Virtual Vincenzo Sodi
14 March 2011
On Saturday 19 March visitors to Analogue to Digital Music Expo 2011 at Exeter Phoenix will be able to experience a digital reconstruction and virtual installation of RAMM’s Vincenzo Sodi harpsichord that was produced by Exeter’s Sound Gallery as part of their Virtual Vincenzo project in 2005.
Presented by Sound Gallery, the Analogue to Digital Music Expo 2011 is a major music technology exposition with workshops, masterclasses and demonstrations.
The new displays
When RAMM reopens in December, the fabulous new displays will include items that have not been on display for a long time. One such treasure is the 1782 Vincenzo Sodi harpsichord. This wonderful instrument was built in Italy in 1782 by Vincenzo Sodi of Florence. It is one of only five harpsichords by Sodi which can be identified with certainty and the only example in Britain. The instrument is known for its highly individual timbre and fine construction.
Luxury instruments like this were used both for public performance and for musical entertainment within wealthy homes. This one was restored in the 1970s when it was used for commercial recordings of Scarlatti’s sonatas but is now too delicate for public performances. Some time after it was painted a thick layer of varnish had been applied and this had trapped a layer of dirt underneath. Recent conservation work has removed the old discoloured varnish and modern resin has been applied that will protect the painted surface from light damage.