PEMS (Porto Electronic Music Symposium) 2023

15 – 16 dezembro 2023 · December 2023 15 – 16

O PEMS (Porto Electronic Music Symposium) 2023, organizado pela Casa da Música através da Digitópia, é um ponto de encontro que celebra a criação artística, a performance e a inclusão através da relação entre a tecnologia e a música. Com convidados nacionais e internacionais de referência na área, e concertos, oficinas, mesas redondas e outros eventos, todos eles abertos aos interessados, a riqueza da diversidade de abordagens musicais com recurso à tecnologia estará em primeiro plano, capacitando todos aqueles que estão a pensar e criar o património do futuro, hoje.

PEMS (Porto Electronic Music Symposium) 2023, organized by Casa da Música through Digitópia, is a meeting point that celebrates artistic creation, performance and inclusion through the relationship between technology and music. With national and international guests who are leaders in the field, and concerts, workshops, round tables and other events, all open to those interested, the rich diversity of musical approaches using technology will be in the spotlight, empowering all those who are thinking about and creating the heritage of the future today.



09:00 am | Sala 2


09:15am | Sala 2

Handmade Music by Digitópia

09:45am | Sala 2

11:15am | Bar 2

11:45am | Sala 2

Palestra principal – Svetlana Maraš: Todo o som é música, toda a tecnologia é um instrumento tocável – em direção a novos paradigmas e formas diferentes de estruturação na música eletrónica ao vivo

Keynote – Svetlana Maraš: All sound is music, all technology is a playable instrument – towards new paradigms and different ways of structuring in live electronic music

02:00pm | Sala de Ensaio 1

Round Table – Accessibility and Inclusion Through Art and Technology (moderation: José Alberto Gomes)


Visita Guiada

04:00pm | Sala de Ensaio 1

Workshop – Criando instrumentos musicais digitais com Bela e Trill, por Andrew McPherson.

05:30pm | Bar 2

Coffee Break

06:00pm | Sala 2

Concerto comunitário – Os Sonhadores (Somos Nós)


Svetlana Maraš

Keynote speaker and Workshop leader

Svetlana Maraš

Svetlana Maraš (1985) is composer and sound artist active in the field of experimental music. Her work encompasses variety of formats such as live performance, electro-acoustic composition, sound installations and works for the radio.

Maraš is Professor of Creative Music Technology and Co-head of Electronic Studio at Hochschule für Musik FHNW, Basel. She is the winner of the most prestigious Serbian composition prize “Mokranjac”, awarded by the Serbian Composers’ Association.

From 2016-2021, she was composer in residence and artistic director at Radio Belgrade’s Electronic studio, where she established numerous programs such as artistic residencies, educational courses and most notably, restoration of EMS Synthi 100. During the time at Radio Belgrade, she developed works such as Jezik (shortlisted for Prix Italia award in 2017), Radio Concert No.1 and Radio Concert No.2 – live performances with the use of Synthi 100, as well as Post-excavation activities, the work which has brought her  “Mokranjac” prize in 2021.

Maraš has presented her work internationally, at venues, festivals and events such as Kunstmuseum (Basel), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Ruhr Triennial, CTM (Berlin), Ars Electronica (Linz), Wien Modern, House of Electronic Arts (Basel), Espace Multimedia Gantner (Bourogne), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Heroines of Sound (Berlin), Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), Stadttheater (Bern), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade), Izlog Suvremenog Zvuka (Zagreb), Blurred edges (Hamburg), ICMC (New York), International Rostrum of Composers (Wroclaw), ISEA (Dubai), International Music Institute (Darmstadt), Orpheus Institute (Ghent) and many other places. Her music was used in theatre plays, experimental and documentary films and presented at places like MOMA (New York), Aubagne International Film Festival and Bitef theatre (Belgrade). 

Svetlana Maraš was SHAPE artist for 2020, and co-curator of 4fakultät concert series in Hamburg. Since 2022, she is part of the Zürich Stadt – Music Commission.  

