|Caterina Barbieri||Patterns of Consciousness|
Caterina Barbieri — Patterns of Consciousness (April 21, 2017) •♠• Caterina Barbieri is an Italian composer now based in Berlin. By means of synthesis, pattern based operations and subtractive counterpoint, her music draws severe geometries in time and space. A focus on minimalism in composition arises from a meditation on primary waveforms and exploration of the polyphonic and polyrhythmic potential of sequencers. Born: Bologna, 1990
Location: Bologna, Italy ~ Berlin, Germany
Album release: April 21, 2017
Record Label: Important Records
1. This Causes Consciousness to Fracture 14:40
2. TCCTF 7:58
3. Information Needed to Create an Entire Body 6:33
4. INTCAEB 9:19
5. Scratches on the Readable Surface 5:51
6. SOTRS 9:28
7. Gravity that Binds 15:48 ••• “Shows off her knack for compositional contortion, bending fibrous synth lines around one another in mammoth, labyrinthine braids, which breathe and collapse in swimming fractal~like arrangements.” — Thump
•• Patterns Of Consciousness is the powerful second full length album from analog synth composer Caterina Barbieri. Gorgeous high resolution analog textures and algorithmic melodies unfold under Barbieri’s careful control, exploring the basic nature of sound and consciousness. These pieces are minimal in arrangement but maximal in presence asserting Barbieri as a unique voice in contemporary electronic music composition. Highly recommended to fans of Alessandro Cortini and Eleh.
•• “Patterns Of Consciousness finds Caterina Barbieri at her best, elegantly moving between melodically pleasant yet twisted sequences and comforting, reassuring sonic spaces. Every piece, while given a singular identity, is part of the bigger picture: a work of art that will push you, pull you, and then eventually leave you with your back against the wall once you get to the last track.” — Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails)
•• “A pattern creates a certain state of consciousness. Once it is created, the pattern stands as an object exactly like the sound waves which generate it. We are at the same time inside and outside of the object. While being it, we observe it. Over time we become familiar with the inner structure of the pattern. We decode its gravitational centres, where our psycho~motor attention is attracted, where everything seems to be drawn. When a change in the pattern occurs it causes a perturbation of the previously established field of forces. This causes consciousness to fracture, potentially unfolding layers of perceptions we weren’t aware of or simply suggesting that we access only a fraction of our psychic potential. The layered nature of consciousness and the relativity of perception are some of the biggest secrets we can experience through sound.” — Caterina Barbieri
•• First edition pressing of 500 double LPs packaged in a gatefold jacket. An edition of 200 sets on transparent blue vinyl is available for Important mailorder customers.
•• Barbieri’s latest work Patterns of Consciousness consists of a series of compositions originated by ideally infinite permutation of patterns through a disciplined and exclusive use of machinery (an Indexed Quad Sequencer and an Harmonic Oscillator).
•• By means of subtraction, addition and jitter operations, Barbieri derives a myriad of interlocking patterns extracted from an original matrix of just few harmonic archetypes, gradually developing the potential of the reduced constellation of pitches and durations determined in advance.
•• Pushing the limits of her monophonic instrument, Barbieri seeks out counterpoint from a single oscillator by only using additive synthesis, fast progressions, extreme melodic jumps and intricate delay lines. Note against note, gate against gate, she develops an illusory counterpoint style influenced by her passion for baroque lute music, where fast arpeggios are employed to get effects of sustained chords and overcome the limits of fast decay timbres.
•• Every piece in POC is conceived as a generative entity, a dynamic and living being able to develop its own organic laws, whose inner potential of growth and change is embedded in the initial instructions of the sequencer. These instructions translate into slow yet persistent, relentless variations in pitch and velocity: sharp interval resizing, pristine melodic transpositions, severe shifts in the metric structure of pulses and stresses. At the core of this process is the massive use of the gate, one of the fundamental concepts of voltage~controlled synthesis, here employed as the main creative tool to compose in a subtractive way and develop a negative counterpoint style. In this perspective, composing becomes an act of tuning to an ongoing sound field and making it selective, a subtractive practice rather than a demiurgic act of creation from scratch. The ongoing sound field is the rich sound spectrum offered by the harmonic oscillator — a monolith decomposed into its partials, a complex signal made selective to derive melodic information, a continuous field of electricity “gated” and discretized in points of condensed abstraction and emotion.
