Isostasie (CD) Track listing detail

Three Fictions (Northern Mix)

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 10:34
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: IMEB

The three fictions are loosely narrative, and loosely algorithmic in structure. Each movement presents a brief glimpse of a sight, a sound, a sensation, where the composer is sometimes placed explicitly within the sounding narrative, other times lurking somewhere behind the music. Much of the sound material originated from analogue tone generators, underwent rigorous transformation processes, and is clearly juxtaposed with environmental sources.


The first version of this work, Three Fictions, was realized in February 2000 at the Charybde studio of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and premiered on June 2000 during Synthèse, the Festival international de musique expérimentale de Bourges (France). The piece was commissioned by IMEB. The current version, Three Fictions (Northern Mix), was revised and realized in the fall of 2000 at the composer’s studio.


Premiere

  • June 2000, Synthèse 2000: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)

Three Fictions (Northern Mix), 1: In the Rain

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 3:51
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The burning in my head subsides as I lie in the grass in the rain.
Fat droplets falling from the black sky,
on my cheek.
Vegetation flickers, freshness returns.

The algorithmic structure of this setting is based around the statistical simulation of rain falling onto a 2-dimensional surface. The x coordinate is translated into left-right space, the y coordinate as front-back space and pitch shift. Score files were created for use in Csound, and used to control many different sound sources.

Three Fictions (Northern Mix), 2: Midnight Sun: Midday Moon

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 3:35
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214750

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The bright sun lowers in the sky.
Cool midnight sun.
Dream awake.
Midday moon.

Winter, north of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise. Summer, the sun does not set. Experience of the midnight sun injects new energy, while continual darkness can evoke mad delusions. During the summer months, the approximately sinusoidal path of the northerly sun is unbroken by the horizon. When this path is divided into units of equal altitude, varying time segments result. These time segments were used as an event framework for the sound material.

Three Fictions (Northern Mix), 3: Outside Snow Falls

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 3:02
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214760

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

White crystals.
A gate slowly sways.
Inside it is warm.

Similarly to the first movement, the locations of events are calculated using a numerical system. However in this instance the sound material is placed by hand, and has a lighter, icier character.

Displaced:Replaced, 1: Fog, light wind

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 2:46
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214770

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Red Snow (Microclimate II)

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1998, 2001
  • Duration: 15:39
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214780

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“Red snow” is snow coloured rose to blood red by a growth of algae or diatoms.

I moved to Norway in the winter, and the climate dramatically contrasted that of my home country England. Leaving behind everything I knew, I felt increasingly aware of the environment: the variety of snow spiralling in the wind; intricate details of vegetation enhanced by crystal formations; the soft sun and bright landscape; footprints suggesting their own scenario… and the potential color lying dormant.

Microclimate II: Red Snow is the second work in a series entitled Microclimate where each work is structurally balanced, not in a symmetrical sense, but through the ‘life’ of one articulation resulting in a subsequent and counterbalancing reaction. I have attempted to concentrate the beauty and violence of a natural landscape into the ‘microclimate’ of the work — forming a new ‘organisational space’ yet reflecting, in acoustic form, the natural world and source inspiration.


Microclimate II: Red Snow was realized in 1998 at Notam (Norsk nettverk for Teknologi, Akustikk og Musikk / Norwegian network for Technology, Acoustics and Music) in Oslo (Norway) and premiered on May 26, 1999 during the Music Factory Contemporary Music Festival in Bergen (Norway).


Premiere

  • May 26, 1999, Concert, Bergen (Norway)

Displaced:Replaced, 2: Wet and gusty

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 1:42
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214790

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Viva la Selva!

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 1999
  • Duration: 17:28
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: NICEM with support from the Norsk Komponistforening

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214800

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

In the New Year of 1999 a number of items of recording apparatus, a colleague, and myself travelled to a Central American rain forest. The aim of this adventure was to record animal vocalisations over a continuous 24-hour period with a microphone array. The data we recorded was used for bioacoustic research and music composition.

