Barbara Held is a flutist, composer and sound artist who lives in Barcelona, Spain. She has commissioned and performed a very personal body of new repertoire for flute by both Spanish and American composers, including Alvin Lucier’s Self Portrait, a series of scores by Yasunao Tone that are not meant to be performed as much as transformed into sound, and early film and performance work with Carles Santos and poet Joan Brossa. She has a continuing interest in composing with the sensuality of the rhythm between sound and image.  “Known for her subtle exploration of the minutae of sonic material, she creates sensitive, focused sound work that exposes the detail of the physical space of listening in equal part to a keen attention to how we listen as bodies moving through the world.” Seth Cluett Bioderivas catalogue text, 2014

She was flutist with New York’s Bowery Ensemble,  a group with close ties to Morton Feldman and John Cage directed by Nils Vigeland. With a continuing interest in composing with sound and image, she has performed with live video artists including Ursula Scherrer, Benton C Bainbridge and Francesca Llopis as well as creating sound for installation pieces by visual artists such as Paloma Navares, Pere Noguera, Francesc Abad and Eugenia Balcells. She was the creator and producer of “Music at Metrónom”, a series of concerts of experimental music that gave special support to collaboration between musicians and visual artists, a project that she shared with invited co-curaters such as Augusti Fernandez and Francisco Lopez; with Pilar Subira, co-curated “Possibility of Action: the life of the score” for the Documentation Center and Archive of the Barcelona MACBA museum of contemporary art during the 2008-09 season, and “Lines of Sight”, a series of seven programs of experimental music and radio art for radio web macba. Her work has been presented at the LOOP Festival of Videoart, Barcelona; Soundproof Festival, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Solianka Gallery, Moscow; Issue Project Room, New York; The Bridge, Cologne; Experimental Intermedia, New York; Grec Festival, Barcelona; Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; part of group show “Microcosmics” curated by Joan Fontcuberta at the Sala Metrónom in Barcelona, and “Bioderivas” at the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in Tenerife with Yapci Ramos and Richard Garet. Her work has been published by FO A RM magazine and Leonardo Music Journal, and on the Lovely Music Ltd. CD, “Upper Air Observation”.  A joint installation with Kenneth Kirschner and programming by Wolfgang Gil was presented by Contour Editions in May of 2014 at Eyebeam in New York, she recently created “from 0”, a performance/generative installation for the Signal X festival in Cagliari, Sardinia, and performs with media artist Benton C. Bainbridge using Eurorack video modules and a small Moog synthesizer modulated with acoustic flute sound. She teaches as part of the University of Barcelona’s Master in Sound Arts program.



contact: barbaraheld4@gmail.com


A selection of performance, installation and video work







La Pared, Fuerteventura 2013

(please listen with earphones)
video: Yapci Ramos, flute: Barbara Held
Presented in La Isla Imaginada II, Centro de Arte Juan Ismael, Fuerteventura(2014)
TRANSMISSIONS, curated by Carlota Fraga,Llibreria Calders, LOOP Festival 2014

Bioderivas_press - 20

BioDerivas   2013
Installation with Yapci Ramos and Richard Garet, Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, Tenerife.        
download pdf

Aetherart 5.11.13  20:00
Orquesta del Caos and Prague Improvisation Orchestra play live from Catalunya Musica in Barcelona and Studio HRDINU in Prague, Ars Acoustica series of the EBU Euroradio season. Barbara Held, José Manuel Berenguer, Tom Chant,  Míriam Fèlix, Pilar Subirà.

Meringue Diplomacy by Terri Hanlon A video with music, inspired by the life of the great chef Antonin Carême. Composers: David Behrman, Jacques Bekaert, Jon Gibson, Barbara Held, John King, Laetitia Sonami.







Overtime (2011)
Soundproof Festival, London photography and video by Yapci Ramos, music by Barbara Held, Matt Davis, Rhodri Davies, Angharad Davies and Tom Chant

A Dream2011

Video: Yapci Ramos
Sound: Barbara Held
Media: Video Digital HD
Duration: 2´18´´
Year: 2011
Video Editor: Adolf Alcañiz
Sound Mastering: Ferran Conangla
Presented at Na Solyanke Gallery, Moscow within the first festival of Spanish Video Art “Jokes and Nightmares”, between July 03 – Aug 30. Spain-Russia, 2011.
download pdf


