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Collective Thoughts: A collaborative approach to preparation and performance of open form compositions for groups. PhD, Bath Spa University (UK)


(note, there are two distinct "A" and "B" categories).

A) Players select collectively from the instruction material, unless in the case of solo.
Actions are freely combinable and selectable in any order unless otherwise stated.






A void gesture (2022)

27 pages plus front page. General explanation of different procedures for different group sizes.Verbal instructions for elements to be played.

Performers choose in collaboration with their co-players a number of instructions to be carried out. The instructions describe "musical, physical or symbolic" gestures by both outlining what to play and characterising this regarding emotional / behavioural content, for instance "an uneasy gesture" - "a gesture of love" - etc.

No fixed duration

2-15 persons.

IF (2020)

19 pages plus front page - 4 pages text, 15 pages of graphics.

Players are to familiarize themselves with all instructions, so as to be able to use them during playing according to what they hear.

Free, but to be collectively decided by the participants.

Three to ten performers.

The most delicate flower (2020)

64 pages plus front page. Parts for voice and various instrument categories consisting of small elements.

Players choose each 11 elements prior to the performance and choose elements to play only during performance.

Fixed to 11 minutes

Three to eleven performers.

60 important words (2020)

6 pages of instructions - 38 pages with notated small elements.

Players select individually from the 38 parts and decide collectively on total duration.

min. 8 minutes

One or more speaking piano players on one or more pianos

Air for movement (2011)

10 pages of verbal instructions.

"The aim of “Air for dance” is to observe dance as music"

min. 5 minutes

Min. 2 persons

Aria for voice(s) (2010-11)

12 pages.

1) graphics (collages of newspaper text cuts) to be used together with a list of "moods" which are again performed according to three different modes.

2) verbally described actions some of which involve contacting audience members

Aria for voice(s)’ may be performed simultaneously with ’Blocked Piano’ or with ’Words of Nothing’.

min. 5 minutes.

Voices - solo or ensemble ad libitum

Between the We and the I (2018)

16 pages of verbal instructions.

Players select from 119 instructions in which the interactive aspect of playing is stressed

min. 7 minutes

Min. 3 players

Blocked Piano (2011)

6 pages. Verbally described actions towards the piano, some also towards the audience and inviting participation

Blocked Piano’ may be performed simultaneously with’Aria for voice(s)’.

min. 5 minutes

Ad libitum number of piano players on a grand or baby grand piano.

Blossom Trio (2017)

70 pages. Verbally as well as graphically described elements focusing especially on movements and actions as well as some soundmaking.

Elements to be used ad lib., however, graphic pages require an accompaniment in the form of a piece of music composed by a female composer or songwriter.

min. 8 minutes

For three people using movement and sound.

Collective Thoughts (2011/14)

60 pages with verbal instructions and graphics.

1) 49 verbal instructions, all of them beginning with "Build collectively..."

2) 49 graphic pictures

Actions are to be synchronised in case up to 4 people are performing.If there are more than 4 performers, then sub-groups are to be formed. The musical "translation" of the graphics should be to some degree agreed on.

Min. 5 minutes

Three or more people

Complicity (2011)

28 pages - some graphic (minimal style using text), some with a list of actions. Versions exist for "instruments", "voice(s)", "piano player(s)", "wind instrument(s)", "string instruments", "percussion player(s).

10-14 minutes

Voice(s) and instrumental ensemble. Min: voice, 1 wind, 1 string, one perc. Max: 3 voices 3 wind 3 string, 2 piano, 3 perc.

Drops (2009)

26 pages with graphics and verbal action descriptions, with and without specific instructions of various kinds, ranging from spatially notated scores to free graphics with approx. overall durations given.

Individual decisions are possible during performance.

min. 5 minutes

Minimum: piano, 1 wind instrument, 1 string instrument, 1 percussion player

Maximum: Ad libitum

For four people (2018)

44 one-page open score elements describing details of playing to be read from left to right.

