World Timbres Mixture
An acoustic universe built with classical live instruments and digitized acoustic instruments from popular traditions
“World Timbres Mixture”, (WTM), is a new composition technique created by José Luis Campana and Isabel Urrutia at GRM / Radio France in 2015, with the collaboration of IRCAM (Music Computing: Eric Daubresse).
WTM is a new method of composition with a new sound material, which we choose for aesthetic reasons, and which consists, fundamentally, in the mixing of the instruments of the classical orchestra playing “live” during the concert, with instrument timbres from different continents, cultures and countries recorded on audio support.
After a period of research on the characteristics of each sound of instruments of popular traditions (such as the aulos, azteca, pungi, didgeridoo, bagpipe, diple, duduk, erke, kena, launeddas, shakuhachi, orlo, jubus, n’goni , oud, vina etc), we created a “sound palette” which allowed us to “colour” the timbres of classical instruments with the timbres of instruments of oral tradition and viceversa.
With regard to this “mixing” of timbres, we have discovered an “unusual, unexpected and limitless” world of new sounds for our chamber and orchestral scores.
This technique reflects the desire to invent a new sound universe – unknown, unheard of, new – while drawing on the richness of popular traditions (the instruments with their specific timbres) and classical tradition. No timbre has been distorted or altered by computer sound transformation programs.
The extension of the range of some popular instruments towards the low and high space, as well as the “halos” of rich timbral resonances help to create the impression of distant spaces.
The pieces resulting from this process are not works for instruments and tape as in the past. Although computers are used and traditional instruments are recorded, they do not occupy a place in a band, on the contrary, they play a role on an equal footing with “live” acoustic instruments.
Our main objective is to recreate a new orchestra with acoustic instruments of the world, where the timbres of the classical tradition from Western Europe are united with the timbres of popular traditions from many different countries, creating a new orchestral sonority for our chamber and orchestral music.