Renaissance Counterpoint and Improvisation: Ingredients for a Musician’s CookBook

Adam Gilbert will invite the public to experience the Renaissance musical soundscape from the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 to the first book of music printed using movable type in 1501. Rather than a history of people and places, this lecture will introduce a veritable cookbook of Renaissance compositional and improvisational tricks of the trade, from faburden to the birth of the four-chord progression. With a  little help from students of the University of Southern California’s early music program, the audience will be invited to sing or play along,  experiencing first-hand the sounds and ingredients of a Renaissance musical cookbook. In a short hour, we hope to give you a taste of the sounds of history and prove once and for all that improvisation is not really all that scary. No really, we promise!

Friday, June 10, 2016 – 3:00pm
LOPER CHAPEL, FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH – 2345 Channing Way (entrance at Dana and Durant)
Tickets available at the door. Free Event

Adam photoAdam Knight Gilbert has performed and recorded on historical woodwind instruments as a member of Ensemble for Early Music, Waverly Consort, Piffaro, and is co-director of the ensemble Ciaramella, whose recent CD Dances on Movable Ground earned 5 stars by the British magazine Early Music Today and was picked the Editor’s Choice, lauded for its “expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality”.

Adam received Fulbright and Belgian American Education Foundation Grants for study in Belgium, and completed his Ph.D. in Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University. He has taught musicology on the faculty of Stanford University and the University of Southern California, where he is currently Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of the Early Music Program. A recipient of the 2008 Noah Greenberg Award, he specializes in historical improvisation and compositional techniques, the music of Henricus Isaac, musical symbolism, the bagpipe, and fifteenth-century chansons.

Adam is the joint recipient of Early Music America’s 2014 Thomas Binkley Award for “outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.” He has been a regular faculty member at Amherst Early Music, and is the director of the San Francisco Early Music Society Medieval & Renaissance Workshop. He can be heard on Dorian, Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Lyrichord and Yarlung labels.