Music Today, Gerard Schwarz; Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, Lorraine Vaillancourt; Jonathan Haas, vibraphone; Taco Kooistra, cello; Edmund Niemann, piano; Ray Reinhardt, narrator; Harrie Starreveld, flute
Barbara Kolb's musical aesthetic is most often concerned with the building of vertical structures by juxtaposing discrete and recognizable rhythmic or melodic units. These units then undergo harmonic change or melodic rhythmic variation, with corresponding effects on the vertical structure. Some works have horizontal development with clear beginnings, middles, and ends, while others invite the ear to perceive sets of musical objects from all sides, as if looking at sculpture.
Kolb creates lyrical and expressive subaqueous seascapes inhabited by musical objects which appear, change, and vanish. Often one is drawn inexorably toward an intense yet transforming encounter; sometimes the material leads progressively to a cataclysmic climax. Other works succeed in bringing specific images or poems to musical life. Kolb's music most often finds its source in particular poetic ideas or visual images rather than preconceived mathematical models. It is emotive and evocative－the progeny of Ravel and Debussy, with occasional reminiscences of American jazz.