Research Seminar

Wednesday 18 June 2014, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Katie Molloy / Chris Mullender

'Editing Lyra Viol Music for the 21st Century'

Katie Molloy

The Lyra-Viol is an instrument masked in mystery and ambiguity. Its organology is hotly debated, ranging from ‘it was a quasi-polyphonic instrument with six strings and seven frets slightly smaller than a standard consort bass viol’ to ‘it actually didn’t exist as an instrument’. It had 64 tunings and counting and had a repertoire reflecting a highly experimental age at court, presented in tablature. My paper will touch on this ambiguity and focus on the task of transcribing this repertoire, making it user friendly for the 21st century reader. It will look at the issues of tablature, and the issues of standard notation, and will finally explore the notational possibilities with the transcription, experimenting different options and testing their accessibility with the help of the willing.


Latrabjarg: An Ecological Requiem

Chris Mullender

Latrabjarg: An Ecological Requiem is a new work by James Cave and Christopher Mullender for electric cello, countertenor, chamber ensemble, choir and fixed element supported by the Terry Holmes Award and premiered at the York Spring Festival of New Music 2014. Latrabjarg examines two kinds of loss, that of culture and that of the natural world, taking inspiration from Iceland's rich cultural and natural heritage. The work represents the first collaboration between the two composers. Rather than create a regimented relationship between notation and fixed element, Mullender and Cave aimed instead for a more organic interaction between the two scores. The composers started each section of the piece with the same overarching concepts and similar generative material, but then both took a different walk across the landscape of composition, combining the two scores only at the point of rehearsal. 

In this seminar, Chris will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this way of working, illustrating their discussion with extracts from the video of the work's recent premiere, and will answer questions relating to their experience of collaboration.

Location: I/D008