CD release


Como una ola de fuerza y luz is the culmination of Luigi Nono‘s politically engaged compositional phase, while …..sofferte onde serene…  marks the beginning of a subtle and serene new aesthetic orientation. Both works are presented here in highly expressive interpretations that give special attention to the tape parts, revealing many previously unheard sonic materials. Significantly, the recording of …..sofferte onde serene… uses a newly produced reconstruction of the original stereo tape, which has not been available since Maurizio Pollini’s first recording.

Composed after a period of profound study of Nono’s sketches and compositional techniques, Paulo de Assis‘s unfolding waves… con luigi nono (2012) is a reflection on “listening” through the exploration of multiple temporalities, fragmented timbres, indiscernible sounds, and labyrinthine movements of sound in space.


Luigi Nono
Como una ola de fuerza y luz for soprano, piano, orchestra and tape
1. Invocation and lamentation of Luciano 06:32
2. Luciano’s presence in his absence 09:02
3. The Long March 09:59
4. Collective explosion in the certainty of Luciano’s absence 04:45
Luigi Nono
5. ….. sofferte ond serene … 13:55
Paulo de Assis
6. unfolding waves… con luigi nono for orchestra and three instrumental groups 14:08
Total Time: 58:47

The Dark Precursor

The two volumes of the book The Dark Precursor, edited by Paulo de Assis and Paolo Giudici, have been published by Leuven University Press. The forty-eight chapters in this publication present a kaleidoscopic view of different fields of knowledge and artistic practices, exposing for the first time the diversity and richness of a world situated between artistic research and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

Honours Class | Leiden University


Paulo de Assis gives a Keynote Lecture for the Honours Class, Leiden University (NL) on Music and Politics.

Inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s Postscript on the Societies of Control, Nietzsche’s second Untimely Meditation, and Jacques Rancière’s Emancipated Spectator, Paulo de Assis unravels some of the dominant power relations affecting the performance of Western music, proposing alternative avenues for an emancipated performer—someone who, based upon the notion of ‘dissensus’, operates a redistribution of the sensible.

The lecture will take place 7.11.2017, 19.00, at the Lipsius Building, Cleveringaplaats 1, 2311 Leiden (NL).

Presentation “A practice of divergence” at KUG Graz

ME21’s doctoral student Lucia D’Errico has been invited to present her project in the context of the ARTikulationen conference held at KUG, Graz (AT). The presentation revolved around the practice of “divergent performances” developed within this sub-project of ME21. For the full program of the conference, visit

ME21 Study day on the work of Romeo Castellucci, with Joao Francisco Figueira (University of Lisbon, Faculty of Architecture)

Saturday, June 24, 14:30-18:30

The Orpheus research cluster MusicExperiment21 increasingly developed a component of ‘staging compositions’, and the work of Romeo Castellucci has functioned as an important reference to the team. This study day with an expert on his work, will present and discuss Castellucci’s aesthetics and techniques. 

Joao Francisco Figueira is an architect (studies in Oporto and Venice, PhD in Helsinki), professor of architecture at Lisbon University, and a researcher on the value and power of “images”. He is the series editor of YMAGO, having edited and published books by Georges Didi-Huberman, Jacques Ranciere, Daniel Arrasse, Horst Bredekamp, Hans Belting, Viktor Stoichita, and Aby Warburg, a.o.. He follows the work of Romeo Castellucci since two decades and has given presentations on his work throughout Europe. 

CD Recording with Ensemble Interface

MusicExperiment21 and Ensemble Interface recorded all the new six pieces especially composed for the Diabelli Machines project, including pieces by Juan Parra C., Tiziano Manca, David Gorton, Lucia D’Errico, Paolo Galli, and Bart Vanhecke.

Listen to Bart Vanhecke’s “Commentaire XX”:



Ensemble Interface
Agnieszka Kopwrowska-Born, percussion
Andrea Nagy, bass clarinet
Anna D’Errico, piano
Bettina Berger, bass flute
Christoph Mathias, cello
Marieke Berendsen, violin

Paulo de Assis, direction

Juan Parra C., recording and editing

Recorded at the Orpheus Institute (Concert Hall), on the 22.01.2017

Two public lectures on “The Emancipated Performer” (London and Cambridge)

Monday 28 November 2016, 6 pm to 7 pmLecture Recital Room, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DT
Guildhall ResearchWorks series, presented in association with the Institute of Musical of Musical Research and the Cambridge Centre for Musical Performance Studies

Tuesday 29 November 2016, 5 pm to 6.30 pm

Robin Orr Recital Room, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, 11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP (no booking necessary).

Performance Studies Forum, hosted by the Cambridge Centre for Musical Performance Studies

The Emancipated Performer: Musical Rendering Beyond Interpretation

Paulo de Assis (ERC Principal Investigator, Orpheus Institute)

A close historical survey reveals that the notion of ‘musical interpretation’ was born only in the course of the nineteenth century, bound to a specific set of new rules, constraints and expectations. Other words and other practices were in use before its appearance, and other terms and praxes might emerge in the future. This talk will offer a brief overview of the terms used in the past and propose new ones for the future. Situating the discourse in a post-interpretive horizon of possibilities, it will argue for an emancipated, liberated and creative mode of performing musical objects from the past.

More specifically, Paulo de Assis will present his ongoing, European-funded research project MusicExperiment21, focusing on the subproject Diabelli Machines – a series of performances, lectures, articles or installations that operate different forms of problematization of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations Op. 120. Every single instantiation of this subproject questions the original work, cracking it from inside, disclosing its ruptures, and reconfiguring it in a different regime of perception and signification. Beyond historiographical, philological, organological or sociological investigations, it aims at creatively yet rigorously engaging with the historically available materials related to Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and its compossible futures.

So far, the Diabelli Machines has had seven instantiations, including collaborations with the ORCiM-ensemble, Hermes Ensemble, Ensemble Interface and ME21 Collective, with seven young composers (Juan Parra, Lucia D’Errico, Tiziano Manca, David Gorton, Hans Roels, Bart Vanhecke, Paolo Galli), Swiss choreographer Kurt Dreyer, and a number of special guests such as Valentin Gloor, Catherine Laws, Stefan Östersjö, William Brooks, Benjamin Widmer and Mieko Kanno. All versions are documented at