Barrière Miscellany

Aside from the two solo discs, there are numerous other pieces by Françoise Barrière scattered about other CDs. Here are some observations about and clips of some of these.

les sixte livreQuand Philippe de Macédoine – The two disc Les Sixte Livre dit Électroacoustique de François Rabelais set is my least favorite of the Bourges collections, and Philippe is my least favorite piece by Barrière. And that is quite simply and solely a matter of talking. The selections that make up Les Sixte are heavy on the talking, not conversation or multi-layered voices or distorted ones (though there is some of that), but just talking. A little of that goes a long way, with me. If you like radio drama, though, you will probably enjoy the pieces that make up Les Sixte.

There are, I hasten to add, some very lovely bits in this piece, one of which I have excerpted for you here—and it gives, I think, a good taste of the fundamental wildness at the heart of all of Barrière’s music as well as a representative glimpse of this particular piece.

Le Chemin

Another Bourges collection, Les Saisons, has two pieces by Barrière, Java Rosa and Les parfums dans le soir, both listed as printemps, though other similarities there are none. I don’t know what that says about anything, about Barrière or about Les Saisons, unless it’s that springtime is a time of great variety. Java Rosa is a hodgepodge, if I may be permitted to use that word in a purely descriptive way, a thrill ride piece of sharp turns and sudden swoops, in which the car you’re riding and the theme of the ride itself change with every turn. Les parfums dans le soir is worlds apart. It moves slowly, steadily, with the lovely voice of Clarisse Clozier providing both continuity and pacing. Or perhaps it’s the music that provides the continuity and pacing for how Clozier recites.

If you had only these two pieces by Barrière, you would have a good sense of the range of her compositional practice.

Java Rosa

Les parfums dans le soir

opus 30L’Or appears on volume 2 of the the opus 30 collection. L’Or is a quiet piece, quietly pretty, with long lines and smooth transitions. Different in that regard from most of Barrière’s output. But its chief distinction in her ouevre is that it relies more heavily on electronically produced sound—in spite of the bird calls and the crowd noises—than any other piece of hers that I know. Indeed, and in spite of some fairly plain similarities to Musique pour le temps noël, I had to double check to make sure I’d gotten the correct track for this.

These discs, along with all the other IMEB discs, are available from Mnemosyne Musique Media:

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