A Solo Recital of Contemporary Classics performed on the Octave Virginals, Mechanical Gramophones and Farfisa Organs.

Virginals connects several points of interests for me, the love for the sound of early instruments, the application of historical media in the context of composing and performing contemporary music, as well as the act of paraphrasing a written score.

Virginals started in 2008 as a series of interpretations of some favourite pieces by composers I admire, which I had transcribed to be presented live as a walk-in installation comprising the octave virginals – a portable renaissance clavier –, mechanical-acoustic gramophones, electronic combo organs and a historical 6-channel loudspeaker system. This ensemble of media artefacts involves, reacts and actually relies strongly on the performance space and the audience as active players. People are free to move in the space, expierience the sound sources from different positions, whereby the sound reflected from the space comes alive in a unique way.

Presently several composers are writing new, dedicated pieces for me, in June 2011 the first of these, a composition by Tashi Wada was premiered in a 13th century monastry in the center of Paris.

Virginals is open to a wide range of performance spaces, please contact me if you are interested in setting up a concert.

Thank you,

Watch an excerpt from a performance at Steirischer Herbst, Graz here.

Two videos from the premier performance of Tashi Wada’s Revenant at Collège des Bernardins, Paris: Excerpt I and Excerpt II

You will find two reviews of a solo recital at Sophiensæle Berlin here and here.

Virginals features electroacoustic interpretations of

Alvin Lucier. Music with Magnetic Strings
Version for virginals and 7 Ebows
Duration: 20 – 45 minutes

Francisco Lopez. Untitled #92
Version #1 for 4 gramophones with equalizers and amplification
Version #2 for 2 tapedecks and 4 guitar amplifiers
Duration: 15 – 30 minutes

Phill Niblock. SLS (from Four Full Flutes)
Version for virginals, tape and amplification
Duration: 22 minutes

Tashi Wada. Revenant
for ebowed virginals
Duration: 20 minutes –

Stephan Mathieu. Death for Five Speakers (On Gesualdo’s “Libro Quinto”)
for five Farfisa organs, mixer and amplification
Duration: 60 minutes

Stephan Mathieu. 3:2 (For Charlemagne Palestine)
for three Farfisa organs and amplification
Duration: 40 minutes –

Stephan Mathieu. Still Life with Binary Code (For Walter Marchetti)
Concert version for virginals and analog reverb units
Duration: 60 minutes –
Installation version for multichannel loudspeaker system and 16mm film loop

Stephan Mathieu: octave virginals, gramophones, Farfisa organs, sound diffusion

Caro Mikalef and Stephan Mathieu. Constellations
Audiovisual Installation for Renaissance Claviers, Mobile and Light
Duration: 40 minutes

Please visit the Constellations page for more details.

Stephan Mathieu. Process
Audiovisual Installation for a Broken Consort of recorded Viols, Virginals and 16mm Loop
Duration: 40 minutes –

Please visit the Process page for more details.

Photo Virginals at Steirischer Herbst, Graz by Bernhard Schreiner, Revenant in Antwerp by Mark Rietvelt