My first encounter with early music happened in 2007, when I tried playing the lute for the first time, by chance, during a summer course. The instrument was everything but an original object, it was even made out of carbon fiber. Yet, its sound transported me: I suddenly felt as if I was traveling in time & connecting to a part of my heritage.
Coincidences led me to play viola da gamba, but the feeling stayed the same. I feel my share in this world is to make music from the past live – not only to make it survive in the sense of not being forgotten, but also to make it alive. This goes along with a strong awareness that we, however, are today. I have no intention to try to strictly imitate the past – granted that this would even be possible, but rather to look for ways to build an imaginary bridge between past and present, with all the compromises & sacrifices that it implies.
There is however a compromise that I am not willing to do, that is ‘going online’. Social networks & numeric artefacts have brought amazing possibilities, but they have also harmed our relationship to reality & live music. This frenetic pursuit of online visibility has produced countless music videos which disguise the reality of our work & therefore confuse both musicians and audience’s expectations. It is indeed not easy to resist the temptation of controlling every note, every transition, every smile, every colour… But how can sincerity & humanity survive such a mercyless process?
The imperfection of a live performance, simple & sincere, without recording device, fascinates me. Nothing else than the awareness of the present moment, which has never been before and will never be again… what can be more historically informed than that? Let this priviledged, ephemeral instant between musician & listener be enough. It cannot be replaced by any virtual alternative.
This website is therefore only meant as a way to be visible to whoever would be interested in my music, my approach & my attempts to propose different formats of performance.
My gratitude goes to all the performers I had the chance to see in live concerts, inspiring me & allowing me to form this idea of music.
A special thank you to Gérard Verba, Paolo Pandolfo and of course, Evelyn Tubb & Anthony Rooley.
Mathilde Gomas in Maria Saal, June 2020.