"...Smeared textures whipped around listeners' heads along a wild variety of trajectories. Variations of pressure and phrase-length registered as legitimately musical. Discrete lines of vibration converged, with a triumphant air, before splitting apart again...". Seth Colter Walls writing in the New York Times, July 14th, 2017.

"... a mature, strong and convincing artistic expression that is conveyed with integrity and credibility... the work describes a fascinating dynamic condition rather than the course of a narrative... within the exciting experiential space that is created, minor and major dramatic events occur and grow, melting into each other in a compelling and sometimes humorous way. Barrett also shows a clear consciousness of the capacity of silence to highlight the various interest-moments in the composition, in a shifting interplay between activity and calm, chaos and order" Jury for the Nordic Council Music prize 2006


I compose acousmatic and live electroacoustic concert works, sound and multi-media installations, and interactive music. Since 2000 I have been highly active with ambisonics, 3-D sound, and its contemporary music context.

My inspiration comes from the immediate sounding matter of the world around us, as well as the way it behaves, the way it is generated, and by systems and the traces that those systems reveal. These interests have lead my work into worlds of cutting-edge audio technologies, geoscience, sonification, motion tracking and some exciting collaborations leading into the unknown - involving solo performers and chamber ensembles, visual artists, architects and scientists. Binding together these inspirations is an overarching search for new music and the way it can touch the listener.

My work is commissioned, performed and broadcast throughout the world by festivals, organisations and individuals, and includes a regular schedule of portrait concerts and featured programs. Besides commissions for specific works, I have received grants and artist's residence invitations, and a solid list of awards and prizes, including the Nordic Council Music Prize, (Nordic Countries), Giga-Hertz Award (Germany), Edvard Prize (Norway), Jury and public first prizes in Noroit-Leonce Petitot (France), Five prizes and the Euphonie D'Or in the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Awards (France), prizes at Musica Nova (Prague), TEM - international composition competition (Italy), CIMESP (Brazil), Concours Scrime, (France), International Electroacoustic Competition Ciberart (Italy), two prizes in Concours Luigi Russolo (Italy), two prizes in the International Rostrum for electroacoustic music, and prizes in two Ars Electronica competitions (1998 and 2017). My installations include a major work for the Norwegian state commission for art in public spaces.

I'm active in performance, education and research. I co-founded and now co-direct EAU (Electric Audio Unit - the Norwegian spatial-music performance ensemble) and 3DA (The Norwegian society for 3-D sound-art). I'm also professor of composition at the Norwegian Academy for Music, Oslo.