Science Ficta: Viola da gamba Ensemble


An ensemble of viola da gamba virtuosi (Doug Balliett, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Loren Ludwig, and Zoe Weiss), Science Ficta tackles the thorniest polyphonic challenges, old and new. Longtime collaborators and friends, in 2016 the four were inspired to form an ensemble dedicated to music at least as difficult to play as it is to listen to (and hopefully more so!). Science Ficta's arcane but rewarding repertory is comprised both of new commissions and a wealth of little-known sixteenth century works that have been unjustly neglected by modern performers and listeners.

Science Ficta's performances seek points of contact between contemporary music and the diverse experimental musical traditions of the late Renaissance pioneered by composers including Christopher Tye, Ferdinando de las Infantas, John Baldwin, and Johann Walter. Science Ficta has premiered new works by Molly Herron, Doug Balliett, and Cleek Schrey and members of the ensemble have performed and collaborated with composers including Donnacha Dennehy, Nico Mulhy, George Benjamin, Ted Coffey and numerous others. Recent residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and Cornell and Princeton Universities have allowed Science Ficta to work closely with student performers and composers. Upcoming projects include a recording of new music for viol consort by Molly Herron in June 2018 and a residency at the University of Virginia in early 2020 culminating in a performance and recording of works by graduate students in the Composition and Computer Technology program.


Science Ficta performs Arvo Pärt’s Fratres (1977)

Science Ficta performs Molly Herron’s Lyra (2018)

Science Ficta with Hard Wood Daxophone Consort performs Cleek Schrey’s Zones (after Zosimos) (2018)

Molly Herron (2016) Recorded summer 2016 at Avaloch Farm, Boscawen, NH

Christopher Tye (c.1505-1573) Recorded summer 2016 at Avaloch Farm, Boscawen, NH Musicians (L-R) : Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Loren Ludwig, Zoe Weiss