July 12th, 20h Koncertkirken Copenhagen


Really happy to travel to one of my favorite cities again to play a concert as part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival!

VARI presents: KøKö (DE/DK)

KøKö is an exciting collaboration between the creative music scenes of Cologne and Copenhagen with several more concerts coming up in both cities. KøKö is initiated by VARI.

I am playing the first set that evening in a trio with Matthias Muche and Zoe Efstathiou. Playing with Matthias is always such a pleasure and he is just one of my favorite players to play with! With Zoe I will play together for the first time and I am really looking forward to that!

Line up:

  • First set:
  • Zoe Efstathiou – prepared piano
  • Etienne Nillesen – extended snare drum
  • Matthias Muche – trombone
  • ——————————
  • Second set:
  • Elisabeth Coudoux – cello
  • Nana Pi Aabo Larsen – saxophone
  • Asger Thomsen – double bass





New album EMISZATETT – PHYSIS is out now on Impakt Records !

Elisabeth Coudoux – Violoncello, Motor
Matthias Muche – Trombone
Robert Landfermann – Double bass
Philip Zoubek – Prepared piano, Synthesizer
Etienne Nillesen – Extended snare drum


released June 17, 2020

All compositions (1.,3.,7.) by Elisabeth Coudoux
Free improvisations by Emiszatett
Recorded September 2019 by Christian Heck
Mixed and mastered January 2020 by Robert Nacken
Cover art and design by Markus Dorninger


Concert @ Moers Festival 2020 Livestream ARTE.TV


Here is the concert I played yesterday at the Moers Festival 2020 with Marlies Debacker (piano), Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba) and Florian Zwissler (analog synth). Although I was sceptical at first to play without an audience on such a big festival it turned out to be an amazing experience! Thanks to the Moers Festival (staff, sound engineers, crew, volunteers etc.) and ARTE.TV, it felt like a real concert!

Debacker, Zwissler, Hübsch, Nillesen starts at 1:06:15




Saturday, May 30th, I am playing at the MOERS FESTIVAL 2020 w/ Marlies Debacker (piano), Florian Zwissler (analog synth) and Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba). I am really looking forward to play again at the MOERS Festival! Being able to do that in these weird times with these great musicians and friends is something special!

ARTE TV will be streaming the entire concert/ festival in their ‘super live stream’. You can see all concerts on the ARTE TV WEBSITE

Concert:  Saturday, May 30th, 15:30 (3:30pm)



I’ve spend a lot of time practicing the last couple of days and I’ve enjoyed it so much to spend time again exploring new sounds, tonality and micro-tonality on the snare drum.



ME (Matthias Muche/Etienne Nillesen) at Stadtgarten Cologne May 14th


Thursday, May 14th, the premiere of ME! A duo with the great trombone player Matthias Muche. Although we have been playing together for several years in different projects (Elisabeth Coudoux EMISZATETT, Carl Ludwig Hübsch ART BLAU and the trio T.ON w/ Constantin Herzog on double bass) this is our first duo concert!

Really looking forward to play with Matthias and in front of a live audience again!!!

Concert starts at 20h,  Stadtgarten Cologne




EN album releases May 1st on bandcamp



Weston Olencki and I are digitally releasing our first record as a duo EN on May 1st on bandcamp! Eva Jeske made the beautiful cover for this project.

Three panels of friction, breath, and sustained action.
Etienne Nillesen – extended snare drum.
Weston Olencki – trombone.

releases May 1, 2020

All pieces recorded live May 2019 at studio 501, Chicago, IL.

Mixed/Mastered by Weston Olencki.
Album art and design by Eva Jeske.

short ‘tonal’ improvisation


Here’s a short ‘tonal’ improvisation on my extended snare drum recorded with my phone at home. This is something I am very interested in right now. Playing melodies on a snare drum without extra tuning or pitching by pressing the drumhead. Just letting the snare drum sing. Everything you hear are the natural acoustics of the drum + drumhead with no electronics used.

POM Good Virus Sessions with T.ON


Paviljoen Ongehoorde Muziek invited me to participate in the POM Good Virus Sessions with a 1 minute improvisation.

Here is the idea of POMs Good Virus Sessions: The musician records a one minute improvisation which ends in such a way so that another musician can pick this as a start of his 1 minute improvisation.

And here is my contribution:


I thought it would be nice to send my video to two of my favorite musicians; Matthias Muche and Constantin Herzog! The three of us also happen to be the ensemble T.ON!  Matthias developed his improvisation out of my ending and Constantin developed his improvisation out of Matthias ending.

Here are their versions:

Cajlan/Wissel/Nillesen + Anna Lytton


Musik die hören will / Music that wants to hear.

Amazing new short video by Anna Lytton!

Dušica Cajlan – prepared piano
Etienne Nillesen – extended snare drum
Georg Wissel – prepared alto sax

Mastering: Gerald Schauder

End of 2020 we have planned several concerts with this project. Anna will join Georg Wissel, Dusica Cajlan and me with live visuals/ drawings. Very excited to play with these amazing people again!

More information and tourdates of this project soon.