Jean-Claude RISSET (1938-2016)

Jean-Claude Risset’s writings include more than 130 texts written from the mid-1960s to his death in 2016. Few of his contemporaries wrote as much as he did, especially on subjects beyond their personal work. In this sense Risset’s writings can be compared to the similar corpuses of Nono, Dufourt, Mâche, and, particularly, Boulez, with whom Risset shared the values of apprenticeship, craftsmanship, and the full possession of one’s art.

However, while both were composers, Boulez was also a world-renowned conductor, whereas Risset was a scientist and researcher who worked in many laboratories (Bell Labs, IRCAM, LAM) on questions relating to sound synthesis, computers, and the use of the digital. Boulez discussed serial composition technique and situated himself in a continuation of Webern and Stravinsky; maintained faithful correspondence with Cage and Stockhausen; discussed the profession of the conductor; the institutional organization of music; and published the lectures he gave at the Collège de France. For his part, Risset documented his research on digital sound synthesis and perception; situated himself in a continuation of the art-science of Varèse; writing about those he called “pioneers and explorers of musical material” (Schaeffer, Mathews, Chowning, Vaggione, Tenney, Varèse); and taking interest in the notion of chaos.

... read more 
birth year1938
death year2016
same as

Publications (3)