Rafael Toral | Cyclorama Lift 3

Tomlab | CD

How often do we listen to performed or composed sound which hasn't been shaped or, at the very least, amplified and filtered by electrical systems? From PAs to effects boxes to the D/A convertors plugged into our computers; maybe Rafael Toral has a valid point when he states that "electrical resonance is everywhere".

'Cyclorama Lift 3' is an attempt to explore this idea and amounts to an exercise in pure electrical feedback control; no input music. According to Toral's concise sleeve notes it was originally recorded for 'Aeriola Frequency' on Perdition Plastics but ended up on the cutting room floor because he judged it "too exuberant". Well perhaps, in context; it now sees the light of day on Tom Steinle's very fine Tomlab label.

Feedback this may well be but not the howling speaker blowing kind. It's more like the sound you might hear if you listened to wind whistling across the opposing end of a very long pipe. Or perhaps, if it were possible, many such pipes simultaneously, because what we hear contains many separate strands which ebb and flow, fold back and weave through one another; dominated by mid to high fequencies it's all whoops, warbles and trills. Such a prosaic description really doesn't do it justice though because, true to Toral's desire to show us "the ghost in the machine" his music conveys real [human] emotion and soul. Not sad in this case but, rather, uplifting. This is an individual piece which nevertheless sits well in the Tomlab ouevre.


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