Three Fictions (Northern Mix)

Natasha Barrett

Programme notes

The three fictions are loosely narrative, and loosely algorithmic in structure. Each movement presents a brief glimpse of a sight, a sound, a sensation, where the composer is sometimes placed explicitly within the sounding narrative, other times lurking somewhere behind the music. Much of the sound material originated from analogue tone generators, underwent rigorous transformation processes, and is clearly juxtaposed with environmental sources.

The first version of this work, Three Fictions, was realized in February 2000 at the Charybde studio of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and premiered on June 2000 during Synthèse, the Festival international de musique expérimentale de Bourges (France). The piece was commissioned by IMEB. The current version, Three Fictions (Northern Mix), was revised and realized in the fall of 2000 at the composer’s studio.


  • June 2000, Synthèse 2000: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)
  • Composer(s): Natasha Barrett
  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T0006107318
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média


In the Rain

The burning in my head subsides as I lie in the grass in the rain.
Fat droplets falling from the black sky,
on my cheek.
Vegetation flickers, freshness returns.

The algorithmic structure of this setting is based around the statistical simulation of rain falling onto a 2-dimensional surface. The x coordinate is translated into left-right space, the y coordinate as front-back space and pitch shift. Score files were created for use in Csound, and used to control many different sound sources.

  • ISWC: T0017395526
  • Duration: 3:51

Midnight Sun: Midday Moon

The bright sun lowers in the sky.
Cool midnight sun.
Dream awake.
Midday moon.

Winter, north of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise. Summer, the sun does not set. Experience of the midnight sun injects new energy, while continual darkness can evoke mad delusions. During the summer months, the approximately sinusoidal path of the northerly sun is unbroken by the horizon. When this path is divided into units of equal altitude, varying time segments result. These time segments were used as an event framework for the sound material.

  • ISWC: T0006138744
  • Duration: 3:35
  • ISRC: CAD500214750

Outside Snow Falls

White crystals.
A gate slowly sways.
Inside it is warm.

Similarly to the first movement, the locations of events are calculated using a numerical system. However in this instance the sound material is placed by hand, and has a lighter, icier character.

  • ISWC: T0006138755
  • Duration: 3:02
  • ISRC: CAD500214760