Stripe’s Song of the Day: Caterina Barbieri – SOTRS

The Italian composer delivers an emotive instrumental that is both meticulous and adventurous

Aymaan Moquit
Published : 4 Dec 2023, 01:30 PM
Updated : 4 Dec 2023, 01:30 PM

I probably listen to much more music than the average millennial.

It has been my overwhelming passion since my teenage years. I delve deep and thoroughly, trying to unearth new forms and sensations through sound. But, it can be challenging to find something new after so many years. Pop, hip-hop, rock, electronica – all the major genres are set in their ways, churning out palatable but rarely exciting music. Even the more critically acclaimed music can feel rote after a while.

So, it is truly exhilarating when I find something that dispels the lethargy.

The work of Italian composer Caterina Barbieri is hardly the most well-known or well-liked. And it isn’t the easiest listen either. But my first encounter with ‘SOTRS’, off Patterns of Consciousness was arresting and delightful.

An electronic instrumental, the song has a steady monotony that builds and intensifies as it progresses. It is meticulous and minimal in its construction. There is an austerity to it, a distant chill. Despite this, it is also extremely emotive, even visceral.

There was a hint of the familiar to it. After all, I grew up on Björk and Aphex Twin. But there was a distinct difference in the sound.

The exact specifics of this distinction are hard to put a finger on. But it jolted me. Until this track, I had never dived into Italian electronica. I was unfamiliar with the background, the history, and culture that led to this piece. It was an instant thrill. A sense of adventure electrified me with the thought there were probably many artists like her. Artists who could rival this piece or even surpass it.

‘SOTRS’ gels perfectly with the rest of Patterns of Consciousness. It is a record that might be difficult for many audiences. But, for anyone looking for the new and the novel, it is a true joy.

This article is part of Stripe,'s special publication focusing on culture and society from a youth perspective.