The Italian composer distills her creative process with Maya-Roisin Slater.
The show had been a success, but all Barbieri could think about was the sound. She had been scheduled to perform in one of the town's many churches, until her music was deemed satanic by the sitting priest. As a last-minute solution, the festival moved her to a monastery, where she played in a long room with low ceilings. Barbieri uses her modular set-up to create dizzying synth arpeggios and patterns. Drenched in reverb, they work best in a space large enough for the sounds to hit and naturally disintegrate.
"Polyphonic music basically was born because of churches," she explained. "Because if you play music in a church you have all these reflections going on, you hear these multi-layered voices and this experience of sound in the space really affects the development of the composition."