Lacunae Ciconiae : Lost voices in the works of a Liégeois musician ca 1400
Partners & Team
Marina Toffetti, Universita di Padova (UNIPD)
Bart Demuyt, Universiteit leuven (KUL)
Résumé du projet
The works of Johannes Ciconia (ca.1371-1412), exceptional both in their volume, as well as their stylistic variety and refinement, have received broad recognition and attention from early music scholars and performers alike. A number of compositions either securely attributable to Ciconia, or having a close affinity with his style, however, survive only in a lacunary state in the sources. This project aims at reconstructing'as faithfully as possible'the missing voices of the 'Ciconian corpus', proposing performable editions of a number of pieces. This work will also allow for a deeper exploration of the art (sciencia) and praxis (ars) of the late-medieval composer, by doing practical experiments with improvised discant and ex mente composition, without the aide of a conventional, modern score.
A first phase of the project will entail an exploration of texts on music that could or would have been familiar to a composer-cleric such as Ciconia, himself author of two treatises on speculative music (Nova Musica and De Proportionibus), to glean from them information on the practical side of polyphonic music-making, both written and improvised. These initial explorations will be followed by an in-depth analysis of the corpus of compositions surviving intact, producing a library of loci communes for both voice-leading and ornamental, decorative formulas (flores musicae mensurabilis), that can be used in our experiments in composing or improvising polyphony. With this toolbox in hand reconstructions will be made of the lost voices of the 'Ciconian corpus', in collaboration between the project-leader, assistants and other interested students, also consulting external experts. To divulge the results of this research we aim to publish our reconstructed compositions, as well as to organize a concert-lecture at the Haute école de musique to present these results in sound as well as in word.