7 Channels, India (2011)
installation by Share the Applause
Yapci Ramos, video   Barbara Held, sound

The Time in Tokyo (2010)
with Francesca Llopis, live video
HUM Festival, Barcelona; LOOP Festival 2014, Galeria Eude, Barcelona







State of the Sea (2010
lute & 15 channel sound
commissioned by Zeppelin Festival, Barcelona
Performed at Issue Project Room, NYC Floating Points Festival
download pdf


Al Barzaj_2010_ Marrakesh_13 min
video by Toni Serra
sound design by Barbara Held

Drums, Desire, … (2008)
video, Francesca Llopis
music, Barbara Held
Performance Z-A, Storefront for Art and Architecture and Screen Compositions, NYC

Gotes Cauen (2007)

video installation with Francesca Llopis
Loop Festival, 2007

La virtut de donar-me consol 2007
video, Francesca Llopis
sound, Barbara Held

Inmersion Sonora (2006)
Coldcreation gallery, Barcelona
published in FO A RM magazine of arts and research, autonomy issue

HOMMM (2005)
video, Francesca Llopis
sound collage, Barbara Held

sound, light installation
with Jelena Vico & Maria Paz Garcia

Rock’s Role (After Ryoanji) 2004
a soundscape compiled by artist and composer Ron Kuivila,
combines the work of 17 artists to create an aural environment
Art in General, NYC


The Innermost Nature of Things (2003)
Installation for “Microcosmics” at Metronom, curated by Joan Fontcuberta

Conjunciones & Copulativas (2002)
installation by Francesc Abad, sound Barbara Held, METRONOM, Barcelona

flute tube lute tune use 50 tuba tubing used true tubes 55 ukelele musical bugle (2002)
with Hans W. Koch
The Bridge, Cologne

Singing Stones (2001)
based on a book by Marius Schneider
in collaboration with Anne Wellmer, Matt Davis, Angel Pereira
sonorous space by Pere Noguera
video by Adolf Alcañiz
curated by Pilar Parcerisas

Lectures de Cirlot “Cristo Cristal”
video by Eugeni Bonet
music by Barbara Held
ACEVIP prize

The Physics of Sound (1994)
with 77Hrz, live video
Adolf Alcañiz, video
Festival Grec

Luz del Pasado (1997)
installation by Paloma Navares
sound, Barbara Held
Galerie ACADEMIA, Salzburg, Austria

Hotel Europa (1996)
installation by Francesc Abad
low frequency sound composition by Barbara Held
El Tinglado, Tarragona

Nomès (1994)
soundtrack for a short by Jordi Cadena
based on a script by Albert Rafols-Casamada

Migra (1993)
Music by Barbara Held, video by Toni Serra

Pura Fe (1991) 
video by Toni Serra, sound by Barbara Held

Lyrictron (1991)
video by Toni Serra
music by Yasunao Tone and Barbara Held

Upper Air Observation (1991)
Performed with text by Carles Hac Mor, scenography by Francesca Llopis
Fundació Joan Miro, Barcelona
CD edited by Lovely Music ltd.

Upper Air Observation Barbara Held
Self Portrait Alvin Lucier
Trio for a Flute Player  Yasunao Tone

Landscape (1990) 
music for Nancy Zendora Dance Company
DIA Foundation, NYC

Desert Wrap (1989)
music for ‘Inscriptions for a Cylinder Seal’
Nancy Zendora Dance Company
St. Mark’s Church, NYC

4.6. Tiannanmen (1989)
installation with Francesca Llopis

Flauta Sola (1979)

16mm film, Carles Santos


OptoSonic Tea Barcelona (2009)
Espai Ubu, LOOP, 2009
Ursula Scherrer-Katherine Liverovskaya-Noemi Sjoberg, live video
Juan Matos Capote-Barbara Held-Anne Wellmer, music

AudioVisions, (2009)
a program of video works in which moving image intersects with sonic art
curated by Barbara Held, produced by Espai Ubu for LOOP 2009
works by Ursula Scherrer, Katherine Liberovskaya, Phill Niblock, Anne Wellmer, Noemi Sjoberg, Barbara Held, etc.

Possibility of Action; the life of the score (2009)

Exhibition curated by Barbara Held and Pilar Subirà
for the Documentation Center and Archive of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA

Lines of Sight (2008-09)

A series of 7 programs commissioned by radio web macba
curated by Barbara Held and Pilar Subirà

Music at Metronom
yearly festival of experimental music from 1992-2003