Caterina Barbieri - Patterns of Consciousness

Caterina Barbieri — Patterns of Consciousness

Important Records, 2017

Caterina Barbieri is an Italian-born minimalist composer and synth artist with a penchant for robots. A blurb from her website reads: “Her focus on minimalism in composition arises from a meditation on primary waveforms and exploration of the polyphonic and polyrhythmic potential of sequencers. By means of synthesis, pattern based operations and subtractive counterpoint, her music draws severe geometries in time and space. Her work explores themes of machine intelligence and object oriented perception in sound through approaching music practice as an integrative cognitive feedback between humans and technology.” Machine life, AI, and the relationship between humans and technology are all here on this newest work, Patterns of Consciousness, in which Barbieri develops intricate mazes of electronica via distorted acoustics and synth sounds. It’s really engrossing stuff from a promising young composer.

RIYD: Laurie Spiegel, Oneohtrix Point Never, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Blade Runner Soundtrack, bleeps and bloops and robo sounds


1. This Causes Consciousness to Fracture — *** Super minimalistic, lots of arpeggiated repetition and robotic synth noises. Feels like a robot dance-off.

2. TCCTF — ***** A single long, harmonic drone with a surprising amount of depth.

3. Information Needed to Create an Entire Body — **** Fast-paced beeps and boops gradually complicate themselves, with new synth patterns and textures being added all the time. Crisp.

4. INTCAEB — ***** A glossy, techno-inflected organ-esque pattern loops over and over into the electric mist. Imagine My favorite track here, v Blade Runner.

5. Scratches on the Readable Surface — *** More fast-paced bleeps and bloops, but without the crispness. These sounds are crunchier, scratchier.

6. SOTRS — **** Like track 4, but with the crunch of track 5. Gloss is exchanged for fuzz.

7. Gravity That Binds — *** Dark, aggressive, foreboding. A robot clone of Michael Gira might’ve made these broody synths.

Will Gottsegen