Etienne Nillesen is a performer and composer from The Netherlands currently based in Cologne/ Germany.
The snare drum is a core part of Nillesen’s artistic practice. With an instrumental and physical approach, he explores and pushes the limits of the natural acoustics of the snare drum using conventional playing techniques as well as extended techniques and preparations.
His work involves elements of conceptual and spontaneous composition, structured improvisation, performance, and sound art. Alongside his own work, Etienne is a performer of contemporary music and works with composition, movement and snare drum in a number of interdisciplinary projects.
Etienne appears as a composer and performer on over thirty albums of new music, improvised music and jazz.
His interest in various forms of exploratory music gave him the opportunity to work regularly with artists such as Rudi Mahall, Sebastian Gramss, Anne LaBerge, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Georg Wissel, Michael Vorfeld, Udo Moll, Joker Nies, Katherine Young, Pascal Niggenkemper, Michael Thieke, Shelley Hirsch, Wolter Wierbos, Tomeka Reid, Matthias Muche, Nicola Hein, Elisabeth Fügemann, Philip Zoubek, Audrey Chen, Sofia Jernberg, Kaja Draksler, Eve Risser, Henrik Munkeby Norstebo, Claudio Puntin, Rie Watanabe, Valentin Garvie, Annegret Mayer-Lindenberg, Cao Thanh Lan, Ensemble Modern
Besides being active as a performer Etienne is currently Professor of Music at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in The Netherlands, where he teaches drums and improvised music.
photo credits: Frank Schinkelbeck