Interests include interactive composition and performance, analysis and synthesis of sound, music perception and cognition.
David Wessel studied mathematics and experimental psychology at the University of Illinois and received a doctorate in mathematical psychology from Stanford in 1972. His work on the perception and compositional control of timbre in the early 70's at Michigan State University led to a musical research position at IRCAM in Paris in 1976. In 1979 he began reshaping the Pedagogy Department to link the scientific and musical sectors of IRCAM. In 1985 he established a new IRCAM department devoted to the development of interactive musical software for personal computers. In 1988 he began his current position as Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley where he is Director of CNMAT. He is particularly interested in live-performance computer music where improvisation plays an essential role. He has collaborated in performance with a variety of improvising composers including Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Coleman, Ushio Torikai, Thomas Buckner, Vinko Globokar, Jin Hi Kim, Shafqat Ali Khan, and Laetitia Sonami has performed throughout the US and Europe.