Italian composer born 14 February 1960 in Sondalo.
Pierluigi Billone was born in Italy in 1960. He studied guitar, chamber music, and composition in Milan and in Siena, and was the student of Salvatore Sciarrino at the Città di Castello. He then traveled to Germany, where he lived from 1991 to 2000, devoting himself to composition; while living in Stuttgart, he studied with Helmut Lachenmann. He received numerous fellowships – Akademie Schloss Solitude, Fondation Heinrich Strobel, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Kunststiftung Baden/Wurttemberg – and multiple composition prizes – the Kompositionspreis from the city of Stuttgart in 1993, the Busoni-Kompositionspreis (Academy of Arts Berlin 1996), the Wiener Internationaler Kompositionspreis (Vienna 2004), the Ernst-Krenek-Preis (Vienna 2006), and the Kompositionspreis of the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikstiftung (Munich 2010).
Following in the footsteps of his two main teachers, Sciarrino and Lachenmann, Billone focuses on the nature of sound. He draws additional inspiration from free jazz and non-European music for his research on sound matter. After returning to Italy briefly in 2000, he moved to Vienna. There, his music has been played by renowned performers, such as the Klangforum Wien. His compositions have been broadcast on German and Austrian radio, and are regularly featured in international festivals such as Donaueschingen – PA (2005), Phonogliphi (2011) – Witten – TA (2005) – and Wien Modern. Ars Musica Brussels and the Paris Festival d’Automne have also featured major productions of his work, notably the 2010 premiere of Kosmoi.Fragmente at the Festival d’Automne.
Billone was a guest professor of composition at the University of Graz, Austria from 2006-2008, and again from 2010-2012. He is a regularly invited teacher and lecturer (IEMA-Ensemble Modern Akademie, Frankfurt; Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris; Conservatorium Amsterdam; Musikuniversität Wien; Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, Lugano; Harvard University; and Columbia University).
In his search for new instrumental techniques and an ever-broader palette of sonic possibilities, Billone plays the instruments for which he composes and works closely with performers, including Emilio Pomàrico, basoonist Lorelei Dowling, percussionists Christian Dierstein and Adam Weisman, violist Barbara Maurer, and vocalists Frank Wörner and Alda Caiello. He devotes a great deal of his work to low voice and instruments such as the double bass (UTU AN.KI LU, 1996), low voice (ME A AN, 1994), bass clarinette, (1+1=1 for two bass clarinets, 2006), and the bassoon, for which he wrote five solo pieces in 2003-2004 (the Legno. Edre cycle) and the more recent Blaues Fragment (2010), as well as ensemble pieces such as Legno.Stele (2004), with two solo bassoons, or Phonogliphi (2011). He pushes to the furthest reaches of the possible with his research, particularly in the pieces he has written for extremely simple instruments such as the spring drum – Mani.Mono, 2007) - or glass and automobile springs - Mani.De Leonardis (2004) - or dobachi (Japanese temple bells) - Mani.Gonxha (2011). This last piece is part of a series titled Mani…, wherein the hand is an extension and even a part of the instrument itself: Mani.Giacometti for string trio (2000), Mani.Long, a commission from the Klangforum Wien for ensemble (2001), Mani.Matta (2008), and Mani.Δίκη (2011) for percussion.
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2019
- Site de Pierluigi Billone (voir ressources documentaires) ;
- Laurent Feneyrou, Festival d’automne à Paris, 2010.
