PROGRAM / BIG BANG ATHENS 2018
18 May 2018 - 20 May 2018
The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments /
Jon Banks: santouri, gothic harp, renaissance guitar, percussion / Jean Kelly: gothic bray harp, triple harp / Alison McGillivray: violone, viola bastarda / Jon Nicholls: sound designer and composer / Liam Byrne: lirone, treble viol / Kostas Koronaios: narration / Sound House was devised by Clare Salaman, who also directs.
Although Francis Bacon, the 17th-century philosopher, statesman and visionary, is widely regarded as the father of modern science, few know anything about his investigations into the nature of sound. In Sound House, the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments explore some of the musical and seemingly magical phenomena that Bacon sought to explain, playing unusual and historically appropriate instruments including the ghostly-sounding lirone and the little-known viola bastarda.
In collaboration with the sound designer/composer Jon Nicholls, the members of the Society draw on the unusual characteristics of their extraordinary instruments. Fresh interpretations of 17th-century music are linked together by newly-composed pieces, combining modern sound technology with ancient instruments and exploring the magical effects and illusions -such as echoes and sympathetic vibration- that so intrigued our 17th-century forebears.