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Introducing: The Lyra Viol

Introducing: The Lyra Viol

A short introduction to the lyra viol and its repertoire by Liam Byrne. In the video Liam plays a beautiful bass viol made by Marc Soubeyran, it's a copy of a small bass by John Rose in the Kessler Collection at RCM Museum.



Liam spends most of his time playing either very old or very new music on the viola da gamba. An obsession with the instrument’s most obscure 16th and 17th century repertoire is a recurring theme in his work, whether in devising baroque performance installations for the Victoria & Albert museum, or in collaboration with the Appalachian fiddler Cleek Schrey, or creating new electronic works with Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Inspired by Liam's performance? Why not take a look at our viols here!

Liam’s solo performances frequently combine old viol music with new works written for him by composers such as David Lang, Nico Muhly, and Edmund Finnis, among many others. His membership in Icelandic record label and artist collective Bedroom Community has led to the release of two massive studio-based works: Donnacha Dennehy’s 40-minute long Tessellatum for multi-tracked viol and viola (with Nadia Sirota), and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Dissonance, a 23-minute deconstruction and explosion of a Mozart string quartet using many layers of Liam’s improvisation. Find out about all upcoming performances and projects on his website or on Facebook!

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