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Friday, November 25, 2016

RIP Jean-Claude Risset

Shepard-Risset Glissando


Jean-Claude Risset, a pioneer of electronic music, passed away on November 21. Many of you will recognize his Risset Tones, or Shepard Tones above as they were based on the work of Roger Shepard as referenced in this post: "Risset Tones (Risset tones are based on the work of Roger Shepard in the 1960's and the further developments made later by Jean-Claude Risset, RissetTones is designed to create an acoustical illusion. Perhaps best explained as the aural equivalent of the barber pole, the product of the RissetTones is a gliding tone which seems always to be moving either up or down in pitch while staying in the same general position.)"

He, of course, was known for quite a bit more:

The image to the left is from forestpunk on Music From Computer: "an exquisite repackaging of influential works from early computer music Jean-Claude Risset, spanning the years 1968 – 1985. It illuminates a fascinating intersection between old-world classicism, musique concrete, and synthesis."

Wikipedia has the following:

"Risset was born in Le Puy-en-Velay, France. Arriving at Bell Labs, New Jersey in 1964, he used Max Mathews' MUSIC IV software to digitally recreate the sounds of brass instruments. He made digital recordings of trumpets and studied their timbral composition using 'pitch-synchronous' spectrum analysis tools, revealing that the amplitude and frequency of the harmonics (more correctly, partials) of these instruments would differ depending on frequency, duration and amplitude. He is also credited with performing the first experiments on a range of synthesis techniques including FM Synthesis and waveshaping."

Below are two additional compositions by Jean-Claude Risset. His work and influence go beyond anything that can be captured in a single post. His influence can be seen in various posts here on MATRIXSYNTH. This post, as all posts, is here only to let you know he was a significant influence on our world. Be sure to see the full wikipedia and forestpunk articles above and of course, always research more on your own. There is an incredible world of work to explore out there.

Jean-Claude Risset - Computer Suite From Little Boy (1968)

Published on Jul 9, 2012 Sebastian H. M. Murdock

"Composer Jean-Claude Risset was a pioneer in the field of computer music and recipient of a great many honors for this music and research (especially in the area of sound synthesis). After studying the sciences, in addition to composition and piano with teachers like André Jolivet (Le Jeune France co-founder), Risset went on to work at Bell Labs, with Max Matthews, for a few years in the late '60s, working on applications that would imitate instruments and others sounds. He brought sound synthesis to Orsay in the early '70s, and Marseille and Paris -- to the Institute for Acoustic Music Research and Creation, with Pierre Boulez -- in the mid-'70s. He became IRCAM's computer music director from 1975-1979, after which he served as Director of Research at facilities including CNRS; Risset received the CNRS Bronze Medal in 1971, the Silver Medal in 1987, and the Gold Medal in 1999, for his work and related writings, such as his computerized sound synthesis catalogue of 1969. His other awards include the Dartmouth Prize (1970), first place in the Bourges Digital Music competition (1980), Ars Electronica Austria (1987), Grand Prix National de la Musique (1990), Musica Nova Prague (1995), and an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Edinburgh in the mid-'90s. His best work spans decades and includes 'Sud' (1985), 'Aventure de lignes, Profiles' (1981), 'Mirages' (1978), 'Inharmonique' (1977), 'Musique pour Little Boy' (1968), and 'Fantasie pour Orchestre' (1963)."

Jean-Claude Risset - Invisible (1)

Published on Jul 16, 2015

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