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Musique instrumentale concrète: Timbral transcription in What the Blind See and Without Words

Einbond, A. (2016). Musique instrumentale concrète: Timbral transcription in What the Blind See and Without Words. In: Bresson, J., Agon, C. & Assayag, G. (Eds.), The OM Composer's Book. (pp. 155-171). France: Editions Delatour/Ircam-Centre Pompidou.


Transcription is an increasingly influential compositional model in the 21 st century. Bridging techniques of musique concrète and musique concrète instrumentale, my work since 2007 has focused on using timbral descriptors to transcribe audio recordings for live instrumental ensemble and electronics. The sources and results vary, including transformation of noise-rich playing techniques, transcription of improvised material produced by performer-collaborators, and fusion of instrumental textures with ambient field recordings. However the technical implementation employs a shared toolkit: sample databases are recorded, analysed, and organised into an audio mosaic with the CataRT package for corpus-based concatenative synthesis. Then OpenMusic is used to produce a corresponding instrumental transcription to be incorporated into the finished score. This chapter presents the approach in two works for ensemble and electronics, What the Blind See (2009) and Without Words (2012), as well as complementary real-time technologies including close miking and live audio mosaicking. In the process transcription is considered as a renewed expressive resource for the extended lexicon of electronically augmented instrumental sound.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2016 by Editions DELATOUR FRANCE/Ircam-Centre Pompidou. Permission to add this chapter to City Research Online has been granted by the publisher.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
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