Berklee Hosts International Csound Conference

Image placeholder title

Berklee College of Music will host the second International Csound Conference, October 25-27, featuring keynote speakers, living legends of early computer music John Chowning and Jean-Claude Risset, as well as performances, workshops, and installations from the leading figures of electronic music.

The event will include a musical tribute to Max Mathews, the father of computer music, with performances from Csound inventor and MIT Media Lab cofounder Barry Vercoe and world-renowned electronic music composer and educator, Berklee professor Richard Boulanger. Presented by Berklee's Electronic Production and Design department, the conference will explore the role of Csound in contemporary music, film, and advertising; Csound for iOS, Android, and Ableton Live; and other topics.

Image placeholder title

John Chowning invented FM synthesis in 1967, which led to the first commercially successful and second best-selling synthesizer of all time, the Yamaha DX7. Today, FM synthesis is ubiquitous, used in everything from contemporary electronic music to cell phone ringtones.

Jean-Claude Risset is best known for his innovative use of wave shaping and other synthesis techniques to sculpt sound. At Bell Labs in the 1960s, he developed acoustic illusions (auditory equivalents of M.C. Escher's optical illusions) including a scale in which a tone appears to rise or descend continuously in pitch, and a rhythmic effect in which tempo seems to increase or decrease endlessly.

Csound is a computer programming language for sound composition and audio synthesis. Developed in the mid-1980s at MIT by Barry Vercoe, Csound is a free and open source program based on the MUSIC-N model initiated by Max Mathews at Bell Labs. Developed over nearly 30 years, it currently has 1,873 unit generators, the building blocks of audio synthesis.

Conference registration is limited to 200. Visit