Rafart is the Electronic Rock project of Chapman Stick performer Francisco Rafart. Originally from Chile, his music is an instrumental blend of EDM, Space Rock, Psytrance and Drum n’ bass, where the Stick, MIDI controllers and computers are his tools of musical expression. The project has taken different formats such as trio, duo and solo performance, where Francisco Rafart and the Chapman Stick are the continuity elements
Relying on his skills in coding, hardware, electronic music production and on his experience as a Chapman Stick performer, Rafart composes music with a unique and original electroacoustic sound. The Chapman Stick is the main tool for performance, due to its extraordinary musical possibilities, and is aided with software and diverse MIDI controllers, that include “El Nene”, Rafart’s own custom made MIDI controller.
Rafart’s musical beginnings were in contemporary classical music, writing ensemble, solo and orchestral pieces that won awards and where performed in Chile and Argentina. During his composition studies he picked up the Chapman Stick in late 2005. From this instrument he ventured into Space rock and Progressive Rock, with influences of bands like Ozric Tentacles, Rush and Frank Zappa.
In 2012 the RAFART band was formed, making the first two albums ¨The Handbook of the Acid Rider (Mylodon Records, 2013)¨ and ¨The Dark Night of the Soul (Independent, 2014)¨. Though the albums can be catalogued as progressive rock, a strong inclination towards electronic music can be already noted. The band has had three formations so far. The first formation, for the album The Handbook of the Acid Rider 2013/14, was guitarist Fernando Daza (Octopus) and drummer Pablo Martinez (All Tomorrows). For the recording of the album The Dark Night of the Soul an ad-hoc band was formed with Andres Rojas Ferrari on drums, Benjamin Lechuga on guitar (Steve Vai scholarship winner), Mauricio Gallardo on vibraphone and Pat Nuño on acoustic guitar. The last formation was during Rafart’s stay in Spain in 2014-15. The members were Chilean guitarist Felipe Saalfeld and Mexican drummer Bernardo Castro.
The Berklee experience in Spain
It was during Rafart´s experience in the Music Technology Innovation Master in Berklee College of Music where the incorporation of electronic musical resources was integrated in a more straightforward way. The EP Get in The Grid (2014) was the first venture of Rafart in an Electronic Rock format, with the Stick still as the main instrument. The last Rafart band performance was in Valencia, Spain in July 2014. From there onwards Rafart started a new musical exploration.
Rafart in the US
After graduating from Berklee in Valencia, Spain, Rafart moved to the United States to continue his musical career and deepen his understanding in Music Technology. There, he worked with the MIDI controller manufacturer company Livid Instruments in Austin TX. At this moment, Rafart is recording his 4th album in an Electronic Rock style, that preserves his instrumental approach from his previous musical stages but that innovates into a totally new sound and integrated diverse collaborations with musicians around the globe.
Rafart has played and composed music for different events, festivals and conferences such as Volumens 2014 (Valencia, Spain), Calakmul fest 2015 (Campeche, Mexico), MIT’s EmTech 2014 (Valencia, Spain) , TEDx Berklee Valencia and the Ist and II International Stick Encounters 2006/7 (Santiago, Chile). He has collaborated with several musicians of different styles such as guitarists Benjamin Lechuga (Delta) and Fernando Daza (Octopus), drummer Pablo Martinez (All tomorrows), ecuadorian bagpipper Nico Schipper, house DJ kTunes, trance DJ The Source and indian singers Aman Wahdwa and Ramya Sivaramakrishnan.
The band´s line ups have been the following:
Acoustic guitar player in the EP “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
Vibraphone guest musician for the EP “The Dark Night of the Soul” (2014)
Guest guitarist for the EP “The Dark Night of the Soul” (2014)
Drummer for the EP “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Member of the chilean metal band DELTA.