By Laurent Feneyrou
In the early 1980s, Pierluigi Billone studied with Salvatore Sciarrino, who taught him that technique cannot be imposed from the outside; it is built from the ground up, as if the person using it were its inventor – had discovered it, even, and were using it for the first time, and not without a certain sense of surprise. Later, with Helmut Lachenmann, Billone explored musical language and its structures, upending traditional models. “Today, as never before, listening has become controlled by the powers that be, standardized and set in its ways. So much so that any composer intending to fight their way out of this snare and free listening from its clutches must inevitably move into other areas which I would emphatically describe as ‘non-music’. Because it is only by starting afresh from those areas that the concept of music can be redefined and only in those areas can listeners breathe freely once more”, Lachenmann wrote of his student1. This notion of “non-music” (as opposed to “a-musicality”) describes the deconstruction of doing, revealing its energetic conditions in order to free up another form of expressiveness and to allow another form of beauty to emerge. What Billone also carried away from his work with Lachenmann was a certain pathos, for music does not aim for structural neutrality; rather, it tends toward a feeling capable of transforming the one composing it, along with those performing and listening to it. Moreover, with Lachenmann, Billone discovered how each vibration becomes a hub of relationships, knotting together connections from which the vibration resonates, creating its bulk and breadth. It is from there that sounds, timbres, and complex forms emerge, woven together – to cite a favorite example of Billone’s – as in the multiphonics of a bassoon, whose sounds, their weight, and their different roles are difficult to untangle from one another.
In this way, Billone learned from his teachers to pay careful attention to sounds: to their tiniest quivers, to their excessive distortions, to the silence that hollows them out, to their energy. But these powerful mentors run the risk of obscuring our understanding of the originality of Pierluigi Billone’s own music. It is just as important to note the ways in which Billone was self-taught, following pathways off the beaten track of our modernity to repertoires that include the solo and ritual music of non-European cultures, free jazz, classic rock, songs, and much more.
His work is best introduced as four phases of a journey, explored through four key words.
The first phase in this journey is openness, not in the sense of indeterminacy or open forms inspired by the work of Mallarmé or Joyce, but rather as a principle applied to the apprehension of sound, to listening, to composition. The external manifestations of this principle are numerous:
Open ambitus: Billone makes liberal use of the timbres of instruments such as the bassoon or the bass clarinet, which are found in many of his scores: the bassoon, for example, in five solo works (Legno), composed in 2003-2004, and in a work for bassoon and ensemble (Legno.Stele, 2004), or the two bass clarinets in 1+1=1 (2006). An instrument with a high register would deprive the composer of low tones, while the inverse is not exactly true, as both the bassoon and the bass clarinet can play higher notes. While high and low are scholastic terms which can hardly encompass Billone’s instrumentation, these notions nevertheless do underpin his work, whose touchstone is singing; specifically, a male voice with a wide range. In music as attentive as his is to sound, the harmonics of the bassoon or the bass clarinet suggest not only intense color in the low pitches, but also unstable high ones – whose instability is a defining trait of the aliveness needed for composition. In hisNote of 2001-20032, Billone writes:
Thought that opens itself to instability
and forges instruments
Furthermore, in the same text:
emerging from a temporary link,
an unsuitable distance,
born of opaque reference points,
thus always sparking instability.
Remaining in the openness of the ambitus, low pitches, far more than high ones, make possible the complex fusion of timbres, associations of two instruments that create the illusion of a third, unexpected one, as in 1+1=1. The title is a reference to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia. Domenico, one of the main characters in the film, writes this metaphysical-seeming equation on the wall of his home; it is an expression of the addition of one drop of water to another, which creates another single drop. This becomes the foundation of Billone’s work, in which the two bass clarinets create a whole, total sound. Very likely, it also, more secretly, sketches out the unity or communion that is always at work in Billone’s compositions.
Open instrumentarium– notably the percussion, which ranges from a Chinese opera gong in Mani.Matta (2008) to Tibetan bowls in Mani.Gonxha (2012) to car springs and glass in Mani.De Leonardis (2004) – as well asopen performance techniques: any ensemble, including an orchestra, is a living body, in which the characteristic layout of the instruments establishes a web of relations, interactions, and hierarchies, which determines a writing of sounds that cannot be dissociated from the understanding of sounds it presupposes, and which ought to be called into question. Phonogliphi (2011), for voice, bassoon, and orchestra, illustrates this idea. With no theoretical limit, Billone, on his own or with the help of instrumentalists, improvises and experiments with performance techniques, movements, transformations, systematically exploring new techniques. In this way he leaves the instrument’s history temporarily hanging, turning it away, just for a moment, from the intentions of its storied trajectory. “All musical instruments are perfected by incorporating a legacy of sensibilities and bodily capabilities into their characteristics, in terms of the material, the sound design, and the culture of music making and listening. From its first contact with the instrument, the body is therefore already conditioned, but remains open. While the instrument’s overall characteristics remain unchanged, the practice is like a sensitive organism. The instrument begins to exist in a different way, to be thought of from other perspectives; thus, a current of experiences is formed that modify the possibilities, creating truly different dimensions (sonic, rhythmic, bodily, etc.),” Billone wrote. He understood his work with the instrument as an archaeologist (first as a vibrating body, before any repertoire is built), bringing sound – including traditional sound – back to an origin point.
