As we celebrate the new year, we would like to introduce our two newest musicians who will be joining us for The Seasons of Love on Jan 6 at CHIJMES, starting with Christopher Johann Clarke on theorbo!
1) Tell us a little bit about your curious instrument and what drew you to it.
This rather-enormous-handheld-instrument in the picture is called the theorbo! I have always been interested in the theorbo ever since I saw one when I was young. In playing the classical guitar, I have always felt that the volume was too soft in an ensemble context and that it limited the choice of repertoire and instrument combination. The theorbo was a natural progression for me, not only in performing the music that I adore, but at the same time making use of my past training as a classical guitarist.
The theorbo is a basso continuo instrument that is related to the lute — essentially a bass lute. The theorbo has a tuning that allows it to be “out of the way” of the lead instrument, wherein the highest two strings are tuned an octave lower, giving space to the pitches of any lead instrument. .
2) What are you most excited about for RDB's upcoming concert?
Besides having excellent repertoire, I am really looking forward to being part of an baroque ensemble as I have never had that experience previously (in past musical roles). The upcoming concert encompasses extremely exciting pieces that really reflect the intricacy of the macro and the micro: the ensemble and the soloist. .
3) How would you describe your main role in a baroque ensemble, and what are some unique aspects about it?
Other than being a member of the basso continuo, I work with the other plucked string player, Mervyn (who plays baroque guitar in some pieces), to coordinate chordal information and decide plucked-string related events. The theorbo, when used in a large ensemble setting, provides a textural element to the ambience of the sound. And who can forget the notes on the low bass strings; such a joy to hear!! #reddotbaroque#RDBspotlight#singbaroque#baroque#theorbo#instaclassical#instamusic#supportsgmusic#sgmusician#earlymusic#baroquemusic #415 #historicalperformance#baroqueorchestra#baroquemusic