Susan King plays an 11 Course Baroque Lute by Michael Lowe, Oxford, UK. Recorded at Mt Nelson, Hobart, Tasmania on 22nd June 2012 by Tony Sayer of Megatone Productions (Megatoneproductions@netspace.net.au)
In performances of modern art music, particularly Electro-Acoustic, Acousmatic, or Avant-Garde, the Laptop is listed as an instrument in its own right. The contribution that the Laptop makes to the overall sound depends entirely on the guidance from the composer, the interpretation of that guidance by the performer, and the software and how it is used to produce and / or modify sounds as part of the performance. In this project, the role of the Laptop is to provide gentle sonic treatments of the Lute and a harmonic ambient backdrop to the composition.
The French Baroque Lute has a special tone quality, resonance and clarity of sound that speaks directly to the heart of the listener. It was developed in the first quarter of the 1600's by lutenists seeking a way to better express what they wanted to say in their music. They believed that the music of the lute was the voice of the gods. What they did was experimental and ground-breaking and paved the way for new directions in music. Today we carry on this tradition of innovation, allowing the voice of the lute and the technology available through the laptop to lead us forward to new horizons. The origin of the lute may be in the past, but this project shows that the lute is an instrument for our times and the future.
Susan King (Jones) was born in Sydney, Australia on 8th January 1956. She gained her Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Never one to take the obvious pathway, Susan's life has been filled with interesting twists and turns. However in 2008 her love of the French Baroque Lute compelled her to move to Europe where she spent the next four years following her passion for lute playing across several continents.
She then returned to her home on the beautiful island of Tasmania where she directs the biennial Hobart Lute Festival.
Susan has always enjoyed working with composers in the creation of new music and loves exploring the possibilities this offers with the lute. In 1988, Australian composer Robert Allworth wrote the first concerto written in modern times for the French Baroque Lute for Susan.
"The music of this instrument speaks to me in a way that no other music does.
When I hold my lute, it is no longer just me and the lute it is neither of us but something else, something that demands to be heard, to speak, to move, to communicate. I play music because I must and I play the French Baroque Lute because it is the sound I desire.
When I play from the original handwritten 17th century manuscripts I feel connected to the composer. Across time and space, 400 years apart, we meet.
And when I work with living composers, I hear my lute in new ways, which deepens my understanding of the instrument. Working with Matthew has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the lute, truly bringing it into the 21st century."