Open duration: “A sound lasts for the time necessary for its existence (whatever it may be) and to the interplay of its relations,” Billone declared. A movement of continuous expansion, in search of a deep, ample breath, between birth and death, starts the listener on a slow path that immerses them in a universe that tends toward the attenuation of all traces, if not toward emptiness, which in turn opens up a dimension that is spiritual, ritual, even religious, in the etymological sense of the Latinreligiare – of ties that bind.
But more than these external elements, openness is what the composition itself seeks. In a text titled, “The unknown that observes us,” Billone wrote, “Composition in the highest sense of that term can be understood as a duty of human engagement that one undertakes of one’s own free will. […] This human duty is one of keeping and maintaining a state of mind. More precisely: an attention to the closest Unknown that is watching us. […] The closest Unknown that is watching us is the sphere of experience through which we are in contact and which calls to us, yet remains in the background of our immediate interests, waiting to be assimilated, not yet ripe as a question.” Composing is preserving the delicate and decisive moment of opening – the opening of music itself, which is never presupposed, but always redefined – to silence the doing in order to give room to breathe to what arises, and to what is delayed or having trouble emerging. Or, as Billone wrote in his Note from 2001-2003: “The question is not to commence and to continue / but to be born to music.
The second term we will explore here is universe – or kosmoi, as it is called in ancient Greek in two titles of works by Billone: Bocca.Kosmoi (2007), for voice, trombone, and orchestra, and Kosmoi.Fragmente (2008), for voice and seven instruments. Through presence to oneself, to others, and to the world, music creates sound universes, and each work is a unique expression of those universes, which, as Lachenmann recalls in the booklet for the CD, implies the highest degree of existential courage, a lack of compromise, “a visionary-like obsession”.
At the very core of the artist, in his innermost self, the work is made: “[A need] makes everything around us / into a constellation of the self,” Billone wrote in his Note for 1995-2001. It is only then that music can give itself over to welcoming others and the world. Here, it is highly germane to introduce the idea of an “ecology of sound.” In Mani.Mono (2007), for spring drum3, Mono is not a reference to the way sound resonates in space; rather, it is the name of an ancient lake, a sacred place to certain Native American peoples, which is located 2000 meters above sea level in the Sierra Nevada – an ecosystem in which migrating birds come for nourishment, the source from which the work flows. A musician of the landscape and of the horizon, Billone brings remoteness and distance to life. This distance, neither mathematical, nor geometric, nor physical, nor logical, nor even biological, is an original phenomenon, “connecting”, as the composer wrote of KRAAN KE.AN (1991), for three voices and ten instruments: each one of us exists in the world, at the center of a landscape, all around us, which we inhabit with our eyes on the horizon. Distance is thus neither constant nor unique, and the same is true, for example, in the world of pitch, where the specific interval between a G and an A constantly demands to be reconsidered. The keenness of Billone’s ear is a listening that is not so much analytical, critical, or theoretical as it is an experience that is felt or sensed, not so much at the level of discernment as at the level of impression, in which space has not been separated into distinct forms of perception. Or, as Billone wrote in his Note for 2007-2009:
…this peculiar and astounding sense of Space
in which the visual, the sonorous, the spatial…
are not yet themselves,
not yet distinct and separated
by attention hardened and disoriented by naming.
