Constellation In Still Time by Rafael Toral

Rafael Toral | Constellation In Still Time
Room40 (CD/DL)

In nearly seventy-three minutes this new Constellation In Still Time by Rafael Toral openly unravels, paced like a prolonged short story (AER 7 G was originally written in 1992). With an ambient aura Toral rolls out melodic wave tones that sound like sonic strings and chime-like vibes synergizing with a phonic glow. Simply bathing the ears in a luxe serenade. His ensemble for this is as follows:

Angélica V. Salvi: Harp (I, IV, V, VI)
Joana Bagulho: Clavinet (II, III, IV, V)
Joana Gama: Piano (III, IV, V, VI)
Luís Bittencourt: Vibraphone (I, II, V, VI)
Rafael Toral: Computer Sinewaves (I, II, III, VI)
Riccardo Dillon Wanke: Rhodes Piano (I, II, III, IV)

Each of these players was expertly chosen, each bringing with them a generous sense of nuanced musicality that writhes like fine silk. The instruments have an ease, yet calculated, droopy yet with a gleeful ring. Such a distance between this and the Space Elements series he produced circa 2008-2011, which were much more reliant (somewhat) on the punctuation of percussion. At many turns this feels insulated somehow, as if with an outer shell/glazing of protection – yet the strumming is mostly quite gentle, free to the breeze. Edgeless.

A dreamy, lengthy passage that could, at the right volume, put a tiny baby to sleep. However, integral are the pairing of highs and lows which keep the deepest listener focused throughout as this sticks to the atmosphere around you. Yes, there is this near tangible sense of how these pure tones coat and surround the space in which this is amplified, as if dripping in echoes.

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