Reconfiguring the Landscape CD

Reconfiguring the Landscape CD cover.

Reconfiguring the Landscape CD booklet (click on the image to see the complete pdf).

  • Label: Persistence of Sound
  • Web:
  • Producer: Iain Chambers
  • Design: Matthew Young

Track listing:

  • Remote Sensing on the Beach (Sensing i Strandsona) (2020),Oslo.
  • Speaking Spaces 2: Surfaces from Graz (2021), MUMUTH, Graz.
  • Presence / Nærvar (2022), Akerhus Fortress, Oslo.
  • Impossible Moments from Venice 1 and 2 (2022/2023): various spaces in Venice.


The complete album can be heard on bandcamp:


Throughout the project, the artistic team crafted several collaborative live performances. However, none proved suitable for stereo post-production for CD release. The Reconfiguring the Landscape documentation CD instead focuses on the public space outdoor sound installations that Natasha had created during each year of the project and marking new phases in the ongoing exploration of urban noise using 3D sound.


From the five outdoor sound installations four were chosen to feature on the the CD (see track listing above). In consultation with Iain Chambers, the director of the label Persistence of Sound, we decided not to include "Subliminal Throwback" as the concept was very similar to "Speaking Spaces 2: Surfaces from Graz," and the latter contained a higher density and variety of materials more suitable for out-of-context CD listening. (This higher density was due to the soundscape of the installation site being more complex.) The choice was also influenced by "Speaking Spaces 2: Surfaces from Graz" adding a non-Norwegian location to the series of pieces.

Remixing and duration

Each installation ran continuously in a loop, and many of the materials had an extended duration. For the CD release, it was necessary to remix the installation materials into fixed durations for the total duration to fit on a CD and for the flow of the tracks to work as a whole.


I had already revised "Impossible Moments from Venice 1 and 2" into fixed-duration pieces very soon after the first playing in Venice. By the time they were selected for the CD, these pieces had already been played several times in concert situations.

The "Remote Sensing on the Beach" installation, which was the first work I created, also had a more conventional musical form. Even though it played in a loop, there was a clear beginning and end to the work. "Remote Sensing on the Beach" was, therefore, relatively simple to remix. Listening out of context in my studio allowed me to decide on smaller edits that improved the musicality without changing the essence of the material. It had also already been awarded the first prize in the 2021 Coastal Futures International Ecoacoustic Music competition, and I therefore felt reasonably sure about the quality of both materials and structure when heard detached from the original site.


The works "Presence / Nærvar" and "Speaking Spaces 2: Surfaces from Graz" presented more challenging cases. Both of these works were approximately 30 minutes in duration and intentionally without a clear start and end. For these works, I needed to decide from where to start and explore durational aspects that allowed the materials to express their character without changing the temporality of the original installation. Both of these works had been exhibited in the context of music festivals, which had given the opportunity to talk with listeners about their experiences. In these discussions, it became apparent that the weld between the installation materials and the existing soundscape was a vital component of the experience. So, it seemed prudent to add a layer of the original soundfield recordings into the new mix.

The release and reviews

Reconfiguring the Landscape CD was released on 1st September 2021. A release concert took place on 7th September at IKLECTIK concert space, London (UK), and on the 24th October at the Sound Worlds exhibition in Oslo.


It was rated as:


  • The Best Contemporary Classical on Bandcamp August 2023.
  • Number 40 in the Wire Magazine's top 50 albums of 2023.
  • Number 1 in the Wire Magazine's Contemporary Classics of 2023.


Reconfiguring the Landscape CD has additionally received many positive reviews in well-known online music magazines:

5 against 4


"It’s no exaggeration to say that the experience of being ‘inside’ Presence / Nærvær was a virtual but very real reconfiguring of my listening space, relocating me back to that hill by the harbour in Oslo, surrounded by the manifold sounds of the city embellished by electronic, synthetic and processed sounds to create a hyperreal, surreal environment that was fully enclosing. Barrett’s compositions are at the forefront of surround sound ambisonics, yet despite being reduced here to a mere two channels, her work remains powerfully, amazingly, immersive." (Simon Cummings, 2023).

Read the full review here:

Avant music news

"Barrett has been at the vanguard of the 3D ambisonics / environmental space for several years now (as her last few recordings will attest) but I think Reconfiguring The Landscape may be my favorite of her recent output. Uncanny as it seems, it only took one word for me to develop a personal “way” of hearing these pieces." (Mike Eisenberg, 2023).

Read the full review here:

The Quietus

"The wooden thunk of shutters opening, followed by a church bell sounding once and then ambient sounds: splashing water, a dog barking in the distance, the occasional voice. Natasha Barrett’s recordings provide a whole new perspective on ‘noise’. ..... The highest tribute I can pay to Natasha Barrett is that, although her work may not even count as music, it is hard to listen to anything else afterwards because she has rewired our expectations of sound." (Tom Bolton, 2023).

Read the full review here:

Reviews from the Wire Magazine cannot be displayed here due to paid subscriptions.