Foxy Digitalis

A sense of collaboration defines the sound of the album: there is a strong influence of jazz at play here, especially in the use of excellently played drums and chimes, which make for a compelling development of musical ideas that are at their artistic base both traditional and forward thinking, further demonstrating that one of Toral’s greatest attributes as a composer is his lack of retroflexion in ideas and an ability to work in an inventive and unprecedented creative direction.  The mix of sounds here, for example, creates a sense of cerebrally-developed expression — the music does not waver into sentimentality or into bleakness, but rather has a more scientific feel, almost that of a thought experiment, and the sound of a person challenging themselves intellectually, while in doing so challenging the listener.

 

The music is also excellently recorded, so that each instrument has its own space to both breathe and to mix with its counterparts — especially on pieces such as the final section of the album, and one of its busiest, “III.VIII.”  This quality is also interesting when the use of instrumentation is limited: it is worth noting that Toral’s handling of silence as a part of the recording, with a space of noiselessness circling around the work like a fog, creates a contrast of mute color against the bright orchestration, so that a sense of eeriness seems to float above the total musical structure.

 

Jordan Anderson, Foxy Digitalis