Studying electronic and computer music at IRCAM, Paris for a year was an extraordinary experience. Every few days, a composer of international repute would come in to talk to us, a group of young, international composers who’d been lucky enough to be shortlisted to attend.
We were introduced to the music of Gérard Grisey who came to speak to us. I will never forget first hearing his piece Partiels (1975) for 18 musicians. It was one of the first works to use spectral composition techniques, which have informed my music ever since. Also check out his piece Transitoires (1981) for orchestra. Hallucinatory! The other spectral composers to have influenced me are my teacher: Tristan Murail and Marc-André Dalbavie.
From Grisey I began to learn about the complex and fascinating relationships between timbral and symbolic transformation which still preoccupies me today.
Extract from Grisey’s score: Partiels (1975)