In Viva la Selva! (Long live the forest!), source sounds, the locations of animal vocalisations, the vocal and spatial relationships between different animal species, the change in dynamics over the 24-hour period, and my experience venturing through a dense jungle, daytime and night-time, all contribute to the musical and narrative structure.

Most of the source sounds are insect, bird, frog and monkey calls. Some of these animals can be seen, while other bizarre sounds do not reveal their causes. After some days in the forest, the spectral distribution of the sound environment revealed interesting inter-species sound relationships, and this idea is manifest in the composition where many animal calls have been temporally and spatially substituted by human vocal articulations.

Part of the 24-hour recording period took place at night, during which time it was necessary to venture into the forest to change DATs and batteries. Armed with only a torch, vision is confined to a single shaft of light, yet in the expanse of darkness, a busy system is at play…

Viva la Selva! stars mantled howler monkeys, white capped manakin birds, poison arrow frogs, cikadas, tink frogs, oropendola birds, tinamou birds, a humming bird, mosquitoes, a single engine aeroplane, and numerous other forest and forest-edge animals.


Viva la Selva! was realized in 1999 in the electroacoustic studio of the Music conservatory in Tromsø (Norway) and premiered on October 2, 1999 at the NICEM (Norwegian Section of the International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music) concert during the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (Norway). Viva la Selva! was commissioned by NICEM with support from the Norsk Komponistforening (Norwegian Society of Composers). Viva la Selva! was awarded a prize at the 1st Concurso Internacional de Creación Electroacústica Ciber@RT (Valencia, Spain, 1999), and at the Prix SCRIME (Bordeaux, France, 2000).


Premiere

  • October 2, 1999, Concert, Oslo (Norway)

Awards

Displaced:Replaced, 3: Gathering wind

Natasha Barrett

  • Duration: 2:50
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214810

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The Utility of Space

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 13:25
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: NICEM with support from the Norsk Komponistforening

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214820

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent,
When moved its gift is copious.
Tao Te Ching (translated by Raymond B Blakney, 1955)

The Utility of Space is an exploration of spatial musical structure. This exploration is manifest in two ways: through poetic spatial implication, and through carefully controlled real spatial locations, trajectories, and sound magnitudes.


The Utility of Space was realized in 2000 at the composer’s studio with spatialization research carried out at Notam (Norsk nettverk for Teknologi, Akustikk og Musikk / Norwegian network for Technology, Acoustics and Music) in Oslo (Norway). The ambisonics version premiered on October 7, 2000 at the Space Escape NICEM (Norwegian Section of the International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music) concert during the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (Norway). The Utility of Space was commissioned by NICEM with support from the Norsk Komponistforening (Norwegian Society of Composers). The Utility of Space was awarded a First Prize at the 28th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (France, 2001). The original concert work was realized in the ambisonics format (hexagonal loudspeaker placement) combined with traditional stereo diffusion; this CD version has been remixed for stereo listening (either version is suitable for concert performance).


Premiere

  • October 7, 2000, Concert, Oslo (Norway)

Awards


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Stereophonic remix of the original concert work in ambisonics format.

Industrial Revelations

Natasha Barrett

  • Year of composition: 2001
  • Duration: 11:32
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD500214830

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

One mile away, a small but sharp valley has been cut into the landscape. Occasionally, the distant sound of industry wafts from this valley around the garden. This is not the annoyance normally associated with the voice of industry.

When out for a stroll one evening, I happen to walk in the direction of the valley. The landscape is temporarily idling from the process of being sculpted by powerful machines. In the half-light heaps of earth appear as sand dunes, rocks dripping with water are caves at the sea. Tomorrow the landscape will sing with machines.


Industrial Revelations was realized in 2001 at the composer’s studio and premiered on the November 18, 2001 during the concert celebrating the relocation of Notam (Norsk nettverk for Teknologi, Akustikk og Musikk / Norwegian network for Technology, Acoustics and Music) in Oslo (Norway). Industrial Revelations was awarded First Prize in the Musica Nova 2001 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic), and an honorable mention at the 4th Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’01, Brazil).


Premiere

  • November 18, 2001, Concert, Oslo (Norway)

Awards

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