Clara Olivares

Clara Olivares, born in Strasbourg in 1993, is a Franco-Spanish composer who holds a doctorate in composition from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2020-21, she attended IRCAM’s Cursus de composition et d'informatique musicale. Her works have been commissioned for the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Accentus Chamber Choir among others. She was the associate composer of the Orchestre de chambre de Paris from 2020 to 2022, and a laureate of the Fondation Banque Populaire.

An opera enthusiast, she wrote her first opera, Mary, for ensemble, puppets and live electronics at the age of 23 (Aide à l'écriture d'une œuvre musicale originale), then took part in the Académie Opéra en création and the Académie Women Opera Makers at the Festival lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence.

She is currently composing a new opera, Les sentinelles, on a libretto by Chloé Lechat, to be premiered in November 2024 (Bourse Beaumarchais-SACD; Aide à l'écriture d'une œuvre musicale originale).

2023.24 Artistic Research Residency


Research Themes:
Building artificial vocal expressivity beyond melody
Field of Research:

Synthesis and processing of the singing voice
In collaboration with the IRCAM-STMS Sound Analysis and Synthesis team.

For many composers, writing music today means using a variety of digital tools to create sound models or maquettes. These maquettes can be used to develop musical intuitions and test their results. It's a working method with many advantages, such as the ability to experiment without any time or resource limits, to easily listen to and modify recorded ideas, and to share the results with others.

Nevertheless, this process of computer-assisted music creation can also present certain limitations and difficulties: creating a sound model can be time-consuming, and often requires advanced technical skills in recording and music production along with mastery of cutting-edge software. What's more, matching musical ideas with the sounds available in sound libraries or virtual instruments can be a daunting task. In this context, IRCAM's ISiS (Ircam Singing Synthesis) software seems to be an interesting solution for composers, just as Orchidea software offers numerous possibilities in the field of non-vocal acoustic music. Thanks to its advanced sound synthesis features, ISiS can be used to generate synthetic vocal parts with the pronunciation of the requested lyrics, meeting complex requirements.

The artistic research project will focus on the use of ISiS to create sound models in a musical aesthetic that draws as much on melodic fragments and a traditional form of vocal expressivity as on more recent modes of play. The aim will be to explore the various ways in which ISiS can be used to enhance a creative process, particularly in the context of writing an opera, which, by virtue of its scale, presents its own particular difficulties. The creative project will revolve around two axes: work on the vocal part of the opera Les sentinelles (written for 4 soloists including an actress), and the creation of a shorter piece that will serve as a demonstration for IRCAM's ISiS software.