Tibetan Red is the ongoing sound text exploration project of Salvador Francesch, a Catalan/Canadian living since 1999 in the Pyrenees of Catalonia.

Tibetan Red came to be as the result of the radio program The Labyrinth (1982-1985) produced by Salvador Francesch for CKLN Radio in Toronto, Canada.

In the aftermath of the post-punk nihilism implosion of the late 70’s and early 80’s two lines of thought converged in the ’underground’ world of alternative culture, the ‘do-it-yourself’ philosophy and the Cagean approach that ‘everything is sound’. This two basic lines were the best kept secret in the history of Alternative Sounds. Toronto was not immune to the secret and to the feverish flurry of the myriad of mosaic experimental sounds that were taking place everywhere, and the record labels attitude - mushrooming from all the international basements - notion that ‘everything is possible’. The purpose and design of The Labyrinth was to show-case the musics that were being produced to explore the metaphysics of rebellion in sound performance. The Labyrinth was a play-ground metaphor for exposure, a means to focus and expand on the parameters of the experience.

Tibetan Red’s proposal is to explore other possible readings of given sound texts, by extracting and adding his own created sounds which search to weave massive tapestries of psychic geographies.

In 1985 the Freedom in a Vacuum label operating in Toronto released the first cassette by Tibetan Red, Tibetan Red. Later and excerpt of the pieces Scanning and Kalahari Fire Birth from the same cassette were included in the album International Compilation released by Freedom in a Vacuum in 1987.

In 2000 Grácia Territori Sonor proposed to release the original Freedom in a Vacuum cassette plus an additional recording from 1987 called The Sistine Chapel in CD format.

In 2002 Tibetan Red and Victor Nubla released for the hrönir label the CD Tao Point a collaboration project for the MCO volume 7 series.

In 2007 Tibetan Red released his second solo CD “Fouta Djalon” for the Gliptoteka Magdalae label.

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Tibetan Red - Fouta Djalon (Spain Gliptoteka Magdalae Cd 2006)

This is the third release by Tibetan Red, whose first was an obscure self-titled cassette originally released on Freedom In A Vacuum in 1986, then reissued on CD on the Zanfonia label. (The second, Tao Point, was a collaboration with Victor Nubia.) That first release, which we noted in issue 13, was a near-shocking episode of suffocating intensive tape loops getting seriously out of control, layering ethnological recordings, and unleashing some powerful magic forces along the way. Here, on the opening track 'Fouta Djalon (Study on Synchronicity)', we have something no less disturbing, a layered collection of loops of percussion, bells and chanting voices which may or may not be derived from tapes of Tibetan monks or a similar release of holy energy. These loops collide with other loops of gasping and urgent voices to reveal astonishing patterns and events. Sheer manic power is quickly generated.
That's the opening track, 14 minutes of seething and bubbling rhythm that will cause even the coldest human iceberg to break out in a sweat. 'Fields Of Activity' is some 19 minutes in duration, whose starting point is field recordings made in foreign climes - perhaps a bustling marketplace or a busy farm. Again, overlapping voices are captured at the point of greatest interest, formed into loops and assembled into a whirling cauldron of excitement. This track also deploys ambient drones and insect whirring to fill out the vistas of sonic exploration. About halfway through it resolves into a passage of sheer genius - documentary voices and whoops, arranged into simple repeating patterns, and integrated with the background electronic droning. The way this work subsequently grows, very naturally and gradually, into a multi-layered vista-vision statement is astonishing; not as intense as the opener, but its subtle power will get its hooks into you nonetheless. We also have the excellent 'Fire Pilgrimage', which booms out in the very lowest registers Tibetan Red is capable of generating, using throaty growls, basso voices, and deep breathy drones, this time put together in a seamless layered work where the techniques used are all but invisible. Another religious subtext clue is provided by the title of this one, and its sonorous depths do indeed suggest the chanting of secret subterranean monks who are dedicated to keeping the world from flying apart by the power of their massed voices. Finally, we have 'Stone Koan', a near-silent piece whose stark minimalism contrasts heavily with the otherwise noisy and rich collection. A simple Zen-like statement about the beauty of stones which Jeph Jerman would be proud of. I said this last time, and I know that Psychic TV and others of his ilk used to dabble in areas involving tape loops and psychic energy, but I think their attitude to the world's religions was (to say the least decidedly dubious. Tibetan Red, on the other hand, is entirely ir sympathy with the primal spiritual urges that are at the root of the world's faiths; using these elements, and his unusual field recordings, he has assembled a coherent and detailed work of art.

Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector) 01/09/2007


TIBETAN RED - FOUTA DJALON (CD by Gracia Territori)

The name Tibetan Red has been around since the mid eighties. I believe my first encounter with it was on a compilation LP by Freedom In A Vacuum. However almost twenty years later releases are still very few. But I do know a little bit more about the project. It's one Salvador Francesch (born in 1945) from Catalan origin, who lived for some time in Canada, but now in the Pyrenees. He is also a painter. He continues the sound as found on his 'complete' works release from 2000: Tibetan Red creates many loops of sound and let this 'go', until he starts playing around with them. On 'Fouta Djalon' the sources are ethnic recordings, people chanting, percussive sounds and such like. There are however a whole of bunch, so that there is a densely layered pattern of these sounds. The ethnic element can still be traced to single sources, but the overall sounds more electronic than ethnic. I kept wondering wether electronic treatments had been used here, but my best guess it's not, although the highly reworked 'Fire Pilgrimage' might have some. The previous work of Tibetan Red dealt with more single minded electronic/short wave sounds, but this new direction is certainly as interesting. A great CD and I am told that the next one will be out quicker. (FdW)


Tibetan Red
An unusual 'archive' release for a change, this CD presents some mid-1980s sonic noise experiments from this mystery solo turn, and of no small interest they be. Two tracks, 'Scanning' and 'Kalahari Fire Birth', were originally unleashed on the ears of the world in cassette format in 1986, from Canadian label Freedom In A Vacuum. As more of the 1980s cassette tape-trading arena is subjected to process of rediscovery, we need only sit back and wait for the world and his brother to scour the Robin James Cassette Mythos book for further areas to plunder.

If we can believe the curt sleeve note, the music herein is something to do with Shamanism. The first cut appears to be an endless garland of shimmering and shrill tape loops, suggestive of lOth-generation copies and decaying oxide...it's guaranteed to send you climbing the walls and induce nine types of lunacy. This infuriating, airless, abstract, formless fog-noise gradually gets more intense and unbearable, and reduces men and women to tears...I love it! The second cut proposes a slightly fuller sound than the ghostliness of predecessor, but it's no less shapeless. Think of when you light the pilot flame under your gas boiler, but on a cosmic, planetary scale. It's roughly equivalent to 20 metric tonnes of chocolate-covered gravel to pebble-dash your brain. After some time, this 'Kalahari Fire Birth' introduces whooping voices and clapping; these are likely to be ethnological recordings of scary tribesmen performing war dance of other ceremony of shamanic frenzy. Very Psychic TV, I must say; early droners put great store in this sort of thing, presumably implying that Western civilisation is merely a veneer to conceal our 'true' selves.

The final cut on this CD is the otherwise unissued 'The Sistine Chapel'. It attempts, using sound alone, to recreate every colour and plaster-coated nuance of shade and light in this gigantic Renaissance fresco. Actually, it's from 1987 and comprises the droning of many a didjeridoo along with electronic processed noise and menacing clicking effects. It's filled with weird voices, muttering crowds, in tape-loops of mystery, repeating fragments of unknown speech. All the tracks here are 'nasty' drones, designed to cast bad magic against enemies, or induce horrible trance states in which anything could happen...a fairly malevolent intent lurks behind this noise. Use therefore with great care if ye value thy sanity.
Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector) 11/10/2004


TIBETAN RED (CD by Zanfonia)

To put your entire musical output on one CD, and thus offering the "complete works by" - what an interesting idea (that's why I am so fond of Varese and Webern - the consequent, small body of work) . In the mid 80s somebody recorded as Tibetan Red, having one track on the LP 'Freedom In A Vacuum', the first release by a label with the same name and a cassette on that very same label. That somebody came from Spain, went to Canada and is now in Southern Europe. Thus we see the CD released on a label from Barcelona. 'Scanning' (the comp piece aswell in it's complete form on cassette) is an excellent piece of layered shortwave sounds, morse codes and underlying drones from a synth. 'Kalahari Fire Birth' uses many unidentifable sounds, set against the tape-loop (sampling was virtually non-existent in those days) of ethno origin. A raw version of zoviet*franee like ambience. 'The Sistine Chapel' is a previously unreleased track, and also works with looped ethno material, here the didgeredoo. All three tracks clock at 20 minutes and all have a trance like spirit, without leaping into boredom.

