In Luis Antunes Pena's case, not even the addition of electronics or the interspersion of samples is enough. He creates new constellations of instruments plus added noise. (...) His music comes from life and sounds like life. It's a pity that this music is so rarely flushed back into life - outside of a small music scene.
Juana Zimmermann, Positionen, 2017
Noise and sharply profiled detail are the inseparable constants in Pena's hybrid sound poetry.
Dirk Wischollek, NZM, 08.01.2017
(...) The album's title piece certainly explodes with a flamboyant burst of sounds: sweeps of piano strings, clacking and pinging percussion, the twang and glissando of electric guitar, some feedback and amp hiss, abrasive bass clarinet multiphonics . . . The players are Oslo's asamisimasa, and this is a style of music in which they are eminently comfortable - one of their first recordings was a Steen-Andersen portrait, which bristled with similarly manic energy. Yet this is not a chaotic free for all: everything is carefully placed into an angular, technicolour prosody. The details, of both writing and playing, are crucial: Antunes Pena keeps every possible sonic plate spinning at once; asamisimasa time the entries and exits of every sound with diamond-cut precision. (...)
Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Tempo Journal Vol 72, 22/12/2017
As classical as [the title "Vermalung V"] sounds, it admittedly does not, but highly plastic (not only when blowing into a twisted plastic tube).
Klaus Kalchschmid, Süddeutschezeitung, 2015
You can see that this noise is sound: it is a red whisper that runs through the piece by Luís Antunes Pena, simply one of the most talented Portuguese composers today, stubbornly seeking new forms and sounds for his music of granite strength, deeply connected to the investigation of the sonic power of materials.
Pedro Boléo, Jornal Público, 8.2.2010
(...)With the cover of Mircea Cantor, Caffeine is not just a compelling summary of twelve years of creation; it is also the confirmation that, sooner or later, a composer with a strong character turns out to contradict himself. In the case of L. A. Pena, it was only a little more than a dozen years ago that a more radical thought gave way to a deep and enlightened freedom, capable of integrating in an elaborate composition (and appealing to frequent revisions) the sound most likely to be rushed connotations.
CD Caffeine - Reviewed by Diana Ferreira, Jornal Público (link), 16/12/2016
The analytical approach of Georg Friedrich Haas and purity of sound material of Sciarrino and Donatoni live today in a modern interpretation further in the work of the young Portuguese composer Luis Antunes Pena (1973). Namely his compositions resulting piece by piece from the combination of raw material with electronically generated sound structures, which have their origin in self-built computer programs. Discovering novel timbres and rhythms is thereby always central. At the request of Remix Ensemble Casa da Música Pena wrote a composition tailored to the concert program, which he bravely engages with both the legacy of the Italian noise virtuosos of the 1970s as a sound analytical approach to Georg Friedrich Haas. In "RAU" ( 2013 ) Pena starts from an Internet video that is part of "A música portuguesa a gostar dela propria", a heritage project in which a group of young artists and culture lovers collects field recordings of the diversity of the Portuguese (folk) music. The movie in question shows how two elderly ladies at high speed recite tongue twisters in a local dialect. The richness of these 'tongue twisters ' containing high and low consonants , vocal timbres , percussive sounds and melodic passages offers the composer a huge range of options on digital sound variations and permutations. Pena analyzed the tongue twisters using a computer software made especially for this composition and then splitted the sound material into smaller segments. However, "RAU" is not just a transcription of the data analysis, but is the result of Pena's resynthesis creative and artistic interpretation. In terms of sound dominate key words such as noise, virtuosity and chance. "RAU" is therefore without doubt a worthy contemporary counterpart to the work of Sciarrino , Donatoni and Haas, where pure tone and complexity are combined into a more enchanting acoustic experience .
RAU, deSingel, Antwerpen, Remix Ensemble, 31/10/2013, reviewed by Christine Dysers, oorgetuige, 29/10/2013
(...)This work constitutes an original exploration of sonorities, rhythms and textures obtained from stones of various sizes and shapes. Far from being a catalog of effects, it results in a meticulously elaborated and solidly constructed composition (...)"
Cristina Fernandes, Journal Público, 25/4/2010