Reviews that mention Rafael Toral

October 26, 2014

Sei Miguel

Salvation Modes
Clean Feed CF 295 CD

Expanding his musical palate to try to become recognized as a composer of wide-open, semi-improvised scores as well as a trumpet soloist, Paris-born, Lisbon-based Sei Miguel demonstrates his skills with three pieces for dissimilar ensembles. Composed at specific periods in his life, and possessing reductionist slants, the three are analogous enough to form the beginnings of an oeuvre. But lacking his distinctive understated brass tone would the adhesive be as obvious?

In many ways the oldest – and shortest at under 9¾-minute – tune is the most instructive. With the composer on trumpet and finger cymbals, César Burago playing percussion and radio; Margarida Garcia a two-string bass called a “twin”; and Andre Gonçalves using Hammond organ-like manipulation, “Fermata” is equalized and mysterious. The equality arises as the trumpeter’s muted textures, which are squeezed linearly as from a toothpaste tube, are bolstered by conga-like patterns, bass-string continuum and oozing organ-tone-oriented harmonies. When the melody is emphasized though, it’s with distinct brass blasts. MORE