- The French composer passed away on Monday, November 21st in Marseille.
French composer and electronic music pioneer Jean-Claude Risset has died age 78.
In an obituary published today (November 22nd), French newspaper Libération called Risset "the first French musician to have put into practice the use of computers for composition and music production." In his early 20s, he studied composition under esteemed French musician André Jolivet at École Normale Supérieure de Paris, where he later extended his studies to the fields of physics and maths. In 1964, he worked alongside another computer music pioneer, Max Mathews, at Bell Labs in New Jersey. It was here that he completed some of his most enduring work, digitally recreating the sounds of brass instruments using computer software.
Risset released a number of albums over the course of his career, touching on vocal, orchestral, chamber, piano and electroacoustic compositions. Arguably the most famous of these was Mutations, released via INA-GRM in 1978. The title track from the LP was featured on an Editions Mego compilation of Risset's work called Music From Computer, which came out in 2014. It also included other well-known works like "Sud" and "Computer Suite From Little Boy."
Risset died on Monday, November 21st in Marseille, where he'd lived and worked for many years.
Listen to "Sud."