Andrew McPherson

Andrew McPherson

Keynote speaker and Workshop leader

Andrew McPherson

Andrew McPherson is a computing researcher, composer, electronic engineer, and musical instrument designer. He is Professor of Design Engineering and Music in the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, where he leads the Augmented Instruments Laboratory. Andrew holds undergraduate degrees in both engineering and music from MIT, an MEng in electrical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in music composition from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Imperial in 2023, he has been a professor in the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London.

Andrew’s musical instruments are widely used by performers and composers across many genres, and his research has led to three successful crowdfunding campaigns and the spinout of Augmented Instruments Ltd, which develops Bela, an open-source audio maker platform. He currently holds two fellowships: a Senior Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering on embedded hardware for audio and music, and an ERC/UKRI Consolidator Grant investigating the cultural implications of engineering decisions. He is deeply committed to teaching: Bela is used in the classroom by dozens of universities, and his online course on audio programming has been followed by learners around the globe.

Carlos Guedes

Workshop leader

Carlos Guedes

Carlos Guedes has a multifaceted activity in composition and sound design, counting more than 90 international premieres of commissioned work comprising music for contemporary dance, theater, film, installation art and conventional concert music. He also develops a parallel activity as a researcher, mostly addressing the relationships between music and computational technologies, counting more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. 

He co-founded and currently directs the Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) research group at NYU Abu Dhabi, a group that focuses on the study of the music from the Arabian Gulf and its historically connected regions. This group recently developed two exhibitions in collaboration with Qasr Al Hosn focusing on Emirati traditional crafts. ‘The Music of Crafts” was premiered at this year’s Qasr Al Hosn festival and “Formation of Soof,” Abu Dhabi’s pavilion at this year’s London Design Biennale won the Biennale’s Theme medal. 

In 2022 he was a visiting scholar at the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research where he developed a study on the musical traditions of the Shihuh.

Carlos Guedes is Associate Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi, and affiliated Associate Professor at NYUAD’s Computer Engineering Program and NYU Steinhardt’s Music Technology Program. He holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Music Theory and Composition from New York University and B.M. in Composition from the School of Music and Performing Arts at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal


friday, december 15, 02:00pm

Accessibility and Inclusion Through Art and Technology (moderation: José Alberto Gomes)

Filomena Costa (Associação Somos Nós)
Jorge Prendas (Casa da Música)
Marco Paiva (Terra Amarela)
Paulo Jacob (Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Coimbra)

Technology plays a major role in our daily lives, enhancing many of our activities. These tools can also be used for bridging the gaps and overcoming the obstacles that underprivileged people face in their own lives. In this round table we will discuss strategies and opportunities for doing so using the arts.

saturday, december 16, 02:00pm

Composers as Makers (moderation: Rui Penha)

Carlos Guedes
Gustavo Costa (Sonoscopia)
Rodrigo Constanzo
Svetlana Maraš

Composing, in the 21st century, requires versatility and, often, the need for building our own instruments, patches, and tools. In this talk we will discuss how this “maker mentality” shapes the compositional approach of our guests.

saturday, december 16, 05:00pm

Live Electronics in Contemporary Classical Music – Past, Present and Future (moderation: Óscar Rodrigues)

David Teixeira da Silva
Hugo Vasco Reis
Victor Pereira

In this roundtable, we will discuss the approach to playing and composing pieces with live electronics in the 21st century. The problem of obsolescence in technology means that some pieces composed in the past are now very difficult to perform, because the equipment they used is now very rare and, often, in a bad working condition, but also because sometimes the people who developed the tools themselves didn’t account for this problem, or didn’t share all the necessary information. How does this shape composition today: is it a concern, and how can we overcome this problem?


friday, december 15, 9:45am

What Technology Still Can’t Do (and Probably Never Will) about Music, by Carlos Guedes

What Technology Still Can’t Do (and Probably Never Will) about Music focuses on the relationship between music and technology and the impact technological development has in music at many levels, ranging from musical instrument development to the way we produce, consume, and relate to music. After a comprehensive summary on the main technological developments that impacted musical practice in the past 100 years we will reflect on the impact artificial intelligence (AI) has in the current state of affairs and what is a predictable future for music using AI.

