Stochastic Composition and Synthesis

With a focus on algorithmic composition and stochastic synthesis, this seminar will explore the functionalities offered by SuperCollider to sequence and control sonic processes in time. We will study the main classes involved (Event, Stream, Pattern) and develop a vocabulary of patterns to later create sonic and musical structures by combining random walks and distributions, tendency masks and Markov chains.


Session #01

  • Introduction
  • Stochastic algorithmic composition with Streams, Patterns and Events I.

Session #02

  • Stochastic algorithmic composition with Streams, Patterns and Events II
  • Stochastic synthesis
  • Aesthetic origins: composing sounds with musical procedures
  • History of its development
  • Description of the dynamic stochastic synthesis algorithms
  • Discussion of Iannis Xenakis’s use of stochastic synthesis is his electroacoustic compositions
  • Musical examples
  • Practical exercise

Session #03

  • SuperCollider’s Demand UGens
  • Implementing dynamic stochastic synthesis with Demand UGens
  • From one to multiple voices
  • Stochastic spatialization techniques
  • Interactive control
  • Practical exercise

Instructor: Sergio Luque

Sergio Luque is a composer of classical and electroacoustic music. He is currently completing a PhD in Composition with Jonty Harrison and Scott Wilson at the University of Birmingham. His main research line is the study and development of Iannis Xenakis’s stochastic synthesis techniques. He is an active member of the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST).  In 2004, he received a Master’s Degree in Composition from the Conservatory of Rotterdam, studying with Klaas de Vries and René Uijlenhoet and, in 2006, a Master’s Degree with distinction in Sonology from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, studying with Paul Berg and Kees Tazelaar. His music has been performed in Europe, the Americas and Australia.

Level: intermediate (some knowledge of sound synthesis and SuperCollider is assumed)

Time Schedule:
Friday 16.12.2011, 18.00-22.00h.
Saturday 17.12.2011, 11:00–14:00h, 16:00-19:00h
Sunday 18.12.2011, 11:00–14:00h, 16:00-19:00h

Location: Hangar. Passatge del Marquès de Santa Isabel, 40. Barcelona. Metro Poble Nou.

Price: 90€ (or cheaper if you sign up for the whole course)

To sign up or request further information, please send an email to

This activity is organized by l’ull cec with the collaboration of Consell Nacional de la Cultura i les ArtsInstitut de Cultura de Barcelona and Hangar.

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