The Dana School of Music announces a concert by Science Ficta on Saturday, September 18 at 7:30pm in Bliss Recital Hall. Members of the group will also participate in the Dana Lecture Series on Monday, September 20 at 2:30pm in Bliss Hall Room 3136. Both events are free and open to the public.
Science Ficta—comprised of viola da gamba virtuosi Loren Ludwig, Doug Balliett, and Dana faculty cellist Kivie Cahn-Lipman —tackles the thorniest polyphonic challenges, old and new. Longtime friends and collaborators in baroque band ACRONYM, in 2016 the trio formed an ensemble dedicated to music at least as difficult to play as it is to listen to. Science Ficta’s arcane but rewarding repertory is comprised both of new commissions and a wealth of little-known older works that have been unjustly neglected by modern performers and listeners. Science Ficta served as ensemble in residence at the University of Virginia in 2019, and will be in residence at Columbia University in 2022. The ensemble’s first CD, viol music by composer Molly Herron, was released in August 2021.
The ensemble’s program includes eclectic early English music for viol consort, a set of bizarre canons by galant-era composer Christoph Graupner, and it will feature the modern premiere of a fascinating piece from the dawn of the early-instrument revival. In 1901, encouraged by Saint-Saens, the violist and composer Henri Casadesus formed a new ensemble. He had mastered the viola d’amore, a defunct baroque fourteen-string instrument, and his brother learned the quinton. Their wives played violas da gamba. Calling themselves the Société des Instruments Anciens, the Casadesus family band toured the world for the first three decades of the twentieth century, introducing audiences to little-known baroque music as well as original works written by Henri. Science Ficta—with YSU alumna and regional fiddle star Caitlin Hedge on viola d’amore—will perform the modern premiere of Casadesus’s “The Four Seasons.”
On Monday, September 20 beginning at 2:30pm in Bliss Hall Room 3136, the Dana Lecture Series will feature Loren Ludwig and Doug Balliett.
Ludwig’s talk called “Maintaining a point”: [m]inimalist Strategies in Sixteenth-Century Polyphony will focus on a range of little-known “minimalist” pieces from the sixteenth century, and reflect on what the use of minimalist techniques across nearly 500 years of Western musical history might teach us about the musical aesthetics of repetition. Ludwig is a viola da gamba player and music historian based in Baltimore, MD. He researches what he describes as “polyphonic intimacy,” the idea that music in the Western tradition is constructed to foster social relationships among its performers and listeners. Ludwig is a co-founder of LeStrange Viols and Science Ficta and a founding member of the seventeenth-century string band ACRONYM.
Balliett’s talk, The Beatles in 1966, will examine the development of the Beatles’ music in 1966, with a focus on Revolver and its attendant singles. Balliett is a composer, instrumentalist and poet based in New York City. He composes weekly music for a church on Manhattan’s lower east side, and is professor of historic basses at the Juilliard School.
More information is available by calling the Office of Community Engagement and Events at 330-727-7514.