electrocd

Track listing detail

Little Animals

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 13:09
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0006104911

A forest of small creatures is gradually unveiled, their expressions and emotions revealed as they explore their sound world.

Despite the living qualities alluded to by many of the sounds, all materials in Little Animals stem from non-vocal, inanimate acoustic objects. I remember, when composing this work in 1997, being surprised by how the sounds evolved these living qualities in successive transformational iterations.

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Little Animals was realized in 1997 in the studios of City University London (England, UK), and premiered on March 28, 1998 at the concert of the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France). The piece was composed as part of the doctoral degree program at City University London. Little Animals was awarded the First Prize at 25th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France, 1998), received an Honorable Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1998), and was a finalist at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1998).

Premiere

  • March 28, 1998, 5e Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot, Centre culturel Noroit, Arras (Pas-de-Calais, France)

Awards

Composition

About this recording

The piece was remastered in 2016-17 at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway).

Mastering

Earth Haze

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1995
  • Original work: Earth Haze
  • Version: Arr. Natasha Barrett, 2016-17
  • Duration: 13:32
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0017055821

Earth Haze is a journey through images and events that dissolve to reveal new wraith-like forms. In this composition I had attempted to blur the distinction between musical and extra-musical sound by placing the interaction between physical objects, people and the environment behind a sonic haze or veil. The work was one of my first experiments exploring the fragile ambiguity between the musical and the extra-musical in acousmatic music.

The 2016 version Earth Haze has involved some compositional adjustments in time, frequency and in the ‘presence’ of different sound types in the layered spatial perspective.

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Earth Haze was realized in 1995 in the studios of City University London (England, UK) and premiered at City University London in 1996. The piece was composed as part of the doctoral degree program at City University London.

Composition

Revision

About this recording

The piece was revised and mastered in 2016-17 at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway).

Mastering

Racing Unseen: Racing Wide, Racing Inside

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1996
  • Original work: Racing Unseen
  • Version: Arr. Natasha Barrett, 2016-17
  • Duration: 19:50
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Racing through,
Racing with,
Into new spaces,
Away from old,
Racing high, racing low,
to escape, to seek,
racing into the eddy… racing forever… racing unseen.

Racing Unseen was the longest composition that I had created up to this time and I remember struggling to embrace the extended musical structure with the available computer tools. As a solution, I composed the original work in two movements, where the second is a development of the first, rather than defining two distinct thematic ideas in a traditional sense.

The 2016 version of Racing Unseen — titled Racing Unseen: Racing Wide, Racing Inside — has involved some compositional adjustments where, although the listener will hear two sections, the work coheres into one 20-minute form.

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Racing Unseen was realized in 1996 in the studios of City University London (England, UK) and premiered at City University London in 1996. The piece was composed as part of the doctoral degree program at City University.

Composition

Revision

About this recording

The piece was revised and mastered in 2016-17 at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway).

Mastering

Animalcules

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 2010
  • Duration: 5:13
  • Instrumentation: Ambisonics multichannel fixed medium
  • Commission: Notam with support from Norsk Kulturråd
  • ISWC: T9066468131

Animalcules was composed for the Pierre Schaeffer 100-year jubilee. To prepare my mind-set, I returned to Schaeffer’s Cinq études de bruits. Many years had passed since I last heard these works. Listening anew, entertained by new thoughts, I revisited Schaeffer’s ideas: the sound object, the classification of sound parameters, reduced listening, and theories about how we hear and listen. How do these concepts relate to the listener in our current society? In Schaeffer’s time, did people listen differently? Thinking about my own experience as a contemporary listener, and addressing how time changes our perspectives, I returned to materials from a work I composed long ago, in 1997: Little Animals. This etude is the result of this process.

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Animalcules was realized in 2010 in Ambisonics at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway), and premiered on December 4, 2010 at Caféteatret as part of the Grønland Kammermusikfestival in Oslo (Norway). The piece was commissioned by Notam (Norsk nettverk for Teknologi, Akustikk og Musikk / Norwegian network for Technology, Acoustics and Music) with support from the Norsk Kulturråd (Arts Council Norway), as part of a Pierre Schaeffer 100-year jubilee. Thanks to Notam for including Animalcules in these celebrations.

Premiere

  • December 4, 2010, Grønland Kammermusikfestival 2010: Concert, Caféteatret — Nordic Black Theatre, Oslo (Norway)

Composition

About this recording

The stereo reduction was mastered in 2016-17 at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway).

Remixing

Mastering

Puzzle Wood

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Original work: Puzzle Wood
  • Version: Arr. Natasha Barrett, 2016-17
  • Duration: 13:34
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • ISWC: T0016882895

Puzzlewood is the name of a small forest — previously called Puzzle Wood — nestled on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire (England, UK). The landscape is shaped by strange rock formations and caves formed by natural underground erosion, exploited by Iron Age settlers, and later the Romans, for the extraction of iron ore. Nature reclaimed the landscape that is now covered by ancient trees and traversed by meandering and confusing paths.

I first visited Puzzlewood at the age of four or five, when my family moved to the Forest of Dean. Fewer visitors than now frequented the area, and on my visit, the deserted Puzzlewood made a lasting impression on me. In recent years the area has been used for movie sets, amongst others for the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. I prefer to preserve my nostalgic memories of the place from the late 70s.

An alluring aspect of acousmatic music is its ability to evoke a multi-faceted and paradoxical listing experience, where our imagination for ‘unheard’ sounds interacts with the real, but invented sonic landscape. As new connections are made, new allusions jostle for attention. Some tiny fragment of sound may shatter the existing context to reveal an even stronger ‘trompe-l’œil’, or sweep it aside in favour of some personal reminiscence. In this way I would like listeners to lose themselves in Puzzle Wood.

The 2016 version of Puzzle Wood includes some minor compositional adjustments and a revision of this mastering process to bring forth musically important elements of the final mix. At the time of composition, in 1994, I was applying the latest technologies in experiments on how to project many sounds simultaneously without them masking each other. The process involved some extreme frequency ‘carving’, and although the results functioned in sound diffusion concerts, were problematic to successfully produce for a disc release with the available tools.

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Puzzle Wood was realized in 1994 in the studios of City University London (England, UK) and premiered at City University London in 1994. The piece was composed as part of the doctoral degree program at City University. Puzzle Wood was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 17th Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 1995).

Premiere

  • 1994, Concert, City, University of London, London (England, UK)

Composition

Revision

About this recording

The piece was revised and mastered in 2016-17 at the composer’s studio in Hvalstad (Norway).

Mastering