Curtis Roads is Professor of Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Associate Director of the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE).
He studied music composition and computer programming at California Institute of the Arts and the University of California, San Diego. He received his doctorate at the Université Paris 8 supervised by Horacio Vaggione. From 1980 to 1986 he was a researcher in computer music at the MIT Media Laboratory. He then taught at the Federico II University of Naples, Harvard University, Oberlin Conservatory, CCMIX (Paris), and the University of Paris 8. He has led masterclasses at the Australian National Conservatory (Melbourne), Prometeo Laboratorio (Parma), Ionian University (Corfu), Goethe Institute (Rome), Santa Cecilia Conservatory (Rome), Kunitachi College of Music (Tokyo), Royal Conservatory (Aarhus), Catholic University (Porto), Zürich University of the Arts, and NOTAM, Oslo among others.
He is co-organizer of international workshops on musical signal processing in Sorrento, Capri, Karlsruhe, and Santa Barbara. A cofounder of the International Computer Music Association (ICMA) in 1979, he was Editor and Associate Editor of Computer Music Journal (The MIT Press) for 23 years (1978-2000). His books include Foundations of Computer Music, Composers and the Computer, The Music Machine, Representations of Musical Signals, The Computer Music Tutorial, Musical Signal Processing, L’audionumerique, The Computer Music Tutorial - Japanese edition and Microsound, which explores the aesthetics and techniques of composition with sound particles. The Chinese edition of The Computer Music Tutorial was published in 2011 as a Chinese national textbook. His latest book is Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic for Oxford University Press (2015).
Certain of his compositions feature granular and pulsar synthesis, technologies he developed for generating sound from acoustical particles. His music is available on compact discs produced by Asphodel, MODE, OR, the MIT Media Laboratory, and Wergo. His composition Clang-Tint (1994) was commissioned by the Japan Ministry of Culture (Bunka-cho). His electronic music collection POINT LINE CLOUD won the Award of Distinction at the 2002 Ars Electronica. In 2007 he received a National Science Foundation grant for research in algorithms for sound analysis. In 2016, he was awarded the Giga-Hertz Prize for lifetime achievement. A new collection of his music, FLICKER TONE PULSE, with videos by Brian O’Reilly, was published as a DVD disc by Wergo in 2019.
Curtis Roads will be giving a talk and doing a performance.