Gissel Velarde, PhD


Gissel Velarde, PhD

I am a doctor in Computer Science and Engineering, and I am an Artist too. As a researcher, I am interested in how technology can help us to solve our problems, even the most difficult ones, and how technology can augment our human capacities. As an artist, I look for my own voice. During my PhD studies, I had the privilege to work under the supervision of David Meredith, Aalborg University, and Tillman Weyde, City University of London, as well as to participate as a research member of the European project "Learning to Create". Since 2017, I am a mentor of the Women In Music Information Retrieval program. I am interested in supporting minorities in tech communities and use the latest developments to empower people and economies. I am one of the few Bolivian female composers and researchers in machine learning technologies.

In the following picture, I am at the Unconference of the most important music technology conference, the 19th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference ISMIR 2018 in Paris. Me in the center of the photography in pink.


My CV can be seen here.


Most of my research production can be accessed at my ResearchGate page or at my Aalborg University page.

I have expertise in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Information Retrieval, Recommendation Systems, Perception, and I am interested in Computational Creativity, Economics, Business models, Learning, Growth Mindset, Arts and Mindfullness.


Velarde. G. (Submitted). The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.34645.06882

Journal articles

Velarde, G., Cancino Chacon, C., Meredith, D., Weyde, T., and Grachten, M. (2018a). Convolution-based Classification of Audio and Symbolic Representations of Music. Journal of New Music Research.

Velarde, G., Weyde, T., and Meredith, D. (2013a). An approach to melodic segmentation and classification based on filtering with the haar-wavelet. Journal of New Music R esearch, 42(4):325–345.

Book chapter

Velarde, G., Meredith, D., and Weyde, T. (2015). A wavelet-based approach to pattern discovery in melodies. In Meredith, D., editor, Computational M usic Analysis, pages 303–333. Springer.

PhD Dissertation

Velarde, G. (2017). Convolutional Methods for Music Analysis. PhD Dissertation. Aalborg University Press.

Conference papers and abstract

Velarde, G., Weyde, T., Cancino Chacón, C., Meredith, D. and Grachten, M. Composer Recognition based on 2D- Transformed Piano-Rolls. ISMIR 2016, The 17th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference.

Velarde, G. and Meredith, D. (2014b). A wavelet-based approach to the discovery of themes and sections in monophonic melodies. Abstract from International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval, Taipei, Taiwan.

Velarde,G., Weyde,T., and Meredith,D.(2013b).Wavelet-filtering of symbolic music representations for folk tune segmentation and classification, pages 56–62. Meertens Institute; Department of Information and Computing Sciences; Utrecht University.

Other publications, posters and talks

Henderson, Steffensen, Dyrsting, Teglbjærg, Meeus, Jørgensen, Velarde, 2018. (2018b). Moodagent App: Novel ways of interacting with music streaming content. Poster presented at 19th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, Paris, France, from September 23-27, 2018

Velarde, G. and Meredith, D. (2014a). Melodic pattern discovery by structural analysis via wavelets and clustering techniques. Paper presented at European Music Analysis Conference, Leuven, Belgien.

Velarde, G. and Weyde, T. (2012a). Melodic structure and automatic classification in bach’s 2-part inventions. In Abels, B., Grant, M., and Waczkat, A., editors, Music | Musics. Structures and Processes.

Velarde, G. and Weyde, T. (2012b). On symbolic music classification using wavelet transform. In International Conference on Applied and Theoretical Information Systems Research. Academy of Taiwan Information Systems Research. August, 2013. An error has been found in the code of the experiment that affects the results shown in tables and figures.

Velarde, G. and Weyde, T. (2012c). The relevance of wavelet representation of melodic shape. Abstract from Music and Shape Conference, London, Storbritannien.

Velarde, G. and Weyde, T. (2012d). Wavelet-based melody representation and segmentation for recognition of tune families. Poster presented at DMRN+7: Digital Music Research Network One-day Workshop 2012, London.

Velarde, G. and Weyde, T. (2011). Symbolic melody classifi- cation using wavelets. Poster presented at Digital Music Research Network One-day Workshop 2011, London

Velarde, G. and Binroth, C. (2011). Regression analysis: A good practice for parameter exploration and optimisation in laser welding process. W elding and Cutting, 10(5):322–328.

Velarde, G. and Binroth, C. (2010). Dynamic pattern ex- traction of parameters in laser welding process. In Perner, P., editor, Advances in Data Mining. Applications and Theoretical Aspects Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 6171, volume 6171, pages 350–361. Springer.

Velarde,G.(2010).Pattern identification in melody via wavelets. Poster presented at International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, Utrecht, Holland.


"Learning to Create” (Lrn2Cre8)

I was a research Member of the EC-funded collaborative project, “Learning to Create” (Lrn2Cre8). Funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission, under FET grant number 610859. More information:

Press (Research related)

Jyllands-Posten, 21/12/2014: Forskning i musiktemaer

La Razón, 2004: Nota del día: Cura para el Alzheimer


CDBaby | Amazon CD | Amazon MP3 | Apple iTunes


Angeles, 2011

Colores en Movimiento

Colores en movimiento, Ballet Music, 2008

Estudio Aleatorio Nr. 3 To Mr. Joseph

Estudio Aleatorio Nr. 3 To Mr. Joseph, 2004


From time to time, people ask me if they can use my music on their projects. I am more than delighted. The license for "Angeles" and "Colores en movimiento" is the following: You are free to display and perform the work and must give the original author credit. For other uses, please contact me at info (at)

My musical trajectory

Between 1990 and 2002, I studied music at the Plurinational Conservatory of Music, La Paz. My piano teachers were Gilda Ormachea, Grace Rodriguez and Sarah Ismael. I studied voice with Beatriz Mendez and Susana Valda, theory and sol-fa with Esperanza Tellez, Claudia Prudencio and Roberto Borda, rhythm with Jorge Cronenbold, music analysis with Mariana Alandia and Nicolas Zuares, music psychology and pedagogy with Juan Carlos Zuares, harmony with Gaston Arce Sejas, Chamber music with Grace Rodriguez and Boris Vasquez. Between 1995 and 1998, I participated in the Jazz and Improvisation workshops conducted by Martin Joseph. Martin Joseph introduced my to mindfullness as well.

In 1994 and 1997, I participated in the National Piano Competition "Abril in Tarija" - Bolivia, and won the first and second prices respectively. In 1993, 1998 and 2002, I was recognized as the best student in my category and instrument by the National Conservatory of Music and the Foundation Prof. Fanny Salgueiro. In 1994, 1996 and 2001, I received Honor Diplomas granted by the Plurinational Conservatory of Music and the National Secretary of Culture of La Paz. In 1999, I obtained a scholarship for master classes in classical music and jazz at the Summer Stage Le Academie de E'te in Libramont.

In 2001, I was a pianist of the Plurinational Conservatory of Music orchestra conducted by Willy Pozadas. I was also a member of the "Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos" conducted by Cergio Prudencio, playing various autochthonous Bolivian instruments and participated in the Contemporary Festival Donaueschingen in 1999. In 2005, I was a jazz pianist of the "Big Band Juvenil" conducted by Juan Pereira and toured around Chile for a month.

In 2005 and 2006, I taught piano and conducted improvisation and movement workshops at the Plurinational Conservatory of Music, La Paz.

In 2004, Gastón Arce Sejas invited me to record a contemporary piece dedicated to Martin Joseph. In 2008, I composed and recorded my first album "Colores en Movimiento, Ballet Music", and in 2011 I composed and recorded "Angeles".

In 2004, I obtained a "Licenciatura" degree in systems engineering from the Bolivian Catholic University and in 2008, I obtained a master's degree in Electronic Systems and Engineering Management from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).

Between 2012 and 2017, I developed computational models to understand music perception and analysis at Aalborg University under the supervision of David Meredith and Tillman Weyde. In 2017, I defended my thesis "Convolutional Methods for Music Analysis" and obtained the PhD degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Aalborg University. During 2015 and 2016, I had the privilege to participate as a research member of the European Project "Learning to Create" dedicated to study and develop computational models for automatic music analysis and generation.

Me in La Paz

Me in Palca-La Paz in 2012. Photography by Jaime Zambrana.


Reseña de Matthew Warnock en español

Kritik von Matthew Warnock auf Deutsch

Review by Matthew Warnock

Artist: Gissel Velarde

Album: Angeles

Solo piano can be one of the hardest, yet most beautiful, forms of self-expression that any pianist can embark on. Whether it is performing a solo work from the classical repertoire, interpreting a jazz standard or creating a completely improvised piece of music on the spot, the orchestral nature of the instrument allows pianists of all backgrounds and styles to express their musicality through the art of solo piano. Bolivian born Gissel Velarde recently recorded a collection of six short, solo-piano pieces for her album Angeles, and the result is an engaging and intriguing look into the musical personality of this talented artist.

Each short piece, the shortest being 90 seconds and the longest running a little over five minutes in length, is a musical vignette, telling a short story based on one or two musical ideas. By choosing to keep each song, and the album, short, Velarde is avoiding any aural burnout with her audience, something that can sometimes happen to even the best musicians when they put together a long program of solo works for any instrument. It also helps keep the focus of each piece clear and audible to the listener, leading them through a musical journey of motivic, harmonic and rhythmic continuity. Not to say that this is a concept album of any kind, each song stands out on its own as a complete, musical statement, but within each piece the intent is clearly focused and delivered. There is no noodling or wasted notes or ideas. Velarde carefully crafts each line and phrase, delivering them with deep emotional commitment and a sense of how that line relates to what has been played and where the idea will take her next. This sense of connection is one of the reasons that this short record is so successful and why it is definitely worth listening to.

There are moments where Velarde connects chords and melody, such as the opening piece “Como en un Sueño (Like a Dream),” which showcases beautiful arpeggios forming the foundation for a simple, yet highly effective melodic statement that grows as the piece develops. There is no room in Velarde’s work for unnecessary notes or flash, and this piece is a testament to her advanced musicianship and search for the perfect note for every particular moment.

“Entre Mundos (Between Worlds)” is based on a repetitive four-note pattern that is craftily syncopated and developed throughout the piece. Velarde’s choice to insert two effective pauses, one at the start of the phrase, then one more between each two-note motive, may seem like a small choice in the larger framework of a piece. But, it proves to be a highly effective decision as it adds a third layer, rhythm, to the double-layered motive, already possessing harmony and melody.

Injecting rhythmic variety into a motive can also be heard on the album’s longest track “El Jardín Etéreo (The Ethereal Garden).” Here, rhythm is used to punctuate the chordal work throughout the piece. From the quickly attacked chords in the beginning of the song, to the longer help and rhythmically separated chords in the middle section, Velarde’s rhythmic approach is one of the reasons that this song, and the album as a whole, speaks so directly to the listener. This is not just a showcase for her technical ability or creative nature, but for her love of melody and rhythmic motives, helping her stand out against other solo pianists in the genre.

Overall Angeles is a strong release by the Bolivian born Velarde, one that is highly creative, expertly performed and leaves the audience wanting for more.

Review by Matthew Warnock

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Date: 2011-09-07


More videos in youtube:

"Como en un sueño" was filmed in early 2012. Music by Gissel Velarde. Choreography by Genoveva Duarte and Carolina Mercado.

During Rehersal

During rehersal. Gissel Velarde, Genoveva Duarte y Carolina Mercado at the Escuela de Ballet Cubana Boliviana La Paz


Between 1988 and 1993, I studied ballet with Carmen Castro in "Ballet Expresion". Between 1994 and 1997, I studied at the "Escuela del Ballet Oficial" in La Paz, Bolivia with Janette Inchauste, Fernando Ballesteros, Berto Borges, Sara Acevedo, among others. As adult I trained with Mark Hoskins, Solange Hoskins, Gamal Gomaa and Malgorzata Cholewa.

Ballet workshops

In 2006 and 2013, I conducted ballet workshops at the Loyola University, La Paz.

Aalborg Ballet Club

While I was in Aalborg, I created the Aalborg Ballet Club and organized ballet training between 2012 and 2015. Some photographers loved the idea and made beautiful pictures of our session, they can be seen here:

The Aalborg Ballet Club

Members of the Aalborg Ballet Club in 2014. Photography by Jiri Thomas, 2014


Jyllands-Posten, 21/12/2014: Forskning i musiktemaer

La Prensa, 14/1/2012: Velarde habla con ángeles

Matthew Warnock, 7/9/2011: Review by Matthew Warnock

La Prensa, 5/8/2005: Big Band Juvenil antes de su gira por Chile

La Razón, 2004: Nota del día: Cura para el Alzheimer

Gente, 17/10/2002: Una jovén de gran talento

El Diario, 14/6/1998: MARTIN JOSEPH: Concierto de despedida

Puerta abierta, 14/6/1998: Martin Joseph junto a los Músicos invitados

Presencia, 19/4/1994: La Paz mostró su predominio en el IV Concurso de Piano

Presencia, 25/11/1990: Carmen Castro presentará Breve temporada de Ballet


Contact me per Email: info (at)

or via Linkedin

Page statistics

Locations of visitors to this page