Julia Barnes

Julia Barnes of Waywords and MeansignsPerformer-composer Julia Barnes (Detroit, 1956). I was educated as a classical violist at Eastman School of Music in New York and at the Utrechts Conservatorium, after moving to the Netherlands in 1981. During 35 years of freelance work in chamber music and the orchestras in and around Amsterdam, I saw a lot of music from the inside. In 2002 I founded Facetten van de kunst to work with artists and writers to create new art and performance forms. In 2013 I asked audiences to contribute to a sound ‘avalanche’ in the composition Words and Tones for Crowd and Viola. The Instant Composition lessons I followed at the MAPA Academy in Haarlem put performing and composition into a different light for me, encouraging me to use space and movement to influence sound and perception. In 2015-2016 I set 9 of the 13 Pomes Penyeach in a double song cycle for soprano and baritone with strings and percussion (“By the Light of his Heart”, premiére October 2, 2016).  The Finnegans Wake project reaffirms my conviction that poetic text really needs to get off the page and into people’s ears (or mouths). There’s music in it! I’m honored to be on board.

Julia Barnes’s contribution to Waywords and Meansigns, a collaboration with Sarah Maernhoudt, Julia Henneman, and Yung-Tuan Ku, will be released in 2017.