Massed brass synthesis: Created with digital models of physically impossible brass instruments, Brass Cultures sits uncomfortably somewhere between radical computer music and 19th century band music.
Physical modelling synthesis digitally simulates the behaviours of acoustic objects and instruments. The synthesis process differs significantly from many more established synthesis processes, both in sound and in the practicalities of actually using it to generate sounds. The reliance on nonlinear feedback processes can make it feel closer in kind to the cybernetic experiments of David Tudor, Insook Choi, Toshimaru Nakamura and others, than it is to conventional digital synthesis processes such as additive or phase distortion synthesis. This release plays with the boundary between the two; the ambiguity between acoustic simulation and chaotic digital synthesis.
The tracks are made exclusively with the Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) Brass environment, created by researchers at the University of Edinburgh (freely available from the NESS website). Algorithms were created in Python to specify both the size and shape of the instrument, and how these instruments are played over time in terms of parameters such as breath pressure, lip frequency, lip mass, valve fingering, and even temperature.
This work has benefited from use of the NESS software, created at the University of Edinburgh supported by the European Research Council under grant number StG-2011-279068-NESS.