Margarida Azevedo

Rafael Toral | Live in Lisbon

You can listen here.

Label | Noise Precision Library

Rafael Toral needs no introduction, but Rafael Toral with Tatsuya Nakatani and John Edwards is a record that deserves not a presentation but a highlight in the sound library of any of us.

The record “Live in Lisbon” was recorded in 2009. It is the result of three concerts together (one in Lisbon and two in Cascais). And what a result! Engaging, penetrating and that takes me to other places despite sitting comfortably on my sofa.

Long and full of sound refinements. No desire to rush the audition. It takes time.

For those who complain as much as I do about the lack of time, this is an album that makes us experience time in a different way. No running around, no listening just for the sake of listening, no rushing to go somewhere. It is for me a record with no defined time.

But if you need to know how long you should have to listen to it, here you go. You will need two hours. But if you really, really want to hear it well, it’s two hours each time you listen to it, times a considerable number of listenings. I advise you to listen to it many times. Why? Because you deserve it! Because it’s so good that it deserves us to stop the frenzy and let ourselves go between notes and ambiences. Between tensions and imbalances.

Tatsuya Nakatani is surprising and intense. It’s short and long. It is sound and silence. And of course John Edwards’ double bass is perfect in this trio.

Rafael Toral’s electronics fill our space and sometimes transport us to different planets in a wave of an alien nature.

It’s hard to describe where your head goes during the first track. From Japan to Mars, from the rings of Saturn to the Sete Rios train station in Lisbon. From the peace of the jacarandas in bloom to the hustle and bustle of everyday life in any city dweller. It is through these realities and imaginaries that I move, sometimes at a fast pace, sometimes at a slow and time-consuming pace.

Almost twenty-two minutes into the journey there is a cough that brings me back to the reality of the live concert. I came back from Saturn and landed on Culturgest. And it’s good that I landed but quickly returned to a herd rushing through a savannah.

In fifty-one minutes and fifty-six seconds I went to so many places, felt so many things and experienced moments of extreme pleasure.

Me in my living room, with headphones and a smile on my face.

The dialogue between the three is intense and assertive, sometimes spontaneous, sometimes concerted. Slowly we will feel the dynamics growing and the peak is approaching strong and striking.

Live in Cascais I it’s a new dialog. More tense and darker. Which makes us dizzy and hold our breath for a few moments.

At twenty-seven minutes a rush sets in, the heartbeat accelerates and we are agitated, anxious to get somewhere that will bring us a brief moment to breathe.

Imagine a train journey between Lisbon and Cascais I. You have just left Lisbon where time was not important, where a peace reigned – which we can say rural and quite imaginary in the city – and where tension sets in on the journey between the two points. and the anxiety of arriving. In which time runs and the dialogue intensifies.

That’s what I feel between the first and second tracks on the album. Everything intensifies. Everything becomes more interesting.

And the next thing I know, the applause announces that we are about to enter Cascais II. Calm returns, tension is relieved and gives way to a moment in which three exceptional musicians breathe between sounds and phrases in a mutual and fluid understanding.

Cascais II is the perfect closing of an excellent disc. It’s feeling like we want to go back to Lisbon and start the journey all over again.


Tatsuya Nakatani – Drums and Percussion
John Edwards – Double Bass
Rafael Toral – Electronic Instruments

Thanks to: Pedro Costa