5.5 Questions for Matt Barbier

 Matt Barbier / sound. at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook: Mural (photo by Don Lewis)

Matt Barbier / sound. at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook: Mural (photo by Don Lewis)

1. What led you to the kind of work you make now?

A lot of things. One of the big ones is my non-music job. I do a lot of
woodworking and machining, because of that I’ve spent a lot of time with
earplugs in. I’ve started to notice this pleasant difference in hearing
between what is close to me [the sounds in my ears] and the sounds outside
of my earplugs. It’s made me very interested in how a sound is perceived
when another sound is happening closer to the listener and blocking out
most of what you hear.

I’ve also invested a good deal of interest into the physical process that
makes instruments [and certain techniques] sound and the unintentional
sounds that those processed create.

2. Who are some other musicians and/or artists you admire and why?

I really admire Nicholas Deyoe greatly. His approach to understanding
instruments and player [and the relationship between the two] is immensely
inspiring. His work ethic toward the understanding of the sounds around
him and the study of his craft is always inspiring.

I also really love Wolfgang von Schweinitz and his approach to work. He
imagines the entire world he is composing and truly lives in it and his
processed before he writes a note. He creates a world in his music and
really takes the time to live in it.

As a part-time miniaturist, i also deeply adore the work of Satoshi Araki.
His miniatures are amazing. They truly draw you into a space completely and
capture you. Truly beautiful stuff.

3. What are you listening to these days?

I’m listening to a great deal of Romanian-born composer Adriana Hölszky’s
music. Really amazing. Patterns in a Chromatic Field is always high on my
playlist. As are the wonderful recordings of the Caecillia-Concert. Mike
Svoboda and Stefan Hussong’s Anarchic Harmonies CD. Also- the Weird Al Food
Album, cause it’s just fantastic.

4. What is the strangest gig you’ve performed?

There’s been a lot, but this one’s on my mind since I just told the story
earlier today. gnarwhallaby (a quartet I’m in) was hired to play for a
Pacific Standard Time event at this makeshift club/bar/performance space.
We played our first piece, quite a bombastic early Gorecki piece, and were
about to start our second [a 30 second Feldman piece] when the bartender
ran up shouting ”we’re good!” and wouldn’t let us play anymore. Then cued
the DJ to play much louder dance music. It was thoroughly odd and
hilarious. We also got free drinks out of it.

5. What is next for you?

There’s lots more gnarwhallaby playing this fall and wildUP as well. I’m
also doing a duo concert with a percussionist down at UCSD with some
excellent music by Richard Barrett, Roger Reynolds, Michael Finnissy and a
few others. Composition wise, I just made myself a double-belled trombone,
so I want to write a few little pieces for it.

5.5 Please pick a favorite or stand out clip/track from our archives and
tell us why you chose it (as little or as long as you like)…..coming…..

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