natasha barrett and marc downie

Tickling the Ear With Sounds That Are Almost Tangible

Listen to pieces by Natasha Barrett, one of the leading composers in the emerging field of 3D audio
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TROY, N.Y. — Natasha Barrett’s introduction to classical music was not unduly peculiar. She can still recall her father’s collection of vintage vinyl, her love for Debussy albums.

She also remembers wanting to be a composer from an early age. But she didn’t live long in the past. As synthesizers became more common through the 1980s, a teenage Ms. Barrett began playing them. She also experimented with multitrack recordings.

“I just thought this was fun, because I could make funny sounds,” she said before a concert of her works last week at EMPAC, the experimental media and performing arts center here at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “I didn’t think of this as being music. And I hadn’t really heard any contemporary music at this stage.”

Main Image: Natasha Barrett and Marc Downie working on Innermost at EMPAC during the Spatial Audio Summer Seminar in 2019. Photo: Mick Bello/EMPAC

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July 23, 2019

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The New York Times