+3dB Records

Natasha Barrett

Peat+Polymer

3DB021 • 2014

Peat + Polymer is a double portrait of Barrets artistic work, showcasing the connections and contradictions between synthetic and organic sound and their relation to space. The two albums range from stereo renderings of highly abstract and thorougly composed 3D audio concert pieces to sound walks, where the composers imprint on her work is much less present. 

 

CD1: Polymer

Hidden Values explores through drama and metaphor three ancient and seemingly minor inventions have shaped our societies and affect our everyday in a multitude of ways: the umbrella, the lock (and key) and sight correction. The Umbrella protects from rain, snow, sun and wind. It protects and saves, defends and deflects, covers and disguises; Optical Tubes, apparently invented by Descartes, were glass tubes that touched the eyeball like contact lenses. We can choose to see the world in focus or through a soft haze; The invention of the lock and key can be traced back over 4000 years and as metaphors have been used throughout literary and dramatic history. Locked doors provide safety in a modern world. A lock hides secrets from prying eyes, locks people in, locks people out, symbolises power and ownership. The Lock plays out a drama between two forces: one represented by the female voice, the other by percussion instruments.

Kernel Expansion is in three interconnected sections exposing the ‘kernel’ or heart of some sounds that evoke my memories: from outdoors, from inside, from realities, dreams and imaginations.

Reality and Secrets no. 2: Our everyday world is a hive of interesting spatial information. Interested by how sounds relate to the real-world system that created them, I used analysis tools to explore and extract the dynamic spatial patterns of sounds in situ and use the results to create control systems to connect drama, gesture, context and character. In Reality and Secrets no. 2 I chose two main materials: children sledging downhill and cellist Tanja Orning performing various materials composed for her.

Untitled One: Sometimes what feels like the ‘correct’ title is impossible to find. I have three ‘Untitled’ works, for two of them I’m close to finding titles, but after four years, Untitled One still eludes me.

 

 CD2: Peat

OSSTS (Oslo Sound Space Transport System) is an interactive 3D sound-space map of Oslo. OSSTS allows you to journey through Oslo's real sound-world, explore it's acoustic architecture and be surprised by surreal and fictional Oslo-inspired spaces. Rute number 1 is one of OSSTS’s popular scheduled rutes.

Sound exposure in Peru is a set of short works that, rather than being sound-walks in the traditional sense, are more akin to audio experiences, edited to highlight the new sound worlds I encountered, first hand, in spring 2010. The audio experiences take the listener on a journey from Lima to Cusco and Machu Picchu, then southeast through the Andes to Lake Titicaca. Sound exposure in Peru is more than a series of audio postcards. The short works draw on how nature and culture reflect contrasts in space and place.

A Soundwalk through Shanghai is a time-compressed walk through the sound landscape of Shanghai’s backstreets, destination: World Expo 2010.

Unlike Untitled One, Untitled Two has a subtitle: ‘Flight of the Bee’, and is set on a sandy island off the south east coast of Norway.

 

Performed sources on Polymer: Evdokija Danajloska (voice, track 2), Gilles Durot (percussion track 2), Tanja Orning (cello, track 7-9?). Performed sources on Peat: Kåre Nordstoga (organ).

Works composed with support from Oslo bys kulturstipend for internasjonal kunstnerutveksling, Norsk Kulturråd, Det norske komponistfond, Komponistenes Vederlagsfonds, IRCAM, ZKM. Released with support by Norsk Kulturråd, Norsk Komponistforening and TONO.

Composed by Natasha Barret
Produced by Bjørnar Habbestad
Mastered by Jeff Carey

NB cover
 

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  • CD1
  • 1. Hidden Values I-III
  • 2. Kernel Expansion I-III
  • 3. Reality and Secrets no. 2, I-III
  • 4. Untitled One
  • CD2
  • 1. Oslo Sound Space Transport System
  • 2. Sound exposure in Peru
  • 3. A Soundwalk through Shanghai
  • 4. Untitled Two