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New release: binary systems | Richard Barrett

Binary systems, consists of five electronic compositions, in each of which Richard Barrett worked with a specially made recording from an improvising instrumentalist to produce a new kind of compositional collaboration: Daryl Buckley (electric lap steel guitar), Ivana Grahovac (cello), Lori Freedman (bass clarinet), Anne La Berge (flute) and Lê Quan Ninh (percussion).

Richard Barrett on his new release

"In November 2020 I asked six improvising musicians with whom I’d worked with over the years if they would be interested in making solo recordings which would each contribute one half of a collaborative composition, my contribution to each being the incorporation of these recorded materials into a fixed-media piece. I was very pleased that all six immediately agreed, although there are only five tracks on the album because John Russell, who was already very ill at the time although still as active and energetic as possible under lockdown circumstances, didn't live long enough to take part. In fact John had been the first person I thought of when I conceived the project, which is therefore dedicated to him, as one of the most committed and consistent creative musicians in free improvisation since the 1970s, as well as a warm-hearted and fascinating individual whom it was a great privilege to have known.

All of the people I invited are not only highly imaginative and virtuoso creative musicians but also highly diverse in their musical personalities, and I hope my own compositional responses somehow live up to that imaginativeness and diversity. The overall title binary systems refers to astronomical phenomena where two bodies exist in some kind of close association with one another, as is the case with many stars and other astronomical object."


More news on Richard Barrett


Three decades of collaboration 


Australian percussionist Peter Neville has made a video documenting his three decades of collaboration with Richard Barrett, featuring a complete performance of abglanzbeladen/auseinandergescrieben and excerpts from delta (for the Indonesian angklung) and entoptic (for an instrument of found objects devised by Peter Neville and the composer), filmed by Agatha Yim with sound by Alistair McLean.

Neville gives the first performance of a new solo composition by Richard in Melbourne on 14 April.

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Revisiting "Coïgitum"

Three members of the Fonema Consort (Chicago) interview Richard Barrett and show a video performance of his composition "Coïgitum" from 1985 for voice, flute, oboe, piano and percussion.



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