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Clarence Barlow: "On Synthrumentation - the spectral analysis of speech for subsequent resynthesis by acoustic instruments"

‘Synthrumentation’ is a technique for the resynthesis of speech with acoustic instruments developed by the composer Clarence Barlow in the early 1980s. Over the past decade instrumental speech synthesis has also been thematised by a diverse range of composers (e.g. Peter Ablinger, Jonathan Harvey, Kenn McSperitt or Kiyomitsu Odai). This presentation seeks to explain the basic mechanics of the synthrumentation technique and also demonstrate its practical application through an analysis of Barlow’s ensemble piece Im Januar am Nil composed between 1981 and 1984, as well as a Macintosh computer program.