Music and Science at the Time of Leonardo da Vinci

(9 musicians)

Commissioned by the York Early Music Festival

The great minds of Leonardo’s day considered the Arts to be marvelous machines, a place where mathematical concepts could be both applied and proven. Music was a field where experiments in complex rhythmic divisions, chromaticism and the like brought immediate, tangible results. At the same time, a renewed interest in the classical tradition brought a revival of a different, far simpler kind of sound. With Macchine, the whole spectrum of music from Leonardo’s time, from spiritual reconnections to the past to the most complex of intellectual exercises, is on display. The second part of the program features a world premiere, a musical reconstruction of La Festa del Paradiso, originally commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, which was performed in 1506 with stage machines designed by Leonardo. On demand, the performance can include modern reproductions of instruments from Leonardo’s sketchbooks, including the piva continua and Leonardo’s famed organetto di carta.


Giulia Valentini, Carla Nahadi Babelegoto, Lior Liebovici – voice

Simone Marcelli – voice, organetto, organetto di carta

Avery Gosfield – recorder, pipe and tabor, piva continua

Ludovico Mosena – hurdy-gurdy, dulcian

Élodie Poirier – nyckelharpa, viola da gamba

Fabio Accurso – lute

Massimiliano Dragoni – percussion, hammer dulcimer.

Listen to our program on Soundcloud