Faculty Recital to be an Evening to Remember

Erik Bergholm

Stringed instruments hold a special place in the human heart. The guitar is the dominant instrument in popular culture today, but for hundreds of years it was the lute that reigned, an instrument that has serenaded everyone from royalty to those of humble means. If you have ever been curious about this wonderful instrument, you have a chance to watch and listen at Ed Martin’s faculty recital on Saturday, April 2nd. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Tower 3625.

Martin, an adjunct faculty member here at CSS, has had a love of music since his childhood. “Having been a musician all my life, I started at age 5 playing guitar. I continued with this until I was in my early 20’s, in which I heard a recording of lute music, and I was then captivated, smitten by the subtle, but glorious and rich sound of the lute,” said Martin. He began formal studies soon after purchasing his first instrument.

Martin will be performing pieces from the Renaissance, the golden age of the lute. The selections range from pieces by Italian composer Jean Paul Paladin and Czech composer Antonin Losy to works “in the style of airs de cour, which are love and drinking songs from the court of Henry XIII,” he said. He will be accompanied by professor William Bastian on vocals.

The instruments he will be using for the concert are Renaissance and Baroque lutes made right here in Duluth by luthier Daniel Larson, founder of Gamut Music, based on London Rd.

Lutes are vaguely similar to guitars in appearance (although their size can vary greatly). However, their bodies are pear-shaped with a rounded, bowl-like back, compared to a guitar’s flat back. Lute strings are strung in pairs called “courses”, with the top course being a single string. An eight course instrument would have 15 strings in all. It is generally played finger-style.

It is an ancient instrument, descending from the Middle Eastern “oud”, which was brought to Europe via trading and the Crusades. “Originally, the instruments were a tortoise shell, with a wooden top and neck, with strings of gut or silk,” Martin said.

Martin’s recital is sure to be an entertaining and educational experience. The event is free and open to the public.