L'amour à sept cordes
In this performance, Garth Knox presents three instruments (two violas and a viola d’amore), which slowly evolve into real characters.
Each one has its own personality, memories and music, be it medieval melodies or contemporary sonorities, folk tunes or other imaginary music.
This journey into the heart of the viola’s existence is enriched by Garth Knox’s vast career. Former member of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and of the Quatuor Arditti, soloist inspiring the creation of numerous new works, he has equally explored the fields of medieval and baroque music, of improvisation and dance (see Éclats mats by Olga de Soto). Knox uncovers the hidden qualities of the viola d’amore – a marvellous universe of delightful chords, free-flowing harmonies and spectral resonances.
"Appearing in Italy in the 17 century, the viola d’amore shares many of its traits with the viol family (its shape, the number of strings, the often sculpted head), but the way it’s played is more closely linked to the violin family (it is played under the chin rather than between the legs). Today, any musician with the courage to confront the constant tuning of an instrument with so many strings (often on tuning the last string, the first one will already have altered), will discover in the viola d’amore an abundance of sound possibilities, that have remained unexplored for centuries." (Garth Knox)