sion dafydd dawson:
The Rehearsal Space (1) February 2014
For me, the appeal of collaboration is the opportunity to explore the possibilities of transcending boundaries. This project offers the group a chance to produce a joint work of shared ideas that will cross the lines between classical music, sonic and visual art, and craftsmanship. As a musician, in audible is giving me an opportunity to stop and consider what has been achieved musically since Baroque times, and experiment with ways of combining the sound-world of Western European music in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with today’s musical and extra-musical possibilities.
Baroque cellists train to play the cello using fundamentally different playing techniques from contemporary methods. It’s known as Historically Informed Performance Practice. It is not an attempt to copy the musicians of the past, playing the musical styles of a bygone era exactly as they would have been played. This is impossible; it’s a broken tradition. However, we attempt to revive the sound-world of the past through combining the musical technology of the time with information from surviving written accounts of the period. These now often over-looked traditions are then given new life by each individual player’s personal creativity and musicality. The music of well-known composers such as Claudio Monteverdi, Arcangelo Corelli, JS Bach, GF Handel, through to early Classicists such as WA Mozart and Joseph Haydn, performed by Baroque players on Baroque instruments allows contemporary listeners to experience a totally different palette of sounds.
Baroque music stems from the dance, with movement and air being central to the way we play. As a bass instrument the cello’s role within any ensemble is to be the rhythmic and harmonic anchor. Gesture is central to communication in an ensemble, and the Baroque cello, not supported by a spike, gives cellists greater freedom of movement. The instrument feels closer as you play it, making Baroque playing much more of a physical, as well as musical, experience.