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Synthigall: Sound installation by Dominik Eulberg

Together with our Nightingale Citizen Science project Forschungsfall Nachtigall Dominik Eulberg has created the 'Synthigall'. Eulberg has two lifelong passions: music and nature. Over the course of more than twenty years of musical accomplishment, he has managed to reconcile both by producing an ever-evolving but always organic and melodic brand of electronic music.

For Eulberg, Mother Nature is the greatest artist of all: The intention of this sound installation is to provide this beguilingly masterful nightingale song with a contemporary musical instrumentation. The nightingale song has up to 300 song strophes; using a transformation algorithm, I converted the song, into MIDI notes, including typical portamento in the form of pitch bend data and, of course, the rising and falling velocity. I then layered these MIDI tracks, i.e. duplicated them and sent them from my DAW to various synthesizers and effects.

The exciting thing is: Every note and expression is triggered one hundred percent by the nightingale. The nightingale is the sole composer and musician in this piece. I only recorded and mixed the synthesizers. Had the nightingale not sung, we would have heard nothing but silence. During the recording I didn't press any buttons either, but listened devoutly and reverently to the bird’s masterpiece, rich in variations and with an impressive crescendo. Only the synthesizer sounds and effects, which I selected, are a form of artistic interpretation. On the one hand I wanted to sketch the mystical atmosphere of the dark night. On the other hand I tried to illustrate its art-typical acoustic character with penetrating sounds.  I did this because the German word for Nightingale is Nachtigall and the ‘gall’ means ‘loud sounding’ in Middle High German’. I compiled the other timbres according to the picture I have in my head when I listen to the crystal clear nightingale song: Shining like a bright star in a clear night!