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Julianna Barwick
1 Aug 2012
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Julianna Barwick's The Magic Place was released early in 2011 to stellar reviews. It's worth considering her music alongside that of Gillian Welch, as I sense it might challenge some preconceived notions (admittedly, in this writer as well) about what we are comfortable considering "rural art." 
Here's Ms. Barwick's record label, Ashmatic Kitty (co-founded by Sufjan Stevens), describing the unique elements of her sound: 
"Julianna Barwick's experimental soundscapes are in part informed by her experience growing up in Louisiana and Missouri, singing weekly with her church congregation and school choirs. Her loop-based compositions replicate the soaring textures of a large choral group using only her voice, a loop station and some occasional instrumentation. Barwick starts her songs quietly, usually with a single refrain, and then builds the pieces up until she's created a complicated, weaving sonic architecture. Her extraordinary range and vocal technique propels the music into a variety of different emotional spaces, from feverish to tranquil.
As we learn, Ms. Barwick's new record is an extended mediation on rural place, specifically her family's farm:
"'The Magic Place was a tree on our farm,' says Louisiana-raised Brooklynite Julianna Barwick. 'It was in the back pasture. It was one tree that grew up, down and around. You had to crawl in and once you were inside, it was like there were different rooms, and you could actually lay in the branches. We named it 'The Magic Place' because it really was magical – especially for a kid... and that's how I feel about my life right now – without trying to sound too hippy dippy or cosmic, this year has definitely been a magical one.'
Culture Innovation Rural/Regional Technology Art Listen Louisiana NewYork Record Rural/Urban Song/Dance South
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