Cannot Not


Tom Pauwels and Mark Knoop
Tom Pauwels and Mark Knoop


Electric Dreams A historic opera 2015 70 minutes
Commissioned by The 6th Johann-Joseph-Fux Competition for Opera
Soloists: 2 sopranos, mezzo soprano, tenor, bass, actor and French horn.
Ensemble: flute, saxophone, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, 2 keyboardists (synthesizers and sampler), midi drum kit, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass.

Vocal music

Songs about words and about the pleasure of misery 2012 20 minutes Five songs for soprano and piano For Juliet Fraser and Mark Knoop
Commissioned by The Britten-Pears Foundation
  1. Sad Lyric Happy Music
  2. Symptoms of Depression
  3. Misery Thesaurus
  4. He, She and Doxy
  5. Woman Waits, Seething, Blooming
Instrumental Music 2011 25 minutes For eight voices
Commissioned by EXAUDI
  1. Micro Hetero Poly
  2. Power Chord
  3. Drum Vocabulary
  4. Arpeggio Interlude After Fugazi
  5. Scat Pack
You Close Your Eyes Again 2004 15 minutes For female voice, clarinet, electric guitar, percussion & piano.

Performance pieces

Lecture About Sad Music and Happy Dance 2017 1 hour For violinist and dancer In collaboration with Shila Anaraki and Aisha Orazbayeva
Lecture about Listening to Music 2017 32 minutes For lecturer, soprano/tenor saxophone and synthesiser/samples
Lecture about Bad Music 2015 40 minutes For lecturer, clarinet, electric guitar, synthesiser and violin
Commissioned by Ultima Festival
A to Zzz 2011 1 hour For four performers with light design Collaboration with Shila Anaraki
When is a Door Not a Door? 2008 20 minutes For 4 performers.
Letter Pieces 2007+ Open-score pieces for performer (e.g. dancer, live-artist, actor) and musician (vocal or any instrument). Read more about Letter Pieces and see more performances at the Letter Pieces blog page.


Glücklich Glücklich Freude Freude 2019 20 minutes For keyboards and orchestra
Commissioned by Donaueschinger Musiktage
Music and Actions for strings, keyboard and conductor 2015 11 minutes For conductor, keyboard and string orchestra
Commissioned by Nederlands Strijkers Gilde
Listening Styles 2013 15 minutes For orchestra with drum kit
Commissioned by The Adelaide Festival

7+ players

Popular Contexts, Volume 3: The Music of Theatre Making 2011 40 minutes For conductor, flute, oboe, bass clarinet, drum-kit (with glockenspiel), guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, cello, double bass and sampler keyboard
Commissioned by Nieuw Ensemble
  1. Pentatone Alphabet March
  2. The Beautiful Game
  3. Weird Tour Guide
  4. Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
  5. Kitchen interlude
  6. Five Monuments for Our TIme
Avant Muzak 2010 16 minutes For flute, soprano saxophone, drum kit, electric guitar, harp, violin, cello and sampler (also arranged for soprano saxophone, clarinet, drum kit, electric organ and sampler, violin, cello and double bass)
Commissioned by Centre Henri Pousseur for Ensemble bESIdES
  1. Slow, quite slow, quite fast and fast; with footsteps
  2. Starting and stopping; with girl poem
  3. Loud and Soft; with construction
  4. Scanning
  5. Cultural Location
Joy Time Ride for Ives 2009 16 minutes For flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, drum-kit, electric organ, 2 violins, cello and double bass.
Commissioned by Ives Ensemble
Five Monuments for Our Time 2008 7 minutes For conductor, 8+ instruments, and drum kit For Gijs Kramers

