By David Peter Simon | May 28th, 2012
Rafael Anton Irisarri explains the complexity of how he will feed guitar pieces into his laptop. The venue dims, but with a wave of his hand, he cuts the lights off altogether to begin his set. The musician from Seattle rolls music out of his guitar like waves crashing onto the beach.
Layers upon layers of ambient drones build up, engrossing the crowd. Many in the audience close their eyes, not from boredom but rather reveling in what a fellow concert-goer aptly describes as a “reverb orgy.” The repetitious loops deepen, filling the room via seamless song progressions. It’s like a mesmerizing roller coaster of noise riding hopes and past desires, floating somewhere between post-minimalist and shoegaze. The sound is overwhelming, over time it all just starts to feel like a blurred daydream.
And then, suddenly, it’s over. The loops have winded down, the pulsating bass has reverted slowly back into the speakers as if they were never there. The noise lingers in the air somehow, still intangibly present. While he claims to just be another guy tinkering on his laptop, I’m more of the opinion he’s a musical magician that conjures abstractions from thin air into cinematic-like musical experiences.
A multi-instrumentalist whose genres encompass a hybrid of drone and contemporary classical, Irisarri is also a member of the electronic act The Sight Below and is currently touring with Benoît Pioulard under the project Orcas.