•• Emerging machine intelligence, human desire of pattern detection and the understanding of music as a cognitive feedback between humans and technology are primary sources of inspiration for this work. All the compositions share a common fatalistic tension, an impossible running, a restless rush — somewhat nervous somewhat ecstatic — to grasp a meaning out of fragments: in a present of spinning scenarios and volatile qualities where the decoding of complex and chaotic surfaces becomes harder and harder, human desire of pattern detection and recognition is what is left. But the highly formulaic and germinative style of the pieces is also influenced by Indian classical music’s vision of sound as an agent of change and recreation: sound causing processes rather than objects, verbs rather than nouns. Patterns are understood as the cells of an organism or the units of a language: a limited set of signs that can be recombined to always generate new possibilities. Thus, this recordingis only one of the many possible incarnations of this re~combinatory practice. Can sound synthesize new patterns of consciousness?
•• In POC, repetition and permutation of patterns are explored as tools to reconfigure perceptions and bend emotions, approaching sound as a medium to develop and master our own perceptual art.
•• Caterina Barbieri (Bologna, 1990) is an Italian composer now based in Berlin.
•• She has composed music for old and new synthesizers as well as for string instruments. Her focus on minimalism in composition arises from a meditation on primary waveforms and exploration of the polyphonic and polyrhythmic potential of sequencers. By means of synthesis, pattern based operations and subtractive counterpoint, her music draws severe geometries in time and space. Her work explores themes of machine intelligence and object oriented perception in sound through approaching music practice as an integrative cognitive feedback between humans and technology. Repetition and pattern permutation as media to perceptual insight lie at the core of her current sonic research.
•• Since 2013 she has researched and produced music at the renowned Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm, where she has intensively composed for the Buchla 200 system. Her debut album Vertical, composed for Buchla 200 and vocals, was produced between Elektronmusikstudion and the Royal University of Music in Stockholm and released via Important Records’ Cassauna offshoot (8 October 2014). Since then, her work has been presented in festivals and venues such as The Long Now, MaerzMusik and Atonal (DE), CTM Vorspiel (DE), Goethe Institute (JP), Norbergfestival (SE), Worm (NL), Angelica (IT), De Montfort University (UK), Manchester University (UK), EGH (IT), Les Urbaines (CH), 73rd Venezia Film Festival (IT), Paris Fashion Week 2016, NTS Radio, RBMA.
•• 2017 sees her releasing the solo work Patterns of Consciousness (2LP, April 2017) on Important Records and the debut album of her collaborative project with Carlo Maria Punctum on Berlin’s imprint Summe (LP, May 2017).
•• She holds a diploma in classical guitar and a bachelor’s degree in electro~acoustic music from the conservatory of Bologna, Italy (plus an exchange programme at the Royal University of Music in Stockholm, Sweden) with a thesis about 3D spatialisation and the perception of time, space and sound spectrum in vertical music. She also got a bachelor’s degree in the Faculty of Humanities and Philosophy of Bologna with a thesis in Ethnomusicology about Hindustani music and minimalism. Since early 2016, she collaborates with the agency of the historical Berlin’s festival Atonal and works on projects involving theatre and multimedia productions. Her collaboration with Kali Malone Upper Glossa debuted at Berlin Atonal 2016 to massively positive critical acclaim, with The Wire picking out the performance as a festival highlight and describing it as “a trip deep within the mothership — hypnotic and beautifully disorientating”.
•• Barbieri’s music “reveals the potential present in each singular tone — as well as the movement of a piece as a whole — to envelop the listener with little regard for linear time. Each sound is both a piece of a larger whole — an ever~fluctuating stream of techno~inflected minimalism — and a world unto itself, rich with texture and resonance that draws the listener in with a magnetic pull.” — (Adhoc Magazine)
|Caterina Barbieri||Patterns of Consciousness|