Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam

Sunday November 29, 15.00

tickets and info Muziekgebouw

The visionary 16th century composer and music theorist Nicola Vicentino is famous for his advocacy of an ancient Greek enharmonic mode and the microtonal Archicembalo that he designed for it. Only four of his madrigals survived, of which three are unfinished. The late Bob Gilmore, with Trio Scordatura, asked composers to complete/respond freely to them. The original madrigals will be performed in a Scordatura arrangement together with new compositions by Anne LaBerge, Linda Buckley, John Croft, Lucia D’Errico, Christopher Fox, Yannis Kyriakides, Scott McLaughlin, Hans W. Koch, Juan Felipe Waller and Harald Muenz.

Performed by Alfrun Schmid (voice), Elisabeth Smalt (viola), Reinier van Houdt (keyboard), Benjamin Marquise Gilmore (violin), Lucas van Helsdingen (bass clarinet, coffee grinder)

De tegendraadse 16e-eeuwse componist en muziektheoreticus Nicola Vicentino (1511-1572) liet zich inspireren door het enharmonische toonsysteem van de Griekse oudheid en ontwierp een instrument: de archicembalo, gestemd in het 31-toonssysteem. Zijn muziek wordt maar zelden uitgevoerd. Dat heeft alles te maken met deze stemming in vijfde-toonsafstanden, maar ook met het feit dat er weinig van zijn muziek bewaard is gebleven. Scordatura nodigde tien componisten van nu uit om zich te laten inspireren door Vicentino en een kort werk te componeren gebaseerd op zijn vier enharmonische madrigaalfragmenten, de enige 31-toonswerken van Vicentino die nog bestaan.

Dit programma bevat naast de uitzonderlijke renaissancemuziek van Vicentino tevens 5 wereldpremières en 3 nederlandse premières.

Nicola Vicentino (1511-1576) :

Dolce mio ben, Soave dolc’ ardore, Madonna il poco dolce, Musica prisca caput (1555)Yannis Kyriakides poco dolce, molto amaro (2014)

Juan Felipe Waller Eidolonian dream (phishing scales) (2015)

John Croft Soave dolc’ardore (2015)

Anne LaBerge Languid Sighs (2014)

Lucia d’Errico Madonna il poco dolce (2014)

Hans W. Koch Il poco dolce (2015)

Harald Muenz Allo studio con Nicola (2014)

Scott McLaughlin Untitled (for Bob) (2015)

Christopher Fox dolce…pianto (2014)

Linda Buckley Musica prisca caput (2015)


                   imgres 2

May 2015
On May 31 at 14.00 we performed the programme LIJNENSPEL in the wonderful Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, together with our guests Samuel Vriezen on keyboard and Lucas van Helsdingen on bass clarinet. click here

In LIJNENSPEL (which means something like ‘a play of lines’) long sounds in a variety of shapes, waves and forms pass by like clouds at the horizon. Together they create a landscape of pure harmonies. A unique listening experience! Tenney, Sabat and Vriezen’s compositions use each in their own way ‘pure tuning’ as their tonal system. In contrast, Henneman’s solo viola piece moves from a wild and crazy rhythmic outburst of dissonants into a song of ten poetry lines, arriving to rest in a slow melody of flageolets.


James Tenney, Harmonium #1
Marc Sabat, Jean-Philippe Rameau
Ig Henneman, Ten Lines -Solo Song for viola with improvisation (world première, on the poem Soil for Legs by Nanao Sakaki)
Samuel Vriezen, Vincent, Homesick for the Land of Pictures (which is also the title of a poem by Peter Gizzi)


January 2015
Our keyboard player and artistic leader Bob Gilmore has passed away on January 2nd at the age of 53. We miss him dearly. Since we started Trio Scordatura in 2006 Bob has given us an overdose of inspiration and we will use this to continue exploring the fascinating world of tuning and microtonality. Trio Scordatura will go further under the name Scordatura, it’s a name change that Bob already was considering. We always enjoyed playing projects with guest players and we will continue to do so, with Bob in our hearts and souls.

Read here a tribute for Bob written by his friend, the composer Donnacha Dennehy.

October 10 2014
So last week Trio Scordatura successfully launched our new project Nicola Vicentino: a second life at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, as part of their Research Festival 2014. Two of the four new pieces are now online: Christopher Fox’s new piece on our SoundCloud page here; and Lucia D’Errico’s piece here.

October 4 2014
On Friday October 31 (Hallowe’en), Trio Scordatura makes its debut in Amsterdam’s cool new concert venue Splendor, at the invitation of Michiel Weidner. Four new works specially written for us by Amsterdam-based composers, together with an arrangement of one older piece written for our host Michiel Weidner. Samuel Vriezen’s setting of Peter Gizzi’s poem about Vincent van Gogh is paired with the world premiere of a multimedia work combining sound, colour and word by Aliona Yurtsevich. The programme opens with two responses – by Anne La Berge and Yannis Kyriakides – to the sixteenth century microtonal madrigals of Nicola Vicentino, and closes with Guy De Bièvre’s deconstruction of old pop songs in The Many Gypsies in Me, in which Trio Scordatura is joined by Michiel on cymbalom.

September 20 2014
Extracts from our performance of Scott Mc Laughlin’s at least two things in Dublin last June, together with a fragment of an interview with Scott by Ian Wilson, is up on Vimeo courtesy of the good people at Dublin’s Contemporary Music Centre:

September 17 2014
The new Phill Niblock DVD, Brazil 84, is finally out on Mode Records! It has our studio recordings of two of his notated ensemble works, Tow by Tom (for two “orchestras”, with our friends Nelly Boyd from Hamburg) and Three Orchids (with our friend Guy de Bièvre on dobro). A beautiful film in stunning colours, and superb sound mix by Johan Vandermaelen. Will soon be available to purchase, for that perfect Christmas present!

September 12 2014
Our performance of Samuel Vriezen’s Vincent, Homesick for the Land of Pictures back in June has now been put online by Poetry International Rotterdam, where we premiered it. Check it out – It begins with a few seconds of tuning, by the way – the piece begins when the voice enters! We’ll play it again (Sam) on October 31 in Splendor, Amsterdam – come and hear it!

August 24 2014
Our recordings of Phill Niblock’s Three Orchids and (with our Hamburg friends Nelly Boyd) Tow by Tom are finally coming out on a DVD from Mode Records, featuring Niblock’s film Brazil ’84. HOORAY! No confirmed release date yet, but SOON, so watch this space!

March 24 2014
This past week we have begun rehearsals for two major new pieces, both kindly commissioned for us by the Fonds Podiumkunsten in Holland: one by Samuel Vriezen, the other by Aliona Yurtsevich.
Despite their differences, both pieces are strongly rooted in the
poetry that inspired them. Samuel’s piece sets a long poem by the American poet Peter Gizzi, about Vincent van Gogh; and Aliona’s uses a sequence of twelve of her own poems, each taking a different colour to symbolise a range of moods, images and emotions. Samuel’s piece will hopefully be premiered in June, Aliona’s in early autumn; details will follow. Samuel kindly explained the form of his score (on the ground) to us. Elisabeth removed her boots as an aid to comprehension.

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Amsterdam-based ensemble performing music using new tuning systems and microtonality


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