OH - Ohio University (tbc)^
09.21.17 - Columbus, OH - Looks Like It’s Open^
09.22.17 - Toledo, OH - Robinwood Concert House^
09.23.17 - Detroit, MI - DSO/ Cube^
09.24.17 - Ann Arbor, MI - University of Michigan^
09.25.17 - Chicago, IL - ESS*
09.26.17 - Atlanta, GA - Mammal Gallery*
09.27.17 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light*
09.28.17 - Asheville, NC - Revolve*
09.29.17 - Chapel Hill, NC - The Cave*
09.30.17 - Richmond, VA - Black Iris Gallery*
10.01.17 - Baltimore, MD - Red Room*
10.02.17 - New York, NY - Max Fish*
10.03.17 - Boston, MA - SMFA at Tufts University*
10.05.17 - Buffalo, NY - Hallwalls*
10.06.17 - Rochester, NY - The Liquor Store*

% Rafael Toral/ Jim Baker/ Steve Hunt Trio
# Tim Daisy/ Mars Williams/ Rafael Toral
& Rafael Toral/ Jim Baker/ Steve Hunt Trio
^ Rafael Toral/ Ryan Jewell duo
* Space Studies (Rafael Toral solo)

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