This is a guest post from double bassist and early music specialist Jerry Fuller. Learn more about Jerry and his early music podcast at ArsAntiguaPresents.com.
I had a fascinating day. I performed Biber’s Mensa Sonora composed in 1680 with Chicago’s period instrument orchestra, The Baroque Band, and we recorded this music written 328 years ago with the 21st century technology of Jim Ginsburg’s Cedille Records.
It was interesting to play this music in a manner, and with instruments, that Biber might recognize and record it with a dizzying array of microphones and computers that Biber probably couldn’t have imagined.
Why shouldn’t we just use modern instruments outfitted with string technology based on the latest synthetic materials research?
I think the answer lies in the important distinction between aesthetics and functionality. I believe music has its most profound affect when performed on instruments and using the techniques from the period when the music was composed. I also believe it makes sense to use technolgy that has the functionality to most faithfully record those sounds.
It is important that we don’t confuse these two concepts: aesthetics and functionality.
You can learn more about both the aesthetics of performing Early Music during a workshop on July 12-13, as well as learn about the latest breakthroughs in Recording Technology in a workshop to be held July 26-31. Both workshops are designed for students 12-20 years old and will be conducted by Midwest Young Artists. For more information see mya.org/summer. I hope to see you there!