LECTURER TURNS LUTENIST TO HELP LAUNCH CLASSICAL CD
By YouPR | Monday, October 15, 2012, 12:54
A WESTON College lecturer who teaches pop music has gone back nearly four centuries to help produce a CD of early music.
During the week, Matt Nisbet runs the College's Popular Music degree course, but his spare time is taken up practising the theorbo, a large lute that was developed in the late 16th Century.
The 38-year-old took up the instrument while studying for a degree in music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is now a member of several Early Music groups dedicated to the music of the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Matt, from Wrington, North Somerset, has just appeared on a CD celebrating the music of Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli, along with a choir and two Early Music groups, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the composer's death.
Gabrieli was well-known for composing music to suit the building it would be heard in, most notably St Mark's Cathedral in Venice.
"Musicians were placed all around the cathedral so in a way it was an early form of surround-sound stereo," explained Matt. "We recorded the CD at a church in London and we've been touring in Germany, Belgium and the UK to promote it."
Matt, a classically trained guitarist, was encouraged to try the lute and finally settled on the 6ft-long theorbo, which has more bass strings than a standard lute.
It is a world away from the the standard six-stringed guitar that Matt teaches students at Weston College. "There are similarities between the lute and the guitar," he said, "in that you sit down to play it and pluck it with one hand and use the other to create chord shapes, but that's about it. It's a different tuning altogether and obviously a very different style of music."
Later this month Matt, who teaches classical guitar privately, will be playing at the Brighton Early Music Festival where he is a member of a vast array of early instruments in an extravagant reconstruction of the music for an Italian wedding celebration of 1589.
The CD, 'Sacred Symphonies', is released in November by Hyperion Records (www.hyperion-records.co.uk)