Rafael Anton Irisarri
Rafael Anton Irisarri is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and media artist based in New York. He is predominantly associated with post-minimalist, drone and electronic music, exploring textural aesthetics. Described by Drowned In Sound (UK) as “one of contemporary ambient music’s most celebrated practitioners”, and by Pitchfork (USA) as “a new kind of composer who exists in an undifferentiated welter of pop, techno, and classical”, Irisarri’s music often has a mournful, elegiac quality, deeply emotive and epic, like a symphony recording that’s been rescued from attic entombment after half a century. His recorded output heavily utilize bowed guitars, piano, strings, synths, field recordings, voices, and electronic instruments, creating dense clouds of blurry, hypnotic sound.
His concerts at museums, churches, synagogues, and other non-traditional performance spaces explore the physicality of sound. Combining an array of heavy metal bass amplifiers, multiple loudspeaker configurations, synthesizers, bowed guitars, notebook computers, video images, and lighting, Irisarri decontextualize the audience’s relationship to the venue, creating an immersive, otherworldly environment.
Aside from producing his own music, Irisarri is a prolific audio engineer, having worked with dozens of seminal artists either in a live setting or at his Black Knoll Studio in New York. Credits include: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Arovane, Benoît Pioulard, Biosphere, Chris Frantz (of Talking Heads), Grouper, Julianna Barwick, Loscil, Pantha Du Prince, School of Seven Bells, Simon Scott (of Slowdive), Steve Hauschildt, Telefon Tel Aviv, Terry Riley, The Naked And Famous, and Tiny Vipers, among hundreds of others.