Skip to page content

Jean-Baptiste Barrière

About this Artist

JEAN-BAPTISTE BARRIÈRE was born in Paris in 1958. He has studied music, art history, philosophy, and mathematical logic. He made a career at IRCAM/Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, where he started as a researcher in 1981, then became a director of Musical Research, Education, and finally Production. In 1998, he left IRCAM to concentrate on composition.

His computer piece Chréode (1983) won the Prix de la Musique Numérique of the Concours International de Musique Electro-acoustique of Bourges in 1983 (published on Wergo). He composed the music of 100 Objects to Represent the World, a show by Peter Greenaway that was presented at the Salzburg Festival in 1997 and performed around the world.

Since 1996, Barrière has composed the music for several virtual reality pieces by Maurice Benayoun, including Worldskin (1997), which won the Ars Electronica Interactive Art Prize in 1998; the Tunnel Paris-New Delhi (1998), presented at Cité des Sciences in Paris and in India; Crossing Talks (1999) for the Intercommunication Center of NTT in Tokyo; Art Impact (2000) at the Pompidou Center in Paris; Labylogue with Jean-Pierre Balpe for the automatic generation of the text, which played in Brussels, Dakkar and Lyon; SoSoSo (2002) at the ZKM of Karlsruhe; and Cosmopolis (2005), which was performed in Shanghai and toured all over China. He also created the musical environment for "Planet of Visions," a pavilion conceived by François Schuitten for the World Expo in Hanover (from June to October of 2000).

He conceived and directed the production of the CD-ROM Prisma: The Musical Universe of Kaija Saariaho, which won the Grand Prix Multimédia Charles Cros 2000. Barrière regularly produces "visual concerts" for Saariaho's music, including work for the opera L'Amour de loin, which was performed in March 2006 in Berlin and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Barrière has also produced Autoportrait in Motion, a sound and image interactive installation that was commissioned by the Contemporary Art museum of Zurich and premiered in January 1998. The piece has since been presented in various museums around the world, and is part of Reality Checks, a cycle that he is developing with Pierre-Jean Bouyer that uses the construction of images, consisting of installations, and performance pieces involving solo instrumentalists and live transformation of sound and image.

Barrière has collaborated with choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta to create Les Fantômes du temps, a multimedia show for 11 dancers, one percussionist, and live transformation of image and sound. The show was premiered in 2002 in Grenoble.

In May of 2006, he premiered Two Dreams of Maeterlinck after Bruegel, a multimedia show based on texts by Maeterlinck and paintings by Bruegel, for the Festival Les Musiques in Marseilles. His most recent project was the realization of a visual part for Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, commissioned by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano.