The setup and the execution of the electroacoustic part of this work requires a Computer Music Designer (Max expert).

Documentation date: April 30, 2020

Version state


Validation date: May 2, 2020

Version documentalist

  • demoulin (

Version realisation

  • Alexis Baskind (Computer Music Designer)
  • Elsa Biston (Computer Music Designer)

Version length

6 mn

Upgrade Motivation

documentation update


untested in concert !

Detailed staff

  • soloist: trumpet
(Detailed staff comes from Brahms, send mail to for correction.)

Electronic equipment list

Computer Music Equipment

  • 1 Macintosh - Apple Desktops (Apple)
  • 1 Max 8 - Max (Cycling74)
  • 1 Fireface 802 - Sound Board (RME)
  • 1 Footswitch / Sustain Pedal - Footswitch / Sustain Pedal
  • 1 iConnectMIDI2+ - MIDI Interfaces (iConnectivity)

Audio Equipment

  • 1 Microphone - Microphone
  • 4 Loudspeaker - Loudspeakers


  • Jan. 10, 1985, <p>Royaume-Uni, Londres, Purcell Room</p>


  • Faber Music


  • John Whiting

Work length

  • 6 mn
Download all files
File Author(s) Comment
Download [53.3 KB] Patch Ricercare-2020


Audio setup

This is a lightweight patch and does not require a powerful computer.

You will need a soundcard with 1 input and 4 outputs.

Loudspeaker setup

The routing of outputs 1-4 depends on the particular system configuration (requires a 4-channel audio card). You can change the output channels number with the four number boxes, bottom left, near the dac object. The outputs 1 to 4 correspond to the loudspeakers like this :

                                1                3

                                2                4

Midi setup

use a midi pedal to trigger events.

pedal settings : set the input controller midi name, controller number, pedal polarity. It may be useful to open "p infoctlin" to monitor the midi input messages your computer receives.

DSP setup

double-click on the dac~ object opens the dsp status window, where you can choose the sound driver, etc.

The four number boxes above the dac~ object let you change the names or orders of the outputs : for instance, when in rehearsal, you can output on "1 2 1 2" if you've got only two output channels.

Software installation

put the folder Ricercare-2020 in your file preferences directory and launch Ricercare-2020.maxpat

System calibration and tests

Level settings. It's always better to let the master out level at the maximum;

Part one has one fader, because the output signals are exactly the same in the four loudspeakers (but delayed)

Part three has four faders, corresponding to the four transpositions, or to the four sounds, and to the four loudspeakers.

Initialization routine

clicking on "reset" open the dac, pedal reception, initializes patchers and cues;

makes it ready to play from the beginning.

For the rehearsal, clik and drag on the number box "Next Cue" : the patch wait for a pedal trigger or space bar to play that cue.

"enter" stops the event being played and re-position at the beginning of this cue (waiting for pedal trigger or space bar).

Patch presentation

What happens? :

1. incoming signal is delayed 3 sec in channel 1, and 6, 9, 12 sec respectively in channels 2, 3, 4.

2. Start automatic fader play

3. Fade out

4. close the delay lines

5. after 6, 18, 42, 90 sec, with the same durations the incoming signal is transposed, delayed and feds the channels 1, 2, 3, 4

6. stops the recording of the buffer for transpositions

7. 12 sec fade out

Performance notes

this version has not been played in concert.

Performance Instructions from the original analog version


Program note

La pièce a été écrite initialement pour trompette mais peut être jouée par tout instrument. Il en existe des versions pour trombone, hautbois et violoncelle. « Ricercare » signifie littéralement « rechercher ». Dans le langage musical ce terme désigne un mouvement de fugue, souvent assez strict. Ici, l’écho électrique (« delay ») assure un canon à cinq voix, dont émerge une mélodie résultante. Un second canon se développe alors, dans lequel chaque voix nouvelle est traitée cette fois à demi-vitesse et une octave plus basse que la précédente.

Jonathan Harvey, note de programme du concert ManiFeste du 25 juin 2021 au Centre Pompidou

Version documentation creation date: April 30, 2020, 12:01 p.m., update date: June 30, 2023, 11:27 a.m.