The Duality of the Dramatic and the Abstract

Julian Cowley, Musicworks, no. 99, December 1, 2007

[Article Summary] The music of Natasha Barrett is both abstract and suggestive, sonic and visual. Her acousmatic compositions explore the theatrical potential of this frequently narrative-free music. Barrett’s initial exposure to the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre profoundly influenced her understanding of the vocabulary and intentions of acousmatic music. Her technique is playful, exploring the potential of sounds as isolated and valuable sonic elements, and equally as extremely suggestive tools for guiding the narrative of a piece. Her process is disciplined, frequently training herself in new tools and technologies, and not adopting any method or technique until her research has exhausted all possibilities. Barrett’s experiments in combining electroacoustic music with theatre have led to a focus on the spatialization of sound as an extremely effective narrative and dramatic tool.

Her technique is playful, exploring the potential of sounds as isolated and valuable sonic elements…