Natasha Barrett Trade Winds

British composer Natasha Barrett (now living in Norway) has created a suite of sensuously subtle, eerily evocative works of acousmatic magic. With her sharply attuned ear for the salience of sounds, Barrett meticulously collected materials from sonic landscapes related to the sea: waves, seagulls, creaking ship’s timbers, a sailor’s terrifying memories of a storm. Using precision recording equipment on the scene, then an array of sound processing and spatialization techniques in the studio, Barrett fashioned a mesmerizing arc of eight pieces, each with a distinct character, redolent with mystery and meaning. At its core, Trade Winds also has a resonant connection with Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo and his undersea adventures, mischievously suggested by occasional organ chords. The CD’s exquisite sound quality and 5.1 Surround Sound give the natural and processed sounds a hyper-reality that transports the listener into a multidimensional world, even without the entire 16 channels of the original. (Aurora)