This is why it is possible to employ terms such as transparency and opacity, hidden and manifest, full and empty, to describe states of sound. The composer’s task is to open up a space that is adapted to the sound living in it and to avoid one being constrained or reduced by the other.
This helps explain Billone’s affection for Alberto Giacometti, Federico De Leonardis, and Gordon Matta-Clark, for whom he has written pieces as tributes to these creators, who one cannot simply call “visual” artists: Mani.Giacometti (2000), for violin, viola, and cello; Mani.De Leonardis (2004) and Mani.Matta (2008), for percussion. For Giacometti, silhouettes, designating a place in which movement delineates itself; for De Leonardis, the vestiges of the corroded or silted-over materials of our industrial civilization, taken from abandoned spaces, the rubble in which only a fragile spark of life remains; for Matta-Clark, massive holes and splits in the ruined hulks of houses and buildings, opening up new perspectives. Additionally, there is Mani.Long (2001), for ensemble, which echoes A Line in Bolivia or A Circle in Scotland, works for which Richard Long walked and moved stones – nature is his subject, but not as it was for our Elders: in situ, in the element itself. Walking, traces left by feet moving over the ground and a path leading nowhere create “land art”, while stones bear witness to measurement, distance, a length of time spent, a sculptural geography, by the simple fact of their permanence. Billone’s walking is part of a cultural history that stretches from ancient pilgrims to the wandering poets of Japan, the English Romantics, and even modern hikers. We are there as people walking, but our feet touch ground that is moving, too. “Walking in sound, where do you arrive when you get beyond silence? – In ritual.” That is the enigma of Mani.Long, which Billone ultimately allows to murmur along, seeking connection – poetic, visual, and sonic – with the artist.
Let us recall, here, that most of Billone’s compositions are built around an enigma, on what he calls a “guiding question.” More decisive than any structure, it orients all of his work while remaining open, as any authentic question will, even as it is answered. A few examples, described by the composer himself: “How does emptiness operate in movement? – It deviates it” (Mani.Matta). “How is a movement’s energy conserved in a string? – It vibrates” (Muri III b, 2010, for string quartet).
Three points integral to the idea of the universe must be discussed:
Sound, in its primary form, is the composer’s material, the dimension through which he encounters the world. It is nevertheless important to be specific about the nature of that sound. For, according to Billone, sound cannot be reduced to acoustical terms, whose models, mechanics, and scientific categories with their own laws (envelope, attack, harmonics, etc.) miss many other crucial distinctions – sounds that are foreign, forbidden, sacred, open… as well as noise – all of these distinctions articulate other strata whose roots are intrinsically cultural. In other words, a vibration is not necessarily a sound – more is needed. Moreover, sound, defined by a constellation of moving properties, always exists in relation to something else: it is not an object, but a presence, an open and living relationship, a rhythm in the broadest sense of that word. In a lecture he gave at Harvard University in 2000, Billone underlined the fact that many distinctions in our musical tradition only have meaning from within the understanding of the sound for which they are operative.
Composition relies on exploration and on a “Way of Sorrows” whose stations unfurl as an archipelago, a variegated galaxy of apparitions, building a space that others can then inhabit or explore. A “writing.path”, Scrittura.Cammino (1998), in the words of the knotted title of a work for thirty-six voices and five instruments. (By now the reader will perhaps have noted that Billone’s titles almost always link two words together, tying them down with a period that unites them by setting them apart, and vice-versa.) In these hitherto untrodden landscapes, the path no longer unfurls, it is traced out by our walking. Or, as Billone explains in his Note for 2007-2009: “Mapping out the path is nearly impossible. / The direction of the path follows the steps taken / and only then is shown”.
Form – or what Billone calls conformazione (translating from the German Gestaltung) – is the result of changing states; in other words, of concentrations, liberations, and transformations of sound energies, and, at a higher level, of the relationships among these energies. These energies, whose balance is shifted by every appearance, assume a constitutive instability, in which stability is only a temporary suspension, a manifestation of its latency. In a text titled Instabilità fondamentale (Fundamental instability) Billone writes:
Any oscillation of energy
- signals a transformation that has already occurred or that is possible
- signals possible links with other presences
- signals the proximity of other presences
- signals a possible and not-yet-manifest “dis-homogeneity”
The composer scrutinizes lines of force and trends, then calls forth other lines of force and other trends, other presences, inferred, secondary, or transitory, most often interacting with the dominant presence, and which sketch out other constellations.
