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Jean-Baptiste Barrière

Paris, FR      

Jean-Baptiste Barrière is a composer and multimedia artist. He was born in Paris in 1958. His studies included music, art history, mathematical logic and philosophy (Doctorat at Université de Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne).

In 1998, he joined IRCAM in Paris, directing successively Musical Research, Education, and Production; and left in 1998 to concentrate on personal projects focusing on the interaction between music and image.

His piece Chréode (1983) won the Prix de la Musique Numérique of the Concours International of Bourges in 1983 (CD Wergo). He composed the music of  several multimedia shows, including 100 Objects to Represent the World by Peter Greenaway, which premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 1997.

Barrière has also composed the music of several virtual reality and interactive installations by Maurice Benayoun, including Worldskin (Prix Ars Electronica 1998). He developed Reality Checks, a cycle of installations and performances questioning the concept of identity in the digital age. He directed the CD-ROM, Prisma: The Musical Universe of Kaija Saariaho (Grand Prix Multimédia Charles Cros 2000), and regularly realizes visual concerts of Saariaho’s music, including her opera L’Amour de loin, performed in Berlin and Paris in 2006 by Kent Nagano and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin.

He directed visuals for concert versions of operas such as Olivier Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise with Kent Nagano and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Grand Prix du Conseil des Arts of Montréal), and with Myung Whun Chung and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France in 2008; and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia of London in 2009. During the 2011–2012 academic year, he was Visiting Professor in the Music Department of Columbia University.

Latest major performances include video design for The Tempest Songbook a multimedia show on the music of Saariaho and Purcell, at the Metropolitan Museum of New York in February 2015, with the Martha Graham Dance Company choreographed by Luca Veggetti, and The Gotham Chamber Opera; a large interactive installation conceived and realized with George Lewis and Carrol Blue at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston during the Summer of 2015; portraits concerts at Schœnberg Hall in Los Angeles and Hertz Hall in Berkeley, as parts of a California tour during the Fall 2015; in the same period, he was the first grantee of the David Wessel ‘s Music & Science Grant of the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies, Music Department of the University of California Berkeley.

Recents projects include video design for Saariaho’s music with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Park Avenue Armory in New York in October 2016; Sensation/Eternity, a multimedia piece for the C4 Choir Ensemble, on two poems by Arthur Rimbaud, premiered in November 2016  at Symphony Space. He also started, during the Fall 2016, an artist residency at the New School in New York to realize a large interdisciplinary project involving all the departments of this university.

Palimpsest Capriccio

“Palimpsest Capriccio” is short violin piece composed on request of Jennifer Koh for her ‘Shared Madness’ Project, consisting in the re-evaluation of the concept of virtuosity, with a particular reference to Paganini’s twenty fourth caprice.
Figures of virtuosity includes today timbre, micro-intervals, rhythmic and harmonic developments, and electronics.
But the most important aspect for me is to open spaces for expression and interpretation, i.e. the personal richness than a musician can bring to the score as an offering to the listener.

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