The complex rhythms of the "Ars Subtilior" (1370-1420) mirrored against rhythms of the 20th century. Works by Bártók and Ligeti - sometimes set in a new soundscape, sometimes taken apart and re-mixed - are put side-by-side with music of the "Ars subtilior" movement and with sub-Saharan African rhythms. In complete contrast, the programme is laced together by piano miniatures of the British composer Howard Skempton in arrangements for various combinations within the Sheridan Ensemble. Through the extreme diversity of the instruments - ranging from string trio to electric guitar, vibraphone and harpsichord - the music gives the impression of timelessness; the barriers of the centuries seem to disappear. 

Subtilior: complexity/simplicity - 14th century/20th century

Example sets

Johannes Ciconia (1370 - 1412): Ut Te per Omnes
Jacob de Senleches (flourished 1382 - 1395): La Harpe de Melodie
Howard Skempton (born 1947): Surface Tension 3 (Juli 1976)
Johannes Ciconia: Una Panthera
George Gershwin (1898 – 1947): “Porgy and Bess Overture” / “Summertime” (Improvisation)

Bartolino da Padova (approx. 1365 -1405): Strinze la man (violin/viola)
Bela Bartók (1881 – