Three Chants for Computer

“The music is pretended to be heard. Perception is central in my Computer Music”
Jean Claude Risset

1. From the automata who wanted to be human 0: 00

Listen to the first movement

2. From the humans who did not want to be inhuman 3: 20

Listen to the second movement

3. From the beasts more human than humans 6:41

Listen to the third movement

to Lua in memoriam

Three Chants for Computer was selected and premiered in the Call for Works of the SID 2015 Conference (Sound, Images, and Data) that took place in the New York University Steinhardt in July 2015. In 2017 Spectropol Records included this work in a selection of electroacoustic works.

Technical explanation of the work

This work experiments with one of the most advanced materials I have created under the concept of Cognitive-Parametric music. Parametric morphing, based on the parametric interdefinitions. This work was finished in March 2014.
The parametric interdefinitions are based on the idea that a parameter can be interdefined by another. An example from everyday life is the interdefinition of the distances with the time we take to travel that distance. This idea is specially collected in the parametric music through multiple materials that depend on the parametric interdefinitions.
The most important parametric material derived from the parametric interdefinition is parametric morphing, in which time is interdefined into timbre using a certain threshold of perception for parametric interdefinitions. How parameters are perceived depends on others. So for example, a pulse sequence that increases its frequency begins to be perceived as a timbre from a certain  threshold.

An example of this is the second chant (3:20), based on a model of granular synthesis with 5 FoF (implemented in Csound (Function d´ Onde Formantique)). We start from small grain, representing a pulse that is repeated at aver low-frequency (0.5 Hz) which is gradually accelerated. It seems that time is accelerated until it becomes even faster. From 16 -20 Hertz (depending on each person) starts crossing the threshold from which it is perceived as a note and thereafter, rather than perceiving it as a pulse that accelerates, it is perceived as gliding with a definite timbre. The object passes from being recognized as a temporary object to be perceived as a timbral object by altering the frequency only. I.e. the time is interdefined with the timbre through the frequency. The effect of passing from an object perceived from a parameter to an object being perceived as defined by another parameter, by a system controlled, by a third parameter – which is the only one that changes- is called parametric morphing.


We can see here above an example. It is the beginning of the second chant at 3:20. It starts with a bass note that you will hear as a pulse. When performing an upward glissando we get a moment of transition morphing in which little by a little pulse (time) becomes voice (timbre). When, later on, performing the inverse glissando downward we will get back to the original pulse.

[1] There is a simple explanation here

This work is  related to “Cognitive dissonance” and “Homo Homini Lupus

More information:


Towards an Aesthetics of Cognitive-Parametric Music

Divulgation writings:

What is Cognitive Parametric Music?

Introduction to cognitive-parametric music

Divulgation writings about Parametric Music


Intrasensorial Synesthesia in Musical Composition