Watch Conductor Enno Poppe Turn His Body Into an Instrument in This Mesmerizing Video

By Anna Pulley

A musician from Ensemble Dal Niente described German composer/conductor Enno Poppe as “having five elbows,” and watching this video, it’s easy to see why.

Here Poppe conducts Alexander Schubert‘s “Point Ones” (2012) with Ensemble Mosaik, a visual and visceral landslide of movement and sound.

“Point Ones” entails a small ensemble of violin, cello, saxophone/clarinet, e-guitar, drum kit, piano, and a conductor outfitted with  live electronics, which turns the musical performance into a hypnotizing dance.


With motion sensors and gestural cues, Poppe is able to conduct not just the ensemble, but the electronics as well, turning his body into a musical instrument in its own right.

The piece is part of a sequence of Schubert’s sensor-based works — others include “Your Fox’s, A Dirty Gold” and “Laplace Tiger” — which combine interaction with augmented instruments in fascinating, kinetic ways.

From the program notes:

“The aim is to be able to experience the live-electronics in an embodied way and to create a fully controllable instrument for the conductor. Because of that, the piece does not use a click track or other timeline-based fixed approaches.

“Above those technical considerations the piece tries to play with the vocabulary of the conductor and the anticipations and traditions connected to those gestures. It is not always predictable what the result of the conductor’s movement will be.”

If this clip piques your curiosity, you can watch the entire piece here, this time with the Nadar Ensemble.