Musical composition depends on touch, which is our third term. For Billone, this touch, this initial auscultation, ignorant of stability, of articulation, of mechanical reproduction and the variation in what it produces, opens up a space: “Herein is the higher meaning of instrumental experimentation,” he adds, in his Note for 2001-2003. The hand’s contact with the instrument is an immediate form of knowing, the mode of a sensitive aesthetic hovering between sensation and sentiment. Another experience familiar to all of us occurs here: in touch, our bodies are embodied – or, rather, the “object” and the body itself are mutually constituted tactilely. Touching things, we touch ourselves against them. The contact of self to “object” is a contact of self with self.
Touch denotes hands: Billone composed many scores with the word mani in the title: Mani.Giacometti, Mani.Long, Mani.De Leonardis, Mani.Mono, Mani.Matta, Mani.Gonxha, which have already been discussed, as well as Mani.Stereos (2008) for accordion, that “giant lung” held against the body of the performer, and Mani.Δίκη (2012) for percussion. Obviously, hands play a central role in these titles – in concrete terms for the percussion instruments, which are struck by the performer’s fingers, palms, and knuckles as often as they are with drumsticks and mallets made of rigorously specified materials. Everything therein designates a toccata. Billone is a musician of the manual emergence of sound. The hand is the place through which we touch the world, at a level that precedes consciousness and a depth that consciousness can only, Billone believes, disturb, distort, or remodel (at a more superficial level) and that theory can arrive at only with difficulty.
Billone is also attentive to the practice of different crafts – iron, wood, glass, textiles, etc. – in which hand movements are even more organically integrated into the process of making than in music. He describes “manual intelligence” (we might draw a parallel with feet in learning to walk), hands that are not neutral tools controlled by our thoughts. This he opposes to the Word, which, in the West, distances, creates hierarchies, categorizes… the Word makes us blind and deaf: what surrounds us only becomes real if it can be encompassed in saying – if not, it sinks into form without essence, which, sooner or later, disappears. The Word thus excludes anything it cannot say, and introduces discursive or intellectual consciousness, constructions, systems, logical deductions into music, which manifest themselves in the making and in the listening, and are made up of signs “with no beyond,” which Billone deems “stillborn.”
…competent, cultivated listening
– conditioned by learning –
does not go beyond recognition or exclusion.
Billone joins this to an interpretation of the Japanese word for “language,” kotoba, which is language in which words do not reduce things, but rather bear witness to a kind of focus, a connection founded in the vibrating silence that precedes the word. Knowledge, feeling, for him, are to be found in the hand.
reveal themselves to the body only when it absorbs their rhythm and learns their law.
Writing first, inaccessible to the unknowing hand.
Knowledge through contact. Cognizance… co-gnoscere…co-knowing.
What is not a sign: the measure of their opening,
the emptiness through which the vibrations flit,
the rudimental perfection of each gesture,
the unimaginable contact with their counterpart,
the arrangement into unthinkable interactions.
Let us return then to Mani.De Leonardis: through the hand moving the automobile springs, the vibration travels through the arm and thus through the entire body, moving energy through a closed circuit in which it is often impossible to distinguish the initial source. The sound opens up and inscribes the body of the instrumentalist, and vice-versa; the instrument is not a medium, but rather a place in which a presence appears. “I resonate, too, and, in practical terms, I am playing myself”, Billone concludes. Or, more generally, in reference to TA (2005) for ensemble: “Encountering the music, I hear-see-participate-mouth-hand-body-thought wholly, I harmonize myself (or not) with what happens in my presence”. This implies an archaic dimension that in some ways recalls the basic instincts of survival – the animal perception of sound as signaling danger. One listens to such music with the entire body: sounds may strike our eardrums, but we listen with our entire selves, not just with our ears.
