Studio 31 — L’antica musica ridotta alla moderna prattica

Studio 31

documents the quest towards the recreation of an enharmonic super organ as designed by Renaissance music theorist, composer and innovator Nicola Vicentino ( Italy, 1511 – 1575/76 ). Vicentino was one of the most visionary musicians of that era, inventing, among other instruments, the microtonal keyboard with 36 or 31 keys per octave. He applied this system to both the harpsichord (archicembalo) and later the organ (arciorgano). Unfortunately, all of his instruments have vanished. Today, we are somehow in the same situation as Vicentino was in, when he started to recreate these intervals.

The 82 years old organ builder Bernard Fleig is about to recreate Vicentino’s arciorgano. The only visual reference remaining of the ingenious instrument is depicted on a 16th century medaillon. The Arciorgano, the holy grail of enharmonics and microtonality would be able to reach a certain complicity with the human voice. The super organ could move the soul in a way that had been lost since the ancient Greeks. Today’s music is not capable of doing that, because there are no micro-intervals anymore.

We visit key figures who convey their knowledge with us. Their life, the passion for their profession and also the irony with which they look at their existence has not yet been documented and time is running out.

Work in progress

Filed under