Composer and sonic artist Joanna Bailie has described her creative journey to date as a series of ‘not entirely reconcilable’ stages. This article introduces her work through a broadly chronological survey, tracing her career and offering a detailed consideration of her recent and current musico-aesthetic concerns. It will become evident that paradox and the juxtaposition of ‘not entirely reconcilable’ elements are, as it happens, key positive components of Bailie's art on many levels. Moreover, it will be seen that her work posits a conscious and highly personal response to certain perceived crises regarding ‘contemporary classical music’, a term which Bailie herself detests. Particular reference is made to Bailie's ongoing series of concert pieces combining acoustic instruments with field recordings, Artificial Environments, and a series of site-specific audio-visual installations, the place that you can see and hear.
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