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Space Elements Vol. I (2008)

“This is indeed ‘free’ music” (Vital Weekly)
“the Space Program is not just one man’s notion, but a new and evolving language.” (Dusted)

CD and LP

Staubgold (Berlin, Germany), Staubgold 90 (CD, 2008)
Taiga (Minneapolis, MN, USA), TAIGA 3 (LP, 2008)

Rute Praça: violoncello (1).
César Burago: shakers, maracas, udu drums, clave (2); guiro (3); fiber blocks (5); timbalas, cowbells, cymbals (6).
David Toop: flute (3).
Sei Miguel: pocket trumpet (5).
Fala Mariam: alto trombone (5).
Margarida Garcia: electric double-bass (7).
Rafael Toral: glove-controlled computer sinewaves (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7); ribbon-controlled sinewave bursts (1, 3, 4, 6); modified MT-10 amplifier (2); analog modular synthesizer (3, 5, 6); delayed and filtered feedback empty circuit (4, 5, 6); amplified coil spring (3).

This is the first volume of the Space Program’s Space Elements series. It is a series of releases each focused on one kind of instruments, on small settings and most often including collaborations, but sharing the same concerns of the program. The Space Program is a long-term work process launched in 2004, consisting on the quest for an approach to electronic music performance using a disciplined matrix of decision-making possibilities (and therefore not quite regarded as “improvisation”). Having found that jazz is the field of musical knowledge where disciplined decision-making is most developed, this music is more informed by jazz than by any other. The Space Program emphasizes articulating silence and sound, by structuring musical discourse on experimental instruments with a simple and clear sonic identity.
To my surprise i found no historical precedents to this practice, being that it draws practically no information from electronic music history (which is grounded on different thinking patterns), and it draws very little from jazz history as well, since the instruments i use are inadequate to play any music based on the Western system. I regard this approach to jazz (meaning a system of individual decision-making from the standpoint of free-spectrum live electronics) as a new and exciting field of creative possibilities. I called it “post-free jazz electronic music”.

Rafael Toral, 2008


Produced by Rafael Toral.
Recorded during 2006 and 2007 at Noise Precision, The Percussion Workshop, João Paulo Feliciano’s studio (Lisboa), Dave Hunt studio (London), and live at Tonic (New York), 2004, and Mousonturm (Frankfurt), 2007.
Mixed and mastered at Noise Precision, winter 2007.
Graphic design by NOTYPE (
Typeface by Mário Feliciano: Stella, ©FTF 2000—2006.
Collage by João Paulo Feliciano: I Dream of Cities in Colours #3 (paper collage, 112 x 74 cm), courtesy of the artist and Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art.