“The universe began as an enormous breath being held. Who knows why, but whatever the reason, I’m glad it did, because I owe my existence to that fact. All my desires and ruminations are no more and no less than eddy currents generated by the gradual exhalation of our universe. And until this great exhalation is finished, my thoughts live on.”
The quote above belongs to one of Ted Chiang’s short stories, Exhalation, a tale about breath, air pressure, set in a parallel reality in which our brains are made of small parts that move in a symphony of air movements. Caterina Barbieri makes music that breathes: whether it is the cyber-breath of a modular synth, her own breath, or the breath of our entire universe. A spirit acquires a body of air, the soundscapes she creates are the consequence of this movement, from the inside universe to the outside world, uniting them as one. As Emily Dickinson wrote, A word is dead / When it is said, / Some say. / I say it just / Begins to live / That day. This album is a word of sound that’s just been breathed into the world, and it’s our turn now to breathe it over and return it as something that’s also our own.