Joan La Barbara

© Isa Wipfli

Joan La Barbara

Joan La Barbara is a singer who uses her voice experimentally and, in doing so, has opened up new sound possibilities for other composers. Composing and performing form a close symbiosis in her artistic personality. La Barbara was born in 1947 in Philadelphia and, following training as a classical singer, came into close contact with the avant-garde as a member in Steve Reich Ensemble in 1971. In the 1970s, she developed new singing techniques and became an outstanding interpreter of new vocal music, with composers such as John Cage and Morton Feldman dedicating works to her. At the centre of her creative activities lies her virtuoso voice. In doing so, she began taking advantage of the possibilities offered by live electronics quite early. Since 1975, Joan La Barbara has realised numerous multimedia projects.

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