Johann Vacher: Amplified piano / amplified pianist

Doctoral Project
Johann Vacher, PhD in the Arts

The appearance of microphones and loudspeakers allowed composers to explore new musical territories. New pianistic techniques appeared: inner and outer parts of the instrument are investigated with the hand or with

various accessories, while, in turn, properties of these accessories are revealed through their use inside the piano. The pianist becomes an object of study: he is asked to make amplified finger snaps or tongue clicks, he has to speak, to sing or to whistle in a kind of choreographed show.

Live electronics have brought on new steps of amplification, increasing virtuosity, filtering resonance, working on acoustic diffusion. The pianist can then interact and play along with live electronics, expanding the possibilities.

This research will be done from the performers’ perspective, but in collaboration with different composers for experimenting and creating new amplified piano / pianist music.


  • dr. Jeroen D'hoe (supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)

Research Unit: Music & Drama

Duration: 2019-2023