2-6 players

The Last Decade of Human Contribution 2021 14 minutes For clarinet and accordion (with drum machine) For Heather Roche and Eva Zöllner
Grand Epic Fanfare 2020 18 minutes For flute and piano For Manuel Zurria and Stephane Ginsburgh
Weird Audio Guide 2011, arranged 2020 For accordion, synthesiser (with samples) and drum-kit (arrangement of the third movement of Popular Contexts, Volume 3)
Graveyard Slot (with guest appearance) 2019 20 minutes Quartet for alto saxophone, electric guitar, drum kit (with MIDI pads) and synthesiser (with samples) For Ensemble Nikel
Popular Contexts, Volume 10: Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony in context 2016 15 minutes For The Peärls Before Swïne Experience Beethoven cycle
Commissioned by Swedish Arts Council
  1. Beginning, middle, end
  2. Seaside Construction
  3. Situation Comedy
  4. Ode to Joy
Popular Contexts, Volume 7: Public domain music 2014 25 minutes For clarinet, electric guitar, synthesizer and sampler, drum-kit and cello.
Commissioned by asamisimasa
  1. International Transport Chimes Reggae
  2. Jazz in the Park
  3. Canteen Funk
  4. Muzak in the Shopping Mall
The Major Sevenths Medley 2014 13 minutes For 4 electric guitars
Commissioned by TRANSIT Festival for Zwerm
Popular Contexts, Volume 6 2013 23 minutes Trio for vibraphone, drum-kit and sampler keyboard
Commissioned by MaerzMusik, Speak Percussion with support from Julian Burnside
  1. Saxophone Sequences
  2. Basic Bass Patterns
  3. Air Drums
  4. Chromatic Crowds
Logic Rock 2013 7 minutes For guitar and drum kit For Toon Callier and Jeroen Stevens
Commissioned by bESIdES
Popular Contexts, Volume 5: Language command 2013 24 minutes Quartet for speaker, soprano voice, tenor saxophone and synthesizer/sampler
  1. Training
  2. Stalling
  3. Controlling
  4. Directing
  5. Instructing
  6. Stopping
More Logic Rock 2012 (rev. 2015) 16 minutes Duo for midi guitar and drum kit
Commissioned by Drumming Grupo da percussao
Theme Street Parade 2009 18 minutes For string quartet.
Commissioned by BBC for Quatuor Diotima
Earth Breeze Smoke 2008 11 minutes For 2 recorders.
Commissioned by The Bruges Concertgebouw
Fast Medium Swing 2008 10 minutes For solo piano, 3 instruments and sampler.
Line and Length 2007 9 minutes For soprano saxophone, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet & bassoon.
Commissioned by The 2007 Spitalfields Festival for Calefax
Slow Flipping Harmony 2006 8 minutes For any four melodic instruments and one auxiliary player.
Commissioned by The Australia Council for the Arts for Ensemble Offspring
Slow Hand Clap 2006 7 minutes For two percussionists
Free Square Jazz 2005 10 minutes For soprano/tenor recorder, electric guitar, double bass and drum kit.
Commissioned by The Orpheus Institute for Champ D'Action
5 Pieces for Clarinet & Guitar 1998, revised 2002 8 minutes For clarinet and guitar.
Deirdre's Threat 1999-2000 12 minutes For violin and piano.


Explorations in polytonality and other musical wonders 2021 21 minutes For solo piano For Mark Knoop
  1. Parlour Nancarrow
  2. Ternary (homophony at the minor 6th, Hexatonic cycle at the major 6th)
  3. Larghetto with modal mixture
  4. Difference, repetition and hemiola
  5. Interlude
  6. Classic chord progression with Neapolitan, doubled at the minor 2nd
  7. Variations in octaves
Freedom for Notes and Men 2018 22 minutes For speaking accordionist Written for Ghenadie Rotari
Popular Contexts, Volume 8: five soundscapes for a contemporary percussionist 2015 25 For midi pads and assorted acoustic instruments Written for Håkon Stene
Commissioned by The Norwegian Programme for Artistic Research
  1. Drummin’ in the Rain
  2. Comfortably Glock
  3. Session Drummer
  4. Exotic tourism in recorded sound history
  5. Royalty Free
Left, Right, Up, Down, Pogo 2013 7 minutes For solo flute For Manuel Zurria
Popular Contexts, Volume 2 2010 25 minutes For piano, sampler, voice and physical actions (one person) For Stephane Ginsburgh
Commissioned by Centre Henri Pousseur for Stephane Ginsburgh
  1. Weird Uncle
  2. See My Logic
  3. Racing Cars Have Feelings Too
  4. Stand Up for Skateparks
Hi hat and Me 2010 5 minutes For solo percussionist (voice and hi-hat). For Claire Edwardes
Popular Contexts 2010 30 minutes For piano and sampler. For Mark Knoop
  1. Free Sound
  2. Progressive Clock, Alarm Rock
  3. Partial Pastoral Lobotomy
  4. Resonant Coupling
  5. Weird Twin
  6. Discharge
Serious and Sincere Sentiments About Something 1999 8 minutes For guitar. For Geoffrey Morris
Commissioned by The Australia Council for the Arts for Geoffrey Morris

Works with video

A Documentary Saga of the OULIPO 2006-07 22 minutes Video work by Rees Archibald, Andrew Infanti & Matthew Shlomowitz.
Train Travel 2006 20 minutes For clarinet, trombone, percussion, violin, viola & video. Video: Rees Archibald
Six Aspects of the Body in Image and Sound 2004 19 minutes For clarinet, piano, violin, viola, cello and video. Video: Rees Archibald
Commissioned by The Bath International Festival of Music for The Tate Ensemble