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Barton Staggs : Associate Artist

Photo of Barton Staggs

Barton studied composition at the University of Sydney with Peter Sculthorpe. In 2000 he was awarded a Tait Memorial Trust Scholarship to undertake postgraduate study in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Barton has been honoured with invitations to participate in the 17th International Summer Course for Young Composers in Poland, and the 5th International Academy of New Composition in Austria. He has been a participant in compositional masterclasses conducted by James MacMillan, John Corigliano, Michael Finnissy and Gerard Brophy.

Barton’s music has been performed by leading Australian and British performers and ensembles including Ensemble 24, Tamara Anna Cislowska, Simon Docking, the Elektra String Quartet, the BBC Philharmonic under James MacMillan and the New Ensemble under Clark Rundell. His music has been broadcast by ABC Radio in Australia, BBC Radio 3 in the UK, the National Radio Network of Argentina and Polskie Radio in Poland. He was a featured composer in the Sound and Contemporary Music Series at Next Wave in 1998 and the Barossa Music Festival in 2001.

Barton is active as a composer and sound designer for site-specific and screen based digital media artworks. Major works include Moist and Excitation produced in collaboration with the New York based digital artist Justine Cooper for the 2002 MAAP festival in Beijing. In 1998 he was awarded the Director’s Prize by Sculpture by the Sea for CUSP - an audiovisual installation at Tamarama beach in Sydney, and received a grant from the Australia Council New Media Arts fund to recreate CUSP for the Olympic Arts Festival in 1999. Other projects include the score for Theatres of Anatomy - a computer animation examining the 17th century anatomical plates of Pietro da Cortona. Theatres of Anatomy was a finalist at the 1998 Australian National Digital Art Awards and was screened at the Sydney Film Festival in 1999 and Los Angeles Freewaves in 2000. His sound design for Nicole Ellis’ Tidal Vectors at the Museum of Sydney was commissioned by dlux media arts through the Visual Arts program of the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts. The work has since been purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Moving Images in Melbourne.

Since 1996 Barton has worked as a freelance composer / sound designer with the ABC Audio Arts Unit - writing original music for ABC Radio Drama productions and for the Radio Eye program. Major productions include Beetle Graduation by Susan Rogers featuring Ruth Cracknell and Jennifer Hagan and Second Creation - a radiophonic feature by Johan Gabrielsson examining the life and work of the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander.

Biography provided by the composer