Notation also focuses on the way sounds (and thus players) connect to each other in a "hoquetus"-like, interacting manner. Each page-element is to last between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. Minimum 5 of them must be used for a performance.

min. 2 minutes

Minimum:4 performers capable of producing both tones, glissandos and noises

Frameless (2019)

3 pages of verbal and graphic elements.

Sound installation

No limits, to be agreed upon beforehand.

4-6 performers

Guess Who (2012) by Alexis Porfiriadis and Vassiliki Spyrou

27 collages

The performers should create collectively a written script prior to the performance, using the images, the colours and the texts presented on the collages, as well as their own impressions of the material in any creative way.

Min. 12 minutes

At least two persons

Happy notes - Sad Notes (2012)

5 pages with graphics and questions for each one concerning whether to play it and how.

No generel introduction given. The questions asked suggest, however, that a collective decision process should take place beforehand.



Keys (2012)

69 pages with 552 short verbal instructions. 100-552 of these to be chosen collectively before performance. Players turn alternately a card. Then all play according to the instruction in their own time. The deck of cards is shuffeled for each session or performance.

Min. 6 minutes

2-4 keyboard players, one instrument

Love Song (2016)

12 pages with verbal instructions

Three categories of actions to choose from and durations of either max. one minute or indeterminate. Some of the actions refer to Christmas and New Year, some are readings of texts from the Bible dealing with hospitality.

Min. 6 minutes

A group of people

Moving Sound (2016)

44 pages with verbal introduction and 42 graphic images in black and red.


Min. one musician and one performer making movement.

One minute is more than one minute> (2011/12)

7 pages with verbal instructions of actions. Players perform one action per minute.

1-60 minutes

Min. 5 persons.

Piano for People (2013)

5 pages with verbal instructions. These may be carried out in any selection by the individual performer (minimum one, no maximum) and in any order.

The only thing to be decided collectively before the performance is the total duration

not determined

A group of people with a grand piano. Non-participants should leave the room.

Radschlag (2013)

2 pages with verbal descriptions of

elements. Chosen elements circulate with performers placed in a circle, maximum 2 at a time.

Min. 7 minutes

Min. 5 persons

Ping Pong Piece (2018)

22 pages with explanations and 40 score elements describing fast sequences of tone, noise and melody.

A minimum number of elements are to be chosen according to certain rules

Not specified

2 persons

Spotting Nowhere (2010)

39 pages with graphics and verbal instructions. Graphics comprise symbols which are explained in a list.

Min. 6 minutes

Min. 4 players using string instruments

STC for ensemble (2012)

62 pages with graphics

Performers have to construct their own instructions with the material given.

Min. 6 minutes

At least 4 persons

The C duo (2014)

13 pages with verbal instructions

Min. 6 minutes

For two people in an intimate relationship

The F duo (2010/11)

10 pages with verbal instructions

Instructions involve visiting each others' homes, recording and editing together and social activities.

Min. 6 minutes

For two good friends

The L duo (2016)

11 pages with verbal instructions and 66 sound producing actions

Actions to be combined in any manner, provided collectively chosen

Min. 12 minutes

For two persons using laptops

Tones, noises, melodies and rhythms (2015/16)

37 pages with introduction and verbally described musical elements

Min. approx. 2 minutes

Min. 4 musicians

Words of Nothing (2010)

10 pages with verbal instructions

Min. 5 minutes

At least two persons


Pieces for ensemble ad lib. No agreements beforehand needed unless stated.

Environmental Pieces (2012)

Collection of 9 verbally notated pieces.

Not determined


People's Music (2008-09)

Collection of 17 verbally notated improvisation exercises

May be used for performance, too

Not determined


Words for sounds (2010/19)

Collection of 10 different, verbally notated pieces

Each piece is autonomous, not to be used as a movement

Not determined


Easy Pieces. For group improvisation (2023)

Collection of 24 different, verbally notated pieces

Each piece is autonomous, not to be used as a movement

Durations need to be agreed on beforehand. Minimum 5 minutes (22), not determined (2).