Lirone for Laura Vaughan 2009

This was a very interesting commission, which allowed me to experiment with enlargement of a model (the Giovane Maria da Brescia Lira da Bracchio; Ashmolean Museum No. 8) by geometric means, to fill an analogous role in the musical repertoire of early baroque Italy, for which there are very few existing models.

The construction process follows closely that of early Brescia with the neck and block in a single piece and the internal structure straddling a line between the viol and violin families.

The carved belly is of aged European spruce, the back and sides of nicely figured maple. The neck and head are carved from a single piece of pearwood and the “day – night” inlay to the head and tailpiece ar in ivory and ebony inlaid and hand etched. The instrument has 13 chordally tuned strings and so, needs to be reasonably substantial in its construction to take the weight.

I am grateful to Laura for this opportunity, as the reconstruction instruments following historcal models is an aspect of my work I find particularly rewarding. As well it affords a practical way to explore and develop historical design and construction practices and test out thoeries and hypotheses gleaned from original instruments and iconography.