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Niccolo Seligmann, early folk instrumentalist

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 7:30pm

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 7:30pm

The Mansion

$19

Artist in Residence
Niccolo Seligmann, early folk instrumentalist

Sponsored by Van and Linda Hubbard & Stephen and Tanya Spano

When Niccolo Seligmann comes across an obscure folk instrument he’s never seen before, he can’t help but pick it up and play! Having earned a degree in viola da gamba performance from Peabody Conservatory, he plays over 20 acoustic instruments, including medieval fiddle, and is apprentice to master luthier Ken Koons. Seligmann is a member of various medieval, traditional, and early music ensembles, including the Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, with whom he is premiering his original new-baroque opera, Minerva, based on Handel’s arias. He has toured North America and Europe, performing in venues that range from the Kennedy Center to the inside of a 2,000-year-old California redwood tree. His work unites historical and experimental music, utilizing both acoustic and electronic instruments to create a completely unique listening experience.

Don’t miss Niccolo Seligmann’s free workshop, Strings of Gut, Lines of Code: Early Music in Today’s World, on February 19.

Learn more about the Artist in Residence Class of 2020

Niccolo Seligmann

February 12
Experience a whirlwind tour of five centuries of early music on historical instruments! From medieval chants of Cyprus to the grandeur of Louis XIV’s Versailles, this performance explores the changes in music-making from 1250–1750. Experience the viola da gamba’s rich resonance, the medieval nyckelharpa’s dazzling speed, the colascione’s zesty twang, and more. Share in celebrating the endurance, through changing times, of music’s power to connect. This program also features Tina Chancey and Loren Ludwig on early bowed strings, Cameron Welke on lutes and theorbo, and fellow AIR Lucas Ashby on percussion.

February 26
Celebrate the release of Seligmann’s solo album, Kinship (Split Log Productions), with a special performance of original compositions and improvisations. This program combines historical string instruments with interactive electronic instruments, most of which Seligmann coded from scratch. Bathe your ears in cascades of reversed harpsichord samples, played by drawing on an iPad. Eavesdrop on conversations between a Central Asian overtone fiddle, a synth controlled by light waves, and hip-hop drums. Watch from the edge of your seat as two violas da gamba alternate notes at lightning speed. Seligmann and friends connect past and present with historical instruments, early 20th-century recordings from the American Folklife Center archives, and the ultimate 21st-century instrument: the laptop. This program also features Loren Ludwig on early bowed strings and electronics, fellow AIR Lucas Ashby on percussion and electronics, and Sheila Arnold as storyteller.

 

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