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Ian Parsons's blog

Ancient and modern ritual in the decay and regeneration of now

Rituals have been a part of who we are forever really. They somehow become means of defining us, of creating a sense of order and meaning out of the chaos we don't understand.

Singing songs on the other side of the lines

Music, like most aspects of human activity and culture, has lines everywhere. Lines that divide and demarcate. Lines that stake out territory and tell us who belongs where and what to expect of them.

The flag of futurism: Musica Futurisa unfurls on The Sound Barrier

Futurism is a movement that planted its first seeds in Italy around 1909.

Joining the dots - musical connectedness with Adam Simmons and Charles MacInnes

What could kites flying in Northern China possibly have to do with squiggles drawn on bits of paper in Melbourne in 1966?

The Sound Barrier's World Cup. And it's a 2:2 draw!

I know pretty well nothing about the World Cup. I don't even really know what we're supposed to call the sport that they play at it. Is it football or is it soccer?

Playing with quantum mathematics, and the magic bubbles of Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) is often said to have composed difficult music: music that is difficult to perform, difficult to analyse, and difficult to listen to.

Acoustic space: the poetry of time and light in the spectralism of Gérard Grisey and Kaija Saariaho

The playlist and audio for this edition of the show is available for you to listen back to, as well as check out the details of the recordings

The enduring fragility of Japanese gardens: Ossicle Duo joins The Sound Barrier!

The very notion of 'Japanese gardens' undoubtedly conjures up certain images even for many of us who have never seen or been in any.

Music communicating the messages of place, culture, and time - with music by Naima Fine, Jim Denley, and Liza Lim!

When we think of music connecting us to cultures outside our own, it can sometimes be easy to stop at the obvious: taking on board the aesthetics of this or that musical cultural tradition and thinkin

Feedback and The Larsen Effect: making art out of what wasn't meant to be

On The Sound Barrier, I often quote from John Cage's famous 1937 Credo where he proclaims a fascination in the sounds that are often dismissed as noise – the sound of a truck, static

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