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Pascal Dusapin

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Biography

Pascal Dusapin (29th May, 1955) is a French composer born in Nancy. He studied fine art, science and aesthetics at the Sorbonne in Paris. One of France’s best-known living composers, his works have been performed worldwide.

At the suggestion of Franco Donatoni he attended the seminars of Iannis Xenakis from 1974 until 1978. Both composers had a deep influence on his early works but he soon developed his own style based on the use microtonality and the superposition of several atonal lines, creating a kind of “atonal heterophony”. Dusapin also uses archaïc-sounding scales consisting of four notes filling in the interval of a perfect fifth e.g. A - Bb - D- E or C - D - F - G (Red Rock). His melodies have a “vocal” quality even in the purely instrumental works hence Dusapin’s predilection for instruments that can imitate the human voice (wind instruments and bowed string instruments). It also explains his reluctance to write for the piano in the early stages of his career.

He often draws his inspiration from different artistic disciplines such as jazz, graphic arts, or poetry.

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