What I particulary like about this CD is the undated, fresh rawness of the 80s cassette movement, transformed to CD. An aural document of the 'anything goes' attitude, which Vital owes it's credit to, too.
(Frans de Waard, Vital)


Tibetan Red - Victor Nubla
Tao Point
By Chris Twomey
This esoteric sound collaboration between two Spanish artists comes from the marriage of an art music interest in noise with Eastern philosophies of sound as being a communion with the universal structure of vibrations. Their working method (Nubla's "Objective Composition Method") is to manipulate found radio frequencies through a sampler, inspired by Duchamp's art of found objects and John Cage's chance operations. Nubla terms the results as "hronir," named after a special class of lost object described in the fictitious archeology of master short story writer Jorge Luis Borges. But these five subtle pieces are less like found artifacts than rediscovered currents, perhaps obscured by contemporary interest in shallow 'pop' commodities but still alive in the religious music of cultures like the Tibetans and their Western devotees like French electronic music explorer Eliane Radigue.
Publication Date: 2003-04-06


from the Chinese meaning 'right way', the tao is the absolute principle underlying the universe, philosophical taoism emphasizes inner contemplation and mystical union with nature; rather than wisdom and action, the principle of wu-wei espouses letting nature take its course, and this may provide a key to understanding the audioscapes created here by the above artists, which seem to develop according to laws that usually dictate the path of organic life.

in 'tuslha point' warm pulses of sound envelop you, looping hypnotically until the effect is akin to being in the womb, other sounds join in almost imperceptibly, creating a jangle of different tones, some crystal clear like running your finger over the rim of a glass, until the jangle increases in harshness, threatening to rupture the previous harmony.

"teesight point" harnesses a portentous rumble, with high-pitched overtones; as it gains force it sounds less like an artificial grouping of sounds than an organic force, gathering menace, like a tornado getting ready to lay waste to the earth, the feeling is uncomfortable; beset with strange low-frequency squeakings, like the crackle of electricity in the air, it is like finding yourself in the middle of a high-pressure storm, when everything goes strangely silent and static in those minutes before it lets rip. the menace builds by degrees until it reaches almost unbearable intensity, bursting finally into a blast of industrial-strength noise.

by this stage it is obvious that tibetan red and victor nubia are no val doonicans of the techno age; what they create in their tracks are discrete universes, complete with their own climates and eco-systems, fuelled by a strange aura of other-worldliness and a sense of desolation which stretches into eternity, basically their music is incredible and terrifying in equal proportions, it should come with one of those advisory stickers that i could well have done with: don't play this late at night and especially not when you're by yourself.
(Elizabeth Wells, Absorb)


A musical collaboration between Tibetan Red and Victor Nubia, carried out on April 2000, which presents the most radical side of their respective styles. Icy industrial music, alien to human nature, as if it were created with bits and pieces of recordings in non-existent factories. Murmurs of industrial gear lost in the farthest vastness of night in a deserted city. Machineries from Hell working night and day in contless centuries to Eternity.
(Edgar Kogler, Amazing Sounds, September 2003)



Some of a cult sound artist in his native Spain, Victor Nubia is a paradoxical talent on the evidence of these two discs. Tao Point was recorded at Mas Pinoses, Spain, and its pattern is soon clear. Essentially Tao is an exploration of insistent, slowly changing low end drones, till the closing minute or so of each track, when higher-pitched and more dynamic activity intrudes. On "Teesight Point", the sound decends low enough to be quite disturbing. "Womb Point" is the aural equivalent of an inmersion in amniotic fluid, with gently oscillating drones for most of its 16 minutes, before Industrial sounds are briefly introduced. The result is an edgy, disturbing piece of Industrial / Ambient soundart.
(Andy Hamilton, The Wire Magazine, June 2003)



In Vital Weekly 244 I discussed the CD by Tibetan Red, that had the entire recorded works of that one man band on one CD. But maybe the success of that CD led to recording another one, here in a close collaboration with Victor Nubia, formerly known as one half of Marcomassa and since some time the heart of the more avant-garde music scenes in Barcelona (organising the Gracia Territory Sonor festival). Five pieces are performed here by the two men (there is a picture inside, so I assume these are the artists). Five lenghty pieces - from eight to seventeen minutes. More so then the previous work by Tibetan Red, this deals with dark drone rumbles that move just above and just under the surface of the earth. A contact microphone is stuck in the earth's core and slow shaking foundations of the earth are being taped. Well, it's either that or the use of low bit samples of shortwaves being fed through a couple of cheap effects and taped, especially for it's effect, on a four track. There is certain strange appealling quality to these recordings. A sound that reminds me of the good old 80s, with its low rumble cassettes. Tibetan Red and Victor Nubia built audible Lopezian works here. Everything is moody and dark, but at the same time also on an audible level. The dramatic built ups arrive at the end of a piece and can have the same ear splitting result as Lopez in a live situation can have. Captivating drones. Very nice stuff.
(Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 359, Feb 2003)



Pulsating electronic layered textures. Microscopic contemplation of static cycles inviting us to dive into a world encompassing the extremes of sonic spectrum within constant colour tracks. The degree of enlargement causes internal variation to be minimal (a sherr speck turns into a huge gesture). Akin to a contemplative experimental standpoint.
modisti.com, June 2003)