In 2006 Natasha Barrett was awarded the prestigious Nordic Council Music Prize for her work …fetters… released by Aurora. Now Natasha Barrett is ready with her new album, containing one work only: Trade Winds is a fantastic voyage, down to the mythical and physical depths of the oceans.
From a narrative listening position Trade Winds’ macrostructure consists of two halves: the first exploring culture and fables, the second exploring nature and science. The central pivot is inspired by the chapter Mobilis in Mobili from 20000 Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne. Throughout Trade Winds the reference to Captain Nemo is evident in various manifestations of organ recordings.
“I had never thought that the sea could be such a nightmare as it was then, and I was sure that it was may last hour at sea. … and they vanished.”
Musical narrative is not necessarily a predictable linear chain of events; surprise is essential to a compelling story. Natasha Barrett launches multiple narratives in parallel, lets them take turns, interrupt each other, unfold simultaneously, or twist backwards. Sounds emerge from the depths and sweep dramatically across the sound stage in an ever evolving dance of sonic patterns.
Natasha Barrett’s (b. 1972) output spans the extremes of concert composition through to sound-art. Whether writing for live performers or electroacoustic forces, the focus of this work stems from an acousmatic approach to sound, the aural images it can evoke, and an interest in high quality or unusual recording techniques that reveal detail the ear will normally miss. Since completing studies in England in 1998, which included working with BEAST and Jonty Harrison during a masters degree, and afterwards a doctoral degree supervised by Denis Smalley, Barrett currently lives in Norway and is active as a freelance composer, performer and researcher. Her installations have been set-up in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia, and include a major work for the Norwegian state commission for art in public spaces. Her composition has received numerous recognitions, most notably with: Edvard Prize (2004, Norway), Noroit-Leonce Petitot (Arras, France, 2002 & 1998), Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Awards (France 2001, 1998 & 1995), Musica Nova (2001), IV CIMESP 2001, Concours Scrime, (France 2000), International Electroacoustic Creation Competition of Ciberart (Italy 2000), Concours Luigi Russolo (Italy 1995 & 1998), Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria 1998), 9th International Rostrum for electoacoustic music (2002). In 2006 Barrett was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize.