Jean-Claude Risset

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Jean-Claude Risset
Jean-Claude Risset au StuStu.jpg
Risset in 2008
Jean-Claude Raoul Olivier Risset

13 March 1938
DiedMarseille, France
21 November 2016
Education École Normale Supérieure,
Music theory (1961) [1]
Years active1961-2011
Employer Nokia Bell Labs
Known for Computer Music

Jean-Claude Raoul Olivier Risset (French:  [ʁisɛ] ; 13 March 1938 – 21 November 2016) was a French composer, best known for his pioneering contributions to computer music. He was a former student of André Jolivet and former co-worker of Max Mathews at Bell Labs. [2] [3]



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. [2] [3]

After the discrete Shepard scale Risset created a version of the scale where the steps between each tone are continuous, and it is appropriately called the continuous Risset scale or Shepard-Risset glissando. [4]

Selected works

Vocal music

Orchestral music

Chamber music

Solo music

Music for solo tape

Related Research Articles

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MUSIC-N refers to a family of computer music programs and programming languages descended from or influenced by MUSIC, a program written by Max Mathews in 1957 at Bell Labs. MUSIC was the first computer program for generating digital audio waveforms through direct synthesis. It was one of the first programs for making music on a digital computer, and was certainly the first program to gain wide acceptance in the music research community as viable for that task. The world's first computer-controlled music was generated in Australia by programmer Geoff Hill on the CSIRAC computer which was designed and built by Trevor Pearcey and Maston Beard. However, CSIRAC produced sound by sending raw pulses to the speaker, it did not produce standard digital audio with PCM samples, like the MUSIC-series of programs.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Synthesizer</span> Electronic musical instrument

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  1. "Jean Claude, Resources IRCAM".
  2. 1 2 "Jean-Claude Risset (biography, works, resources)" (in French and English). IRCAM.
  3. 1 2 "Jean-Claude Risset (1938-2016)". (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  4. 1 2 "Jean-Claude Risset, who reimagined digital synthesis, has died – CDM Create Digital Music". CDM Create Digital Music. 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2018-11-23. The sound for which Risset is best known is perhaps the most emblematic of his contributions. Creating a sonic illusion much like M.C. Escher's optical ones, the Shepherd-Risset glissando / Risset scale, in its present form invented by the French composer, seems to ascend forever.
  5. Risset, Jean-Claude (1986), "Pitch and rhythm paradoxes: comments on "Auditory paradox based on fractal waveform"", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 961–962, doi:10.1121/1.393919, PMID   3760341
  6. Stowell, D (2010), "And the beat goes on...forever?", Cs4fn Audio! Magazine, no. 3
  7. "News". Computer Music Journal . 41 (2): 7–14. June 2017. doi:10.1162/comj_e_00418. ISSN   0148-9267.
  8. "Giga-Hertz Award | 2007 to 2018 | ZKM" . Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  9. CNRS. "CNRS The National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS Gold medalists". (in French). Archived from the original on 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  10. "Jean-Claude Risset". 27 May 2021. Retrieved 2023-01-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Further reading