Rafael Anton Irisarri is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer, interdisciplinary artist and curator. Predominantly associated with ambient, drone, post-minimalist, and modern classical music, Irisarri’s recorded output captures an essential vision of floating tones, deep pulsing bass and textural electronics. His use of ostinato phrases taps into minimalist ideals while atmospheric layers of effects suggests a more cinematic quality in his productions. In all, Irisarri’s compositions are deeply emotive and epic to the point of being symphonic.
"Irisarri uses his guitar as a strings-like symphonic element to generate atmospheric masses…like an ambient symphony recording that’s been rescued from attic entombment after half a century." - Textura (CA)
His works are widely published in over a dozen labels around the globe. These include respected/influential labels like Ghostly International, Morr Music, Touch, ROOM40, and Miasmah.
As a producer, he’s had remixes commissioned by The Naked And Famous, School of Seven Bells, Pantha Du Prince, Biosphere, Balmorhea, and many others.
Irisarri travels frequently to perform live throughout Europe, North America, Australia and the Middle East. Some career highlights include concerts at Milan’s prestigious MITO SettembreMusica, Barcelona’s Sónar, Rotterdam’s Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Montreal’s MUTEK, The Hague’s TodaysArt Festival and Krakow’s Unsound.
"Irisarri creates spontaneous atmospheres using “elements” of his albums, not merely replicating them part for part with an audience…All of these elements are carefully put together in an almost classical vein and never feel forced, in fact, the atmosphere is so engrossing that it creates a sense of memory loss, which lends credence to Irisarri’s sound sculpting abilities to create a live set both complex in structure but with enough atmosphere to not draw attention to its mechanics. The sonic palette Irisarri works with during these performances proves that he is not a one trick pony" - Foxy Digitalis (USA)
In 2011, he started the Substrata Festival in Seattle: a four-day intimate event focusing on varying perspectives of scale though the use of sound, composition and visuals; showcasing accomplished international artists working in the cutting edge where structural abstraction meets physical dynamics.
“Substrata 1.1 was the inaugural edition of a concerted effort by curator and creative director, Rafael Anton Irisarri, to bring noise, subtlety and aural immersion to the forefront. Featuring an international lineup of artists who defy any concrete classification, the two performance days were an engrossing dedication to musical detail and sounds often overlooked.” - Resident Advisor (UK)
Aside from his solo works, Irisarri is a prolific collaborator, having worked with dozens of artists (either live or in the studio). These include: Benoît Pioulard, Scanner, Biosphere, Fennesz, Lillevan, Pantha Du Prince, Echospace, Tiny Vipers, Michael Lerner (Telekinesis), Lawrence English, Grouper, Loscil, Marsen Jules, Keith Kenniff (Goldmund/Helios), Andrea Belfi, Simon Scott, Lusine, Lissom, Solvent, Svarte Greiner, Simon James Phillips, Ran Slavin, Koen Holtkamp, Greg Davis, Ido Govrin, Yair Etziony, Marcus Fjellström, and Carlos Cipa.