One question emerges, however, of how to write what the hand does, which is addressed obliquely in Note for 2001-2003. This renewed writing creates a whole from the “hand-that-listens” and the “hand-that-writes,” one that cannot be reduced to the interplay of relations and distinctions among signs, but rather extends a sound and its connections, each resonating from whence it emerged, from its handling.
The last term of our journey through Billone’s work is phonè, which in Ancient Greek means voice, the sound of the voice, the ability to speak, shouting, articulated sound, animal voices, the sound of instruments, all noises in nature, the sea, the rain, leaves rustling in trees, beyond words, language, or verbal expression. In Kosmoi.Fragmente, the soprano has no text, and sings in a place preceding articulated discourse. The work focuses on the mouth’s rhythms and inflections, preceding the orders of communication, which Billone keeps resolutely foreign to his music. The voice thus never reaches the phase of logos, of speech, of what is said, of daily or philosophical discussion, of reason, except during a central litany. We pause here to recall a biographical note: Billone lived in countries whose languages he did not speak, which shifted his attention elsewhere, to their phonetic qualities, which he transformed through composition. True, the tie to community is severed at first, but it returns in a different way – even creates a new and broader community. Does this manifest a certain mistrust of overly immediate meaning, which would predetermine the way we listen? Billone is uninterested in the voice as a vehicle for literature, text, poetry, or libretto, even as he cites an Orphic Hymn in his explanation of the title Δίκη Wall (2012), or quotes Emily Dickinson in his notes for Quattro Alberi (2011): Four trees – upon a solitary Acre – / Without Design / Or Order, or Apparent Action – / Maintain – / […] / What Deed is Theirs Unto the General Nature – / What Plan / They severally – retard – or further – / Unknown – 4”.
And so the distinct characters of song and text are bound together differently. It is not the text that calls forth the song, but the song that makes possible the text, that is the condition of its possibility. Text would limit the voice, would impose its rhythms, its breath, its phrasing, its vowels, its consonants, its syllables, even its meaning, when other phonations are possible. What stirs Billone is the voice as one of the sonic sources of the work, as one of the instruments. The emergence of a text may occur, but it is just one possibility among others – as is true for traditional performance techniques, one might add. Words, most often indecipherable, are only what brushes close to the surface, over the ruins of a source that has been forgotten, but lies dormant. One understands why, in ME A AN (1994), for voice and ensemble, Billone chose Sumerian, as the language of a primal, original stage of civilization, when humans, as he put it, were beginning to explore their vocal possibilities. An archaeology of the voice, in some ways, and one final opening.
- Helmut Lachenmann, text on Pierluigi Billone written for the Wiener Internationaler Kompositionspreis in 2004 (Claudio Abbado, artistic director), reprinted in the CD Pierluigi Billone, ME A AN – ITI KE MI, Stradivarius, ensemble recherche series, STR 337-16 (2005), English translation p. 11.
- All quotes from Pierluigi Billone cited herein were found by the author on the composer’s website and translated into French; these French translations and the original Italian were used for the English translations: http://www.pierluigibillone.com/en/home (link verified 4 January 2022).
- A spring drum is a cylindrical percussion instrument with a spring that runs through the head that creates storm-like sounds. In this work, Billone places it over a metal plate.
- Emily Dickinson, Poem N. 742 (1863) (available here: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Four_Trees_%E2%80%94_upon_a_solitary_Acre_%E2%80%94, link verified 18 January 2022).
