Sergio Barroso

… dense, rich, evocative, and tinged by a subtle Latin-American color that gives Barroso’s music its charm and originality. AllMusic, USA

… almost every second is soaked with an undercurrent of drama and tenseness. Nightwaves, Canada

  • Canada Council for the Arts

2 × CD (IMED 9628/29)

Disc 1

Disc 2

  • Label: empreintes DIGITALes
  • IMED 9628/29
  • 1996
  • UCC 771028962822
  • Total duration: 117:37
  • Opak
  • 127 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 90 g

On the web

Download (IMED 9628_NUM)

Some recommended items
In the press


François Couture, AllMusic, September 1, 2001

A 2-CD set, Délirantes culled for the first time Sergio Barroso’s best electroacoustic works into a comprehensive and easily available package. The nine works included were created between 1982 and 1995 and all newly recorded for this album. The spotlight remains mostly on the Cuban-born (now living in Canada) composer’s mixed electroacoustic works (for instrument and tape), especially the ones he wrote to be performed with a keyboard controller. These are often the most captivating pieces, as the listener can have a hard time trying to guess what had been fixed on tape and what was performed “live.” La Fiesta, which opens disc 1, and Charangas Delirantes, closing it, makes very good examples of this technique, They are both very festive and highly intricate. Crónicas de Ultrasueño is the only piece involving two instrumentalists (Barroso on keyboard controller and León Biriotti on oboe). It flows nicely but is no match for Viejas Voces featuring Laura Wilcox on viola or En Febrero Mueren las Flores with Adele Armin on Raad violin, an electroacoustic string instrument. The latter piece is alone worth the album: dense, rich, evocative, and tinged by a subtle Latin-American color that gives Barroso’s music its charm and originality. In regards to the composer’s origins, the tape piece Tablao, with its Flamenco-style hand-clapping, remains his strongest statement. Recommended.

… dense, rich, evocative, and tinged by a subtle Latin-American color that gives Barroso’s music its charm and originality.


Gary Flanagan, Nightwaves, no. 8, April 1, 2001

This is a two CD set of electroacoustic music by another artist on the Diffusion i Media label. Upon one listen, the listener can immediately notice the very obtrusively cinematic nature of this music. Barroso uses a variety of equipment (including a Yamaha DX7!) to create an intense musical climate. And calling it intense is putting it mildly. These CDs never come up for air… almost every second is soaked with an undercurrent of drama and tenseness. Just imagine the music that you hear in a film just before the monster jumps out from around a corner. That is basically the sound of Délirantes. En Febrero Mueren Las Flores features clangorous industrial noise, yet this is a fine distinction. Overall this is highly climactic music in the vein of Bernard Hermann, yet it very guickly reaches its peak and tires itself out. Very intense but somewhat one-dimensional.

… almost every second is soaked with an undercurrent of drama and tenseness.


Noah Wane, Splendid E-Zine, April 20, 1998

For Splendid’s foray into the highbrow art world this week we’ve chosen a double CD of electroacoustic music of impeccable quality by Sergio Barroso.

Beautifully packaged in a cardboard case [the OPAK box], Délirantes is an exquisite specimen of modern electronic art music. Mr Barroso is a composer of some renown and his output is certainly not limited to works electroacoustic. His purely acoustic works have been performed by august musical organizations worldwide. Indeed, as is often the case with successful ‘serious’ electronic music, the pieces on Délirantes benefit greatly from Mr. Barroso’s application of compositional techniques normally applied to acoustic pieces.

Concepts of orchestration and counterpoint, for example, are beautifully applied, creating the kind of glossy sheen that is indicative of well-crafted music. Aspects of the ethnic music of Cuba (the composer’s homeland) also inform Délirantes. The most obvious impact of this is in the rhythms — fiery, syncopated, evoking a kind of folksy organicism reminiscent of a village fiesta. For connoisseurs of fine experimental music I can heartily recommend Délirantes.

… electroacoustic music of impeccable quality by Sergio Barroso.

Intense Memory of Cuba Distorted by the Labour of Time and Distance

Michael Dobinson, Musicworks, no. 69, December 1, 1997

This two-CD set, part of a new series showcasing the work of Canadian electroacoustic composers, is my first exposure to what seems to be an exciting new collection from Montréal-based empreintes DIGITALes.

Barroso’s heritage and training help to make him one of today’s most distinctive Canadian musical voices. He grew up surrounded by the rich musical culture of his native Cuba, was trained extensively in the western classical tradition, and has a strong interest in the aesthetics of the avant-garde. His works typically draw on all three of these influences.

The composer’s Cuban heritage is reflected most strongly in La Fiesta (which suggests the exuberant sound of Cuban music with its many strongly rhythmic passages), Charangas Delirantes (which make reference to the small dance ensembles (charangas) of Cuba), and Tablao (a tribute to a life-time of exposure to flamenco music). Both Canzona and Sonatada make reference to the traditions of Western classical music: the former employs the elaborate polyphony of the 16th century canzona, the latter explores the various styles of classical piano music, filtering them through microtonal tuning systems. His works for electronic and live instruments (Crónicas de Ultrasueño (León Biriotti, oboe), En Febrero Mueren Las Flores (Adele Armin, RAAD viola), and Yantra X (James Read, bassoon) all demonstrate a sensitive and organic approach to the combination of the two mediums, while drawing, to different degrees, from all three aspects of Barroso’s background.

Although I found the aforementioned works to be enjoyable and of high musical quality, Viejas Voces (Old Voices), for tape and viola, affected me most strongly. The piece is marked by the great attention paid to texture and timbre: many passages are based on the transformation or patient construction of elaborate sound masses. Strongly rhythmical sections suggest the dance music of his homeland, while the many lyrical passages entrusted to the viola suggest both the melodies of Cuba and of the Western classical tradition. This work is given a sensitive and compelling performance by violist Laura Wilcox.

This [2-CD set] is a well-produced and intriguing portrait of a major artist. This series, based on the evidence provided by this CD, should provide an important documentation of electroacoustic music in Canada.

… one of today’s most distinctive Canadian musical voices.


SOCAN, Words & Music, May 1, 1997

Délirantes (empreintes DIGITALes), is a two-disc set of music by Vancouver’s Sergio Barroso, with the composer playing digital keyboards in four of the nine works. Barroso was born in Havana and draws on his Cuban heritage to create some distinctive music, by turns dramatic (La Fiesta), moody (En Febrero Mueren Las Flores, for violin and tape) and somewhat minimalist (Tablao, an homage to flamenco guitar music)…

… some distinctive music…


Une étiquette active, la maison montréalaise empreintes DIGITALes lance un coffret de deux disques de musique du compositeur vancouverois de naissance havanaise Sergio Barroso. Au clavier sur quatre des neuf pièces du recueil, le compositeur puise dans sa culture cubaine les éléments d’une musique distinctive qui se fait tantôt spectaculaire (La Fiesta), tantôt mystérieuse (En Febrero, pour violon et bande) ou minimaliste (Tablao, hommage à la musique de guitare de flamenco).

… une musique distinctive…

Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones

Dwight Loop, The Sun-News, no. 9:3, February 1, 1997

Havana, Cuba-born [Toronto-based] composer Sergio Barroso’s recording Délirantes (empreintes DIGITALes, IMED 9628/29) is an outstanding assemblage of electroacoustic music with the flavor of his homeland a major influence. This music proves that new technology and old world sounds do mix.

… outstanding assemblage…

More texts

  • Voir, February 13, 1997
  • Jérôme Noetinger, Revue & Corrigée, no. 29, September 1, 1996