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C o r d e f a c t u m  is an internationally renowned instruments and music festival organized by the
Centre for Musical Instumentbuilding in Puurs, Belgium /
Each edition, every two years, the focus switches to different groups of instruments.
The first Cordefactum edition took place in 2004. Programs of previous editions can be seen here

Cordefactum, musical instruments Festival
Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of March 2016
Focus on Violin, Viola Da Gamba, Lute and Historical Keyboard
Stedelijk Conservatorium
Melaan 3 & 5,  2800 Mechelen
- Belgium
program & practicalities under construction


Friday evening 18th
White Sparrow

Saturday evening 19th
Hildebrandt Consort:  Wouter Dekoninck & Madoka Nakamaru

Sunday evening 20th,
Duo Wieland Kuijken & Thomas Baeté



Friday 18th
10.00h-12.00h:Martin Shepherd #1
13.30h-15.30h:Martin Shepherd #2
16.00h-18.00h: ...

Saturday 19
10.00h-12.00h: ...
13.30h-15.30h:Nicholas Sachman /
13.30h-15.30h:Andreas Kilström
16.00h-18.00h:Malcolm Rose

Sunday 20th
10.00h-12.00h:Thomas Munck
13.30h-15.30h:Shem Mackey

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INFO about the lectures and lecturers

  Martin Shepherd (lute)

Bio: Martin Shepherd holds a Ph.D in Experimental Psychology from the University of York (1981), and worked for some time as a lecturer before becoming a full-time lutemaker in 1991.  Having played the guitar since 1972, he changed to the lute in 1979.  He made his first lute in 1982 while working as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Durham.  He made several more lutes for his own use, then started to take commissions in 1989.  In 1991 he gave up his academic career to make lutes full-time.
He has published articles on ornamentation in English lute music and various topics including tuning different temperaments and stringing.  He is editor of the Complete Works of John Danyel for the Lute Society and contributes regularly to the music supplements in Lute News.  He has played the lute professionally for many years, including solo recitals for the Lute Society and for the Lute Society of America in 2004.  He is also an experienced lute teacher.
His lutes are played and enjoyed all over Europe, the United States and Asia.  He is committed to making instruments, which follow historical models closely and continues to research museum instruments.  He has a longstanding interest in historical stringing practices and continues to experiment in this field.  His expertise as a player means his instruments are very carefully set up, as well as meeting his strict criteria for beauty and clarity of sound.
Lecture 1: Friday 18th 10.00h-12.00h: “Practical aspects of lutemaking”
I show all the stages of making a lute, discussing my own methods and some alternatives, and showing some of the features of lute construction, which are important but not commonly known.
Lecture 2:  Friday 18th 13.30h-15.30h “Historical lutemaking and playing techniques”
Discusses historical use of proportions and barring patterns, stringing and fretting practices and playing techniques.  How close are our practices to historical ones?

   Nicholas Sachman (violin)
Lecture Saturday 19th 13.30h-15.30h : "The Messiah violen: a reliable history?”
In this invaluable and intriguing study, Sackman naviguates a clear path trought the complex and unrealiable history of the much admired 'Messiah' violin, examining a wide range of sources with a keen and critical eye, disentangling fact from legend and reopening the debate about the intrument's authenicity. Although he does not prove conclusively Stradivari's non-involvement in its construction, he casts sufficient doubts that will challenge curators and connoisseurs to r-evaluate the evidence and reconsider the views regarding the instrument's origins and dating.






   Andreas Kilström (harpsichord)
Bio: Andreas Kilström built his first harpsichord at the age of 18. After having studied musicology and harpsichord playing he was employed as a curator at the Nydahl collection in Stockholm. The daily contact with some very fine ancient harpsichords lead him to a deepened study of the art of harpsichord making. In 1987 he formed Kilströms Klafvessinmakeri together with his wife, Ann-Christin. The mainstay of the Kilströms Klafvessinmakeri production has been ravalement Flemish-French harpsichords, but other models have been made as well, German, Italian and transitional English harpsichords. Andreas has also published articles on harpsichord and organ related subjects and lectured at the American Bach Society (1998) and Gent (2010). Andreas also works as an organist and is in charge of catholic services in Strängnäs cathedral. He gives recitals on the harpsichord and organ.
Lecture Saturday 19th 13.30h-15.30h:
under construction...

   Malcolm Rose ( )
Lecture topic:
under construction...

  Thomas Munck (Gamba)
Bio: Thomas Munck is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Glasgow, and long-standing amateur viol player. As a historian, he has worked on visual material for many years, has published on the historian's view of musical performance practice and instrument technology in pre-industrial Europe, and is Custodian of the British Viola da Gamba Picture Collection. He started making viol bridges 25 years ago, and has experimented with a wide range of bridge designs to suit different historically informed instrument designs.
Lecture Sunday 20th 10.00h-12.00h:
“The historical iconography of the Viola da Gamba bridge, ca.1550-1730: can it help the instrument maker?”
This lecture will examine some of the pictorial evidence illustrating the kinds of bridges that may have been used on early viols, over different periods of time and in different cultural environments.  This and other historical evidence will then be applied to the many variables in the design of actual bridges, taking into account what we know about the construction of the viols themselves before and after the introduction of the soundpost.  The emphasis will be on pre-1660 instruments intended for use with historically appropriate strings (without metal windings), but reference will also be made to the late baroque French and German bass viols with overwound strings.  

   Shem Mackay (Gamba)
Bio: Shem Mackey has been making musical instruments for 25 years. He trained as a maker of early bowed instruments at the London College of Furniture. He is a founder member of the British Violin Making Association and founder editor of its newsletter. His research into instrument construction  has been published in The Strad, Early Music and various publications of the BVMA and Viola da Gamba Society. He is much sought after as a maker and teacher, and has built instruments for many prominent performers throughout the world. In 2010 he completed a masters degree at London Metropolitan University with original research into viol construction and is a visiting tutor in viol making at West Dean College.
In 2014 he was recipient of the prestigious Fattorini award for excellence in craftsmanship.
Lecture Sunday 20th 13.30h-15.30h: ”An alternative methodology in viol construction based on primary sources and observation of original instruments”.  Viol making in Europe experienced a hiatus in the late 18th century. During the following one hundred years the techniques unique to viol construction were lost. Upon its resumption in the late
19th century, viol makers borrowed heavily from other making traditions and produced working methods which continue to be used to the present day.
Using primary sources and evidence gathered from the study and observation of surviving viols, I will explain a methodology which can produce, in new viols, the character and idiosyncrasies so unique to original instruments.

Panel talk
Moderator: Dirk De Hertogh
Cross-over talk with the lecturers on instrument making.
The final lecture of the festival where the lecturers discuss their personal views on instrument making to see where the differences and similarities are between the different instrument types.

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Practical info is coming very soon.
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