Space Program Workshop

Rethinking Electronic Music

For musicians using hacked instruments or circuit-bending,this workshop aims at providing structuring tools for articulating a consistent musical discourse, beyond experimentation and improvisation.

Electronic Music development has historically been mostly oriented to the sound source (technology) and the object (finished work). The individual is rarely the focal point. More concerned with the musician than with the instrument, the Space Program is Rafael Toral’s long-term research into human performance possibilities in Electronic Music, a fundamental reevaluation of its conception, performance and experience.

The Space Program Workshop shares some concepts, focusing on how we make performance decisions. Aimed at musicians using hacked, bent, or custom electronic instruments or controllers, it raises fundamental questions about what can we do with them. The Workshop provides participants with conceptual tools for structuring musical discourse, with emphasis on phrasing from Space Program’s viewpoint.

The workshop can have the duration of 1 to 5 days (longer is deeper) and covers topics like:

1. Matter: Instrumental choices and interface optimization.

2. Discourse: elaborating a syntax and articulating silence.

3. Composition: listening modes and macro-form decisions.

4. Performance: the body on stage and functions in a group.

Participants are enabled to perform collectively in the end.

What is required:

The Space Program Workshop has to do with electronic instrument control. Your instrument absolutely needs to be able to instantly start and stop making sound.

  • It is aimed at non-conventional electronic instruments that require a physical interaction. No keyboards. No classic instruments. No computers (except with gestural controllers).
  • Previous hacking workshops and basic electronics knowledge are preferred.
  • It’s about simplicity. Be prepared to focus and simplify your sound.
  • A small mixer if you have several sources (your output should be one channel).
  • Headphones or your own monitor circuit, if necessary.

What is offered:

  • Personal focus on your instrument technique and choice of sounds to perform.
  • Structure your sounds, establishing a personal lexicon.
  • Exercise an articulated way of listening and dealing with silence and “space”.
  • In short, to develop a physical, organic, elemental approach to “electronic music” where “music” matters more than “electronic”; where you matter more than your instrument.


Participation is limited to 6 to 12 participants (shorter duration = less participants).