Barry Prophet

Barry Prophet is a composer, percussionist, instrument maker, sculptor, poet and playwright whose sonic creations have appeared in galleries, theatres and concert halls in Canada, United States and Europe. Creating unique sounds since 1979, he has composed and performed for.45.3, Jabberwok Full Theatre Co., Basic Elements and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (USA) and Necessary Angel Theatre Co where he was also the resident playwright from 1979 - 1981.

“This Barry Prophet adaptation [of Sophocle's Electra] is striking...the story is pared down without losing any of its emotional and mythical power.” Carol Corbeil, Toronto Globe & Mail, CAN

“From the first entrance of the chorus to the final bars of music, specially composed for the show by Barry Prophet, “The Women of Bakhos” engages the imagination.” Paul Gallagher, The Times Leader Wilkes-Barre , USA .

Photo by: J. Pomer
Photo by: Ben Grossman
Photo by: Ben Grossman

Since 1983 he has exhibited and performed upon his percussion sculptures at the Ontario Science Centre, Science North, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Rendezvous International Sculpture Symposium, Algoma Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery , Pekao Gallery, Astrolab Theatre, Art Gallery of Windsor, Harbourfront Gallery, Mississauga Living Arts Centre, Canadian Sculpture Centre and Hart House. His micro tonally tuned glass lithophones have been featured in performances at the Ontario Crafts Council, Music Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum , The Tree Museum, and numerous schools and festival venues.

“The glass sound is nearly indescribable. Soft, smooth, kind of liquid.” Susan Brook, Press-Enterprise , USA

“Mesmersizing, vibrating objects with a life of their own...” Deidre Hanna, NOW Magazine, CAN


Barry has led traditional and experimental percussion and world music programs for students and educators across Canada for over twenty years. He is the director of the Music Gallery Institute, the educational wing of the Music Gallery, Toronto , one of Canada 's longest running presenters of new and unusual music. MGI offers courses for adults and families in Creative Percussion and Computer Assisted Music, and special Professional Development programs for school teachers every summer.

“What struck me at the time was the talent and ingenuity this man possessed. His methods were unconventional and they were successful. Through the layering of sounds and rhythm, he actually had children performing well in the space of two hours. And they loved it!” Lillian Blakey, The Artspaper CAN

Selections from his 1997 recording Crystal Bones (CD) featuring co-composers Janice Pomer, Ben Grossman and David Jaeger have been choreographed to by motus O dance theatre (ON), O Vertigo Danse (PQ) and independent dance artists in Canada and the United States.

Photo by: Ben Grossman
Sample Music:

“[O Vertigos']En Dedans is structured around nine pieces of contemporary music, from Peter Garland's eerie ‘Apple Blossom' to Barry Prophet's motor driven ‘Wheel' and ‘Highway Five'.” Susan Walker, The Toronto Star CAN

Barry has received support for his work from Explorations, Canada Council, the Arts Education, Music, and Visual Arts Offices of the Ontario Arts Council and the Laidlaw Foundation.
Copyright Janice Pomer & Barry Prophet (c) 2005