Joan Riera Robusté began classic and Jazz musical studies at different music academies and with the private teacher Lluís Vergés, later obtaining a scholarship to study jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music.
He took further studies in classical composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, where he received lessons from Helmut Lachenmann, Manuel Hidalgo, John Rahn, Walter Zimmermann, Ramón Lazcano, José Luís Torá, Luca Cori, Eduard Resina and Joao Pedro Oliveira.
In 2005 he spent one year at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, where he studied electroacoustic music with Denis Lorain, Robert Pascal, Cristophe Germanique and François Rouge.
Since then, his music incorporates electroacoustic and visual resources. In 2014 he obtained a Ph.D. at the Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal, with the thesis “Spatial Hearing and Sound Perception in Music Composition”.
This thesis explores the possibilities of spatial hearing in relation to sound perception, and presents three acousmatic compositions based on a musical aesthetic that emphasizes this relation in musical discourse.
The first important characteristic of these compositions is the exclusive use of sine waves and other time invariant sound signals. Even though these types of sound signals present no variations in time, it is possible to perceive pitch, loudness, and tone color variations as soon as they move in space due to acoustic processes involved in spatial hearing. To emphasize the perception of such variations, this thesis proposes to divide a tone in multiple sound units and spread them in space using several loudspeakers arranged around the listener.
In addition to the perception of sound attribute variations, it is also possible to create rhythm and texture variations that depend on how sound units are arranged in space. This strategy permits to overcome the so called "sound surrogacy" implicit in acousmatic music, as it is possible to establish cause-effect relations between sound movement and the perception of sound attribute, rhythm, and texture variations.
Another important consequence of using sound fragmentation together with sound spatialization is the possibility to produce diffuse sound fields independently from the levels of reverberation of the room, and to create sound spaces with a certain spatial depth without using any kind of artificial sound delay or reverberation.