“To me the performance of medieval music is an act of love, the love of making a contribution to humankind. It consists in sharing compiled knowledge from the perspective of an artistic mind”
My aim is to interpret and present medieval music and its context for a wide variety of public. Hence my motto: The beauty is when one realises that every little step in the acquisition of knowledge transforms our image of what medieval music is to us.
I grew up in a family of artists surrounded by fine arts, music, and literature. Since I was a child I wanted to be a musician, a will that brought me to study in Barcelona, The Hague, and Basel. Nowadays I live between Basel and Barcelona and dedicate most of my time to medieval music. As a performer I am part of various ensembles of medieval, renaissance, and other styles. As a soloist I perform around Europe and America.
The sound of medieval organs is forged by modulating wind pressure through bellows: their expressive possibilities are immense. Flexibility and precision are essential for the performer of historical organs. I consider portative and positive organs to be wind instruments instead of keyboard instruments.
The reconstruction of sound is fundamental to me, and we are faced with a wide choice of aesthetics. The artist explores the sonority of the instrument and lets it speak, as if it were a medium between the public and the instrument.
Instruments I play
Each instrument is a door to a unique universe of sound
Portative organ of the 13th century
A word-first reconstruction of this model of portative organ (2014), following a musicological research of written sources and iconography. Some unique features of this instrument are: light and small size, a strap for holding the instrument, copper pipes, diatonic keyboard, pointed and loud sound.
Portative of the 14th-15th century
This portative is the most common model of the second half of the 14th century and the 15th century. It is performed mostly on the lap and has a bellow with huge capacity of air. Some of their characteristics are: to be performed on the lap, chromatic keyboard, big bellow, mild and velvet sound.
Positive organ of the 15th century
The positive organ requires at least two persons to play it. One plays with both hands on the keyboard and a second person actions the bellows. This model is reconstructed after a painting of Hugo van der Goes of 1480 (organ maker: Walter Chinaglia).
The clavicimbalum is a small string keyboard instrument that lived its golden era in the 14th and 15th century. Most reconstructed models follow Arnaut de Zwolle’s design (15th century).
This upright type of string keyboard instrument is an exception in the field of medieval keyboards, based on the fact that just one exemplar survived to our times. This surviving original is at the Royal College of Music (London), dates back to 1480 and is of South German provenance.
This instrument doesn’t need any introduction! Although Cristina prioritizes her career as medieval performer, she hasn’t forgotten the piano solo and chamber repertoire, and still performs in public every now and then.
I am a regular member of a number of ensembles. Each of these ensembles dedicate to specific, surviving repertoires. For example La Douce Semblance (dir. Brice Duisit) focuses on 14th century French monody such as the works of Lescurel, Fauvel and Machaut; and 13th century polyphony and dances (photo below).
Another ensemble is Magister Petrus (dir. Mauricio Molina), which reconstructs music of the 12th and 13th centuries. A distinct feature of this ensemble is that it is one of the few groups in existence that makes use of instrument reconstructions of this period.
With La camera delle lacrime, we just recorded the CD “Paradiso” based on Dante’s Divina Comedia – part of a trilogy with the “Inferno” and “Purgatorio” (photo below).
I also perform in duo-format with several colleagues such as Maria de Mingo (citole), Simone Marcelli (organetto), Raúl Lacilla (musa, frestel), Julien Ferrando (medieval keyboards), Katarina Ster (voice), Quim Lecina (actor), Gisela Figueras (actress). In addition, I collaborate with other ensembles: Ars Choralis Coeln, Donnafugata, Scola Metensis, Ensemble Trecanum, etc.