Jean-Claude recently passed away on November 21st in Marseille and today we remember the genius that he was. Not known to many, Jean-Claude was the first person to invent a specific variant of the Shepard Scale that basically gives the distinct illusion of an increasing or decreasing tone. He then went on to modify his innovation to work with rhythm and tempo too. Jean-Claude spent most of his experimental days at Bell Labs working in New Jersey with his research and experimentation partner, Max Matthews.
Jean-Claude Risset was born on 18th March 1938 and he eventually went on to earn a doctorate in mathematics and physics but not before finishing his studies on composition and piano. Soon, he began his employment at Bell Labs where he spent most of his life experimenting with computer sounds. It was around this time that he worked on pitch and sound development and processing. There he met several notable researchers and composers who influenced his album works.
Some other notable positions he held during his life include the chair for the computer department from 75 to 79 at IRCAM, his research and work on electronic sound systems at the Paris University in 71 and several working papers that he wrote at Center for Scientific Research, Marseille. Among his popular creations or albums, three especially make it to the limelight. Mutations in 1978, Elementa in 2001 and the most recent, Music From Computer in 2014 are considered his best creations. In fact, the later managed to creep into Wire’s Top 50 Chart with 12 being the highest ever position Jean Claude received in his lifetime.