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2013
- Solo (excluding voice)
- ITI KE MI for viola (1995), 33 mn, édition du compositeur
- UTU AN.KI LU for double bass (1996), 35 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre I.Me for bassoon (2003), 15 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre II.Edre for bassoon (2003), 14 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre III.Ini for bassoon (2003), 18 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre IV.Manda for bassoon (2003), 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Studi da concerto for bassoon (2003), 40 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre V.Metrio for bassoon (2004), 24 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.De Leonardis for four automotive springs and glass (2004), 16 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Mono for springdrum (2007), 22 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Matta for percussion (2008), 18 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Stereos for accordion (2008), 22 mn, édition du compositeur
- Blaues Fragment for bassoon (2010), 8 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Gonxha for two dobaci (2011), 12 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Gonxha for percussion (2012), 17 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Δίκη for percussion (2012), 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- Sgorgo Y for electric guitar (2012), 21 mn, édition du compositeur
- Sgorgo N for electric guitar (2013), 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Sgorgo oO for electric guitar (2013), 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Staglio for bass flute (2013), 15 mn, édition du compositeur
- Equilibrio. Cerchio for violin (2014), 26 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec ircam Staglio II E for bass flute and live electronics (2018), 20 mn [program note]
- Chamber music
- Mani.Giacometti for string trio (2000), 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- 1+1=1 for two bass clarinets (2006), 1 h 12 mn, édition du compositeur
- Muri III b for string quartet (2010), 26 mn, édition du compositeur
- OM. ON for two electric guitars (2015), 1 h 14 mn, édition du compositeur
- 2 Alberi for alto saxophone and percussion (2017), 32 mn
- Instrumental ensemble music
- elec AN NA for ensemble (1992, 1994), 13 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Long for set (2001), 50 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Intile study for ensemble (2002), 17 mn, édition du compositeur
- TA Un Lied di meno , for ensemble (2005), 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Verticale Muto for set (2009), 24 mn, édition du compositeur
- Ebe und anders for seven instruments (2014), 22 mn, édition du compositeur
- Concert music
- elec Scrittura.Presenza for electric guitar, pipes and orchestra (1999), 27 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Stele in memoriam R.C. , for two bassoons and ensemble (2004), 35 mn, édition du compositeur
- PA Omaggio a Evan Parker , for oboe and five instrumentalists (2005), 28 mn, édition du compositeur
- Δίκη Wall for percussion and ensemble (2012), 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Vocal music and instrument(s)
- elec A.AN for voices and ensemble (1989), 12 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec APSU for voices and ensemble (1990), 6 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec KRAAN KE.AN for three voices and ten instruments (1991), 28 mn, édition du compositeur
- ME A AN for voice and ensemble (1994), 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- Scrittura.Cammino for thirty-six voices and five instruments (1998), 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- Bocca.Kosmoi for voice, trombone and orchestra (2007), 28 mn, édition du compositeur
- Kosmoi.Fragmente for voice and seven instrumentalists (2008), 16 mn, édition du compositeur
- Due Frammenti for voice and accordion (2009), 10 mn, édition du compositeur
- Phonogliphi for voice, bassoon and orchestra (2011), édition du compositeur
- Quattro Alberi for voice, bassoon, accordion and percussion (2011), 16 mn, édition du compositeur
- Face for female voice and ensemble (2016), 60 mn
- Ouranos for two female voices and six instruments (2018), 60 mn
- A cappella vocal music
- Ke.An-Cerchio for deep voice (1995, 2003), 15 mn, édition du compositeur
- 2 Alberi for alto saxophone and percussion, 32 mn
- Face for female voice and ensemble, 60 mn
- OM. ON for two electric guitars, 1 h 14 mn, édition du compositeur
- 1+1=1 for two bass clarinets, 1 h 12 mn, édition du compositeur
- Ke.An-Cerchio for deep voice, 15 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre I.Me for bassoon, 15 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre II.Edre for bassoon, 14 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre III.Ini for bassoon, 18 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Edre IV.Manda for bassoon, 20 mn, édition du compositeur
- Studi da concerto for bassoon, 40 mn, édition du compositeur
- Legno.Intile study for ensemble, 17 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Long for set, 50 mn, édition du compositeur
- Mani.Giacometti for string trio, 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec Scrittura.Presenza for electric guitar, pipes and orchestra, 27 mn, édition du compositeur
- Scrittura.Cammino for thirty-six voices and five instruments, 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- UTU AN.KI LU for double bass, 35 mn, édition du compositeur
- ITI KE MI for viola, 33 mn, édition du compositeur
- ME A AN for voice and ensemble, 30 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec AN NA for ensemble, 13 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec KRAAN KE.AN for three voices and ten instruments, 28 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec APSU for voices and ensemble, 6 mn, édition du compositeur
- elec A.AN for voices and ensemble, 12 mn, édition du compositeur
- Site personnel de Pierluigi Billone, http://www.pierluigibillone.com (lien vérifié en janvier 2019).
