Cursus Syllabus

The Cursus program is divided into two parts: a first phase of intensive learning from September to March, and a second phase of composition and production from April to June. The first phase is articulated around the production of mini projects by students, which prepare and lead them at the end of the year to the creation of a final piece, once the project has been approved by the educational team. Each composer is supervised by a member of the educational team and by Thierry De Mey, Cursus’ associated composer.

From September to mid-November  

Image Phase

  • Mixing techniques
  • Studio techniques
    • Mikes
    • Recording
    • Introduction to a DAW (Reaper)

Project 1: image / music; movie excerpts, 2 - 3 minutes long

Danse Phase

  • Ableton Live Introduction
  • Real-time use of Ableton Live
    • MIDI controllers
    • Sensors

Project 2: dance / music / real-time / sensors

Poetry Phase

  • Introduction to MaxForLive and CAO (computer-assisted composition)
    • Synthesis and basic treatment in MaxForLive
    • Multi-channel Audio

Project 3: poetry / music / real-time / controllers / multi-channel audio

From mid-November  

Improvisation Phase

  • Introduction to Max
    • Design the architecture of patches for Max & MaxForLive
    • Spatialization
    • Spectral transformations (AudioSculpt, <pfft~>)

Project 4: improvisation session / improvisation and electronic workshop

Model Phase

  • Introduction to OpenMusic
    • Formalization Exercices
    • Audio Libraries in OM (OM-SuperVP & Audio)
    • AudioSculpt to OM  
      • Modalys Software
      • Max - <poly~>

Project 5: algorithmic music with OM and Modalys

From February  

Simulation Phase

  • Score reading and scripting, <antescofo~>
    • Max, <matrix~>

Project 6: étude with a pedal
- Music & image
- Music & dance
- Music & poetry

In March 

Sketch Phase

  • Introduction to the Bach Library in Max
  • Quantization
  • Interpolation
  • Synthesis in <gen~>
  • Real-time analysis
  • 3D Objects in Modalys
  • Synthesis, Orchestration (introduction to orchidea & AudioGuide)
  • Mapping (Sonification of gesture)

Project 7: Studio 5 Sketches
In preparation of the final project, a time to experiment with musical ideas and to address technical problems that will arise with the project. The sketch is presented in Studio 5 (the largest production studio at IRCAM, equipped with 6 loudspeakers) with the musician performing in the concert. This step is essential: the educational team must validate the composers' artistic propositions.

Creation Phase

Writing, development and implementation of the computer and material configuration for the final creation.

Final Project

Classes finish at the end of March giving students about two months to work on their final project presented at the CENTQUATRE-Paris during IRCAM’s ManiFeste festival.