In some way akin to the water metaphor running through his latest album, Raúl Pastor Medall (aka Rauelsson) has himself gone through a fascinating artistic “change of state” over the last few years. From folk singer accompanying himself on the guitar, Rauelsson has gradually brought in new instruments and textures through collaborations with multi-instrumentalist and producer Peter Broderick or Peter Himmelman for instance. And then, almost out of the blue comes Vora (June 2013, Sonic Pieces), a magnificent all instrumental album (bar two tracks with vocals) featuring field recordings, sparse piano, violin, cello, organ, synth layers and other percussion instruments.
The intimate and introspective modern compositions literally flow from the first track onwards (“wave in”):
So I started walking along the beach at night with a tape recorder, taking field recordings, not only of the water, but also of rocks, gravel, and of me walking and messing around with things I would find on the beach. I would then listen back to those recordings on my headphones at home while improvising on the piano. That is how it started […] What I found interesting was that there were a lot of moments on those field recordings that had a very steady tempo, which I used as a pattern to play the piano parts, and when I muted the sound of the sea, I ended up with just the piano with an underlying aquatic feel to it. Rauelsson – The Making of Vora – Fluid Radio
This musical ebb and flow also reflects Rauelsson’s physical and emotional coming and going between Portland, Oregon and the east coast of his native Spain at the time of the conception and recording of Vora – a modern and enchanting work of cinematic beauty.