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Francisco Lopez

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  • Born: Madrid, Spain
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Francisco Lopez is one of the leading artists in electro-acoustic music in the 1990s. From a background in biology and ecology, he has created a singular and focused musical style centered around immersive sonic environments which are intended to strengthen and enhance the user's listening capabilities. His live performances are often performed in complete darkness and he has also been known to distribute blindfolds to the audience in order to reduce the visual impact of the performance, requiring the listener to concentrate more fully on the music itself. Although many of his pieces are based on drones in one way or another, the dynamics range from very loud to nearly inaudible. A prolific artist with over 100 releases on cassette, vinyl, and CD starting from the early '80s, Lopez continues to work the concept of "sound object" (objet sonore) described by musique concrete creator Pierre Schaefer in the 1960s. Although his most famous work, La Selva, shares a clearly recognizable framework with other soundscape artists like Eric LaCasa and Douglas Quin, Lopez has distanced himself from the soundscape as a concept based on R. Murray Schafer's book The Tuning of the World and the acoustic ecology movement that followed it.

Lopez' first releases were in the international independent cassette networks that started appearing in the 1980s, but his work that brought him to the attention of many listeners was the maiden release on Bernhard Gunter's Trente Oiseaux label, Warszawa Restaurant in 1995. Since then, his CDs have appeared on many of the most prestigious electro-acoustic and new music labels, such as Staalplaat, Table of the Elements, Touch, and Alien8. Although his emphasis on pure sonic environments means that many of his releases have Spartan cover designs and no information about the recordings, his landmark release La Selva is an essential soundscape recording of the Costa Rican rain forest with extensive liner notes about the recording and the philosophy behind it. His work Paris Hiss is composed of many layers of tape hiss (and was released, appropriately, only on cassette). One of his more surprising releases is the 2000 release Untitled #104, which is alleged to have been composed from samples of heavy metal music. His collaboration with singer Amy Denio, Belle Confusion 00 uses only her voice for the origin of all the sounds on the piece. At the beginning of 2001, he started his own record label, .absolute., on which he intends to document his collaborations with other innovative musicians and sound artists from around the world.