friday, december 15, 04:00pm

Creating digital musical instruments with Bela and Trill, by Andrew McPherson

In this workshop we will build simple yet richly interactive musical instruments using Bela, an embedded hardware platform for creating ultra-low-latency audio systems, and Trill, easy-to-use capacitive touch sensing for makers. We will use vibration sensors to drive digital resonator models, creating instruments that can be retuned on the fly and respond to the subtle nuance of the performer’s actions.

saturday, december 16, 03:00pm

Designing and manipulating sound objects in live electronic music performance, by Svetlana Maraš

The workshop is focused on the subjects of musical form and structure in live electronic music performance, as a result of a specific approach to designing the interaction between MIDI controllers and a computer based setup. Framework for dealing with this topic is a solo performance, where a single musician is in control of various sound parameters that shape the overall mix and dramaturgy over the duration of 30 – 45 minutes. Stemming from an instrumental, improvisatory approach to playing live electronic music, we explore how performative qualities are enhanced with bringing in the playfulness into setup configuration, but as well how to organize the playing materials in a non-linear way by composing sound objects that can be flexibly manipulated in real-time.


friday, december 15, 06:00pm

Community Concert and Pre-concert talk – Os Sonhadores (Somos Nós)

Os Sonhadores (Somos Nós) is a community concert, created by Digitópia and Associação Somos Nós, an association composed by young adults with specific needs and their caretakers. In this concert we will use new instruments and technologies, including the universal instruments developed by Digitópia.


António José Gonçalves

Bárbara Lopes

Catarina Osswald

Francisca Silva

Gonçalo Durães

Jorge Begonha

Miguel Costa

Luís Abrunhosa

Marco Silva

Maria Lopes

Maria Teresa Reis

Pedro Manuel Fontes


Marta Oliveira

Miguel Fleming


Filipe Fernandes Percussion, Electronics, and Guitar

Óscar Rodrigues Artistic Direction, Electronics and Guitar

Ricardo Vieira Keyboards and Electronics

Tiago Oliveira Artistic Direction, Voice and Electric Bass

saturday, december 16, 11:30am

Acousmatic Concert and Pre-Concert Talk – IR:IS (Inner Reality: Imaginary Soundscapes), by Projecto DME

An immersive acousmatic concert, by our partners from Projecto DME, using a dome with 16 speakers placed all around the room. It includes pieces by Jaime Reis, Annette Vande Gorne, and Hans Tutschku, and a pre-concert talk by Jaime Reis, explaining the use of the dome system and his compositional approach.


Jaime Reis Magistri Mei – Bruckner (2020) – 7′

Annette Vande Gorne Vox Alia 2: Cathédrales (2021) – 11′

Hans Tutschku Alte Freunde (2021) – 15′

Jaime Reis Fluxus, pas trop haut dans le ciel (2017) – 9′

Jaime Reis artistic direction and system operation

Projecto DME Co-production

saturday, december 16, 06:00pm

Blue Silence and Empty Spaces – Remix Soloists with Electronics (works by Luigi Nono, Kaija Saariaho, Hugo Vasco Reis e David Teixeira da Silva)

The final concert for PEMS 2023 includes essential pieces from the mixed music (for acoustic instruments and electronics) repertory, as well as new pieces by Portuguese composers, one of which is a world premiere. In the pre-concert talk/round table with the composers, we will discuss their compositional approach, as well as the need for preservation in digital art, to avoid obsolescence. One of the ways we can ensure these pieces are well preserved using today’s technology is to play them.


Kaija Saariaho NoaNoa (1992), for Flute and Live Electronics – 10′

Hugo Vasco Reis Dimensios I (2020), for Clarinet and Electronics – 8′

David Teixeira da Silva Na Eventual Contenda de Espaço (2023), for Contrabass Flute, Bass Clarinet and Live Electronics – 8′

Luigi Nono A Pierre. Dell’azzurro Silenzio. Inquietum (1985), for Contrabass Flute, Contrabass Clarinet and Live Electronics – 10′

Óscar Rodrigues Live Electronics

Stephanie Wagner Flute

Victor Pereira Clarinet