Luís Bittencourt is percussionist, composer, artist-researcher and music producer. An active performer in a range of various styles — from classical, folk south american music, free improvisation to contemporary experimental music — Luís Bittencourt is considered “a master of sound experimentation” (Vision Magazine, Portugal) and has performed solo in Europe, Oceania, north and south America. His performances, which are “a torrent of originality” (Casa da Música, Portugal), include first auditions of his own compositions, and by composers Tan Dun, Gabriel Prokofiev, Steve Reich, Vinko Globokar and some of the most important contemporary Portuguese composers. In addition to his activity as a solo performer, Bittencourt integrates the ensembles N.O.F.P. (New Futuristic Orchestra of Porto) and Srosh Ensemble, both dedicated to contemporary experimental music; Gamelan Ensemble of Casa da Música (contemporary music for gamelan); Tríptico (instrumental trio dedicated to the folk music of Platinum America); Xperimus Ensemble (Portuguese contemporary music) and a duo with the Spanish harpist Angelica Salvi, dedicated to contemporary music repertoire originally composed for harp and percussion. Bittencourt has also been featured in many art and contemporary music festivals, and performed and collaborated with Lee Ranaldo and Leah Singer (Sonic Youth), Jeffrey Ziegler (Kronos Quartet), Phill Niblock, Kuniko Kato, Ney Rosauro, Helga Davis, Katherine Liberovskaya, David Sheppard, Paola Prestini, Found Sound Nation, Ali Hossaini, Gabriel Prokofiev (Non Classical), David Cossin (Bang on a Can), Jon Rose, Miquel Bernat & Drumming GP, Mina Tindle, Emily Hall, among others.
As an artist-researcher, his interests include percussion, sound, musical performance, contemporary music, sound art, extended techniques, unusual instruments and sound sources, instrumentality, improvisation, experimental music and experimentation in music. Bittencourt is author of two pioneer studies, namely “Percussion and instrumentality: exploring the performance of unusual instruments and sound sources”, a doctoral artistic research funded by CAPES, and “The use of water as a percussive sound source: analysis of Tan Dun’s Water Music”, a master study on the possibilities of water as musical instrument. His investigations have established new insights on experimentation in percussion music and on the instrumentality of found instruments and have been published and presented at many institutions and events around the world, such as the Conservatoire Supèrieur de Musique et Dance de Lyon (FR), Leeds College of Music (UK), Conservatório de Valencia (ES), Guildhall School of Music and Drama (UK), Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (BR), International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt (DE), Bath Spa University (UK), Queensland Conservatoire/Griffiths University (AU). Bittencourt holds a PhD in Music Performance and a Master in Music Performance from University of Aveiro, Portugal, and a Bachelor Degree in Percussion Performance (Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil). He is also hired researcher in the project “XPerimus: experimentation in music in Portuguese culture: history, contexts and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries” and integrated researcher at the Institute of Ethnomusicology - Centre of Studies in Music and Dance (INET-md). For more info, please access www.luisbittencourt.com