- Pierluigi BILLONE, TI KE MI ; Equilibrio. Cerchio, Marco Fusi, violon et alto, 1 cd Kairos, 2017, 0015019KAI.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Mani.De Leonardis ; Mani.Mono ; Mani.Matta ; Mani.Gonxha ; Mani.Δίκη, Tom De Cock, percussion, 1 cd Sub Rosa, 2017.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Sgorgo Y ; Sgorgo N ; Sgorgo oO, Yaron Deutsch, guitare électrique, 1 cd Kairos, 2016, 0015016KAI.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Blaues Fragment, Lorelei Dowling, basson, dans « I was like wow », 1cd Chromart Classics, 2016, TXA16081.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Muri III b, Arditti String Quartet, dans « Darmstadt Aural Documents », 1 cd Neos, 2016, 11232.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Verticale muto, Klangforum Wien, dans « ?VORWÄRTS | RÜCKWÄRTS? », 1 cd Kairos, 2014, 0013201KAI.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, ani.De Leonardis ; Mani.Mono ; Mani.Matta, Adam Weisman : percussion, dans « Mani. Percussion Solos »,1 cd Ein Klang, 2010, ekr 044.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Bocca. Kosmoi, dans « Wien Modern - Composers Gallery », avec des œuvres de Luciano Berio, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Luigi Nono, György Ligeti, Fausto Romitelli, Enno Poppe, David Lang, Marco Stroppa, Giacinto Scelsi, György Kurtág et Olga Neuwirth, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Claudio Abbado et Wolfgang Mitterer, direction, Orchestre symphonique de la Radio de Vienne et Orchestre symphonque de Vienne, Soundforum Vienne, 1 cd Col Legno, 2009, 20282.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Legno.Edre II.Edre, dans « Più », avec des œuvres de Sascha Janko Dr agicevic, Enno Poppe et Franck Bedrossian, Johannes Schwarz : basson, Ensemble Modern, 1 sacd EM Media, 2009, EMSACD-002.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, ME.A.AN, dans « From Needle’s Eye », avec des œuvres de Marco Stroppa et Junghae Lee, Johannes Schwarz : Basson, 1 cd United Pheonix Records, 2008, B001W50CJG.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, 1+1=1, Petra Stump et Heinz-Peter Linshalm : clarinettes, 1 cd Kairos, 2006, 0012602KAI.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Mani.De Leonardis, dans « Donaueschinger Musiktage 2004 », avec des œuvres de Andreas Dohmen, Rebecca Saunders et Michel van der Aa, Christian Dierstein : percussion, 1 cd Col Legno, 2006, WWE 20245.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Me A An ; Iti Ke Mi, Barbara Maurer : alto, Ensemble Rercherche, 1 cd Stradivarius, 2005, STR 33716.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, TA, dans « Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2005 », Klangforum Wien, direction : Johannes Kalitzke, avec des œuvres d’Ivan Fedele, Hugues Dufourt, Bernhard Lang, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Georg Friedrich Haas, Mark Andre, Manos Tsangaris, Jonathan Harvey et Vykintas Baltakas, 2 cds WD 2005.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Mani.Long, 1 cd Durian Records, 2003, 019-2.
- Pierluigi BILLONE, Mani.Giacometti, dans « Donaueschinger Musiktage 2000 », avec des œuvres de Peter Ablinger, Mark André, Peter Ruzicka, Olga Neuwirth, Vinko Globokar, Vinko, Andreas Dohmen, Chris Newman, Martin Smolka, Stefano Gervasoni, Manos Tsangaris, 4 cd Col Legno, 2002, WWE 2020.