Radio SMCQ: André Ristic

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Quebec City, Québec, 1972

  • Composer
  • Performer (piano)

The tone that emanates from the music of André Ristic is at once lively, substantial, and fundamentally original. This pianist, accordion player, and music theorist trained in mathematics handles musical language as a virtuoso combinatorialist, through his preferred instrument, humour. This is a reviving humour that permits the reinvention of the world, and the reinterpretation of reality to reflect personal desires. Catalogue de bombes occidentales (2000 Prix Jules-Léger), for example, is structured in three distinct parts: a reality check, a calling into question of the event, and a proposal for a solution, in this situation, sleep.

Born in 1972, André Ristic studied mathematics at the Université du Québec in Montréal (UQAM) and completed his musical studies at the conservatory in Montréal where he received instruction in composition and piano. As a music theorist his interests include the mathematical representation of sound and programming models, as well as the musical applications of signal theory and the analytical study of musical manuscripts. His awards include a number of prizes and grants, including the Prix Opus awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique for “Composer of the Year” in 2001, and the SOCAN award for chamber music in the same year, as well as the Jules-Léger Prize for new chamber music in 2000.

In his spare time, this composer also performs as a pianist (Trio Fibonacci) and accordion player. An active and eclectic musician, he has commissioned and premiered a number of works from both Canadian and international composers, especially those of his own generation. As part of his own compositional process, Ristic seeks out ways of representing sound numerically, with the aim of developing new techniques based mainly on vector geometry. With respect to this subject, he has a publication project underway in partnership with Jonathan Goldman that is devoted to relationship of mathematics to music. André Ristic has an international career and a number of recordings to his credit.

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