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On High

by Richard Barbieri

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Castaway 01:57
Revision 4 01:59
Awakening 02:40
Astra 04:37
Opening Page 01:30
Altar 02:24
Freezer 01:58
On High 11:35


This isn’t a conventional release, such is the flexibility and freedom that Bandcamp offers. A few of these pieces are more or less demonstration compositions focusing on a particular synthesiser. A couple are tracks that were in contention for inclusion on my recent releases. One track is a live studio performance. So a mixed bunch that may or may not be of interest.

1. CASTAWAY (1:58) was a contender for the “Under A Spell” album and one of the first pieces I recorded with this album in mind.

2. REVISION 4 (2:00) solely features the new Prophet 5 Synthesiser by Sequential. It’s a short piece focusing on the type of sounds I was programming on the original synth some 40 years ago.
It’s had a lot of good feedback over the past couple of weeks so I’ve included a higher quality version here.

3. AWAKENING (2:41) was written as a short interlude piece around the time of the “Planets & Persona” album. It’s a bit of an oddity. Lot’s of modular electronics on this one.

4. ASTRA (4:38) was a demonstration of sorts showcasing the Typhon synthesiser made by Greek company Dreadbox. It’s basically four live takes of textures and pulses demonstrating the depth of this deceptively small synth. Lot’s of internal FX. No outboard processing.

5. OPENING PAGE (1:31) was made using a Yamaha CS-01 synth through a Roland RC-5 loop pedal. I originally used it as background music on my website’s home page. It later resurfaced as the closing track on my album with Steve Hogarth “Not The Weapon But The Hand”

6. ALTAR (2:34) First demo recording of what was going to be a live piece that would feature Lisen Rylander Love and Luca Calabrese on saxophone and trumpet respectively. There was an imminent concert in a church and I thought this might work. In the end I went with another track “Antioch” which appears on the “Variants 2” CD / EP

7. FREEZER (1:58) is a recording of a great texture in the freezer section of my local Sainsburys. The piece starts out with the true ambience and thereafter I’ve heavily processed it to try and isolate the quality of the drone texture of the freezer.

8. ON HIGH (11:35) this is the second part of an even longer piece and was recorded live in my studio room. No overdubbing, lot’s of synths, sequencers in (and out of) sync, sustain pedals and gaffer tape. I’ve noticed my pulse rate increases during the loud crescendo section. I don’t know if this is to do with certain frequency combinations or just my hypertension medication not doing its job.


released April 2, 2021

Written, performed and produced by Richard Barbieri


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Richard Barbieri London, UK

Musician and Composer.

New album "Under A Spell" out now on KScope - link below.

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