PhD in the Arts, Lucia d'Errico

The research project Powers of Divergence – An Experimental Approach to Written Music has explored the possibility to go beyond traditional notions of interpretation and execution in the performance of Western notated art music. In particular, this project has focused on the difference between the score – a system constructed through abstract and mental symbols – and the irreducible materiality of performance – characterised instead by the vibratory, sensuous, and pluridimensional dimensions of sound and gesture.

Starting from this difference, the project has investigated how the gap between the two dimensions is bridged by a series of unspoken rules, conventions, traditions, and vetoes. Moreover, it has proposed a new artistic, creative practice, through which it has built a different system of relating score and performance: the practice of "divergent performances”. A divergent performance still relates to a given score, but it consists of sounds and gestures radically different from those produced in interpretation and execution.

The project has been influenced by (and has in turn generated) reflections that go beyond music, in the belief in the profound productivity of inter-, trans- and extra-disciplinarity. The explored fields include the visual arts, theatre, architecture, semiotics, and post-structural philosophy. 


  • Prof. dr. David Burn (supervisor, KU Leuven)
  • Piet Swerts (co-supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)
  • Dr. Paulo de Assis (co-supervisor, Orpheus Institute)

Research Unit: Music & Drama

Duration: 2014 - 2018