Cervetti studied at the Montevideo National Conservatory and later at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. He began to experiment in electronic music after instruction from Grov‚ and Krenek. He co-founded the Berlin Dance Ensemble in 1970, during a period as composer-in-residence at the Berlin Academy of Arts. He returned to the USA to take a position as professor at Brooklyn College, New York. He wrote the work for stage Prisons II for the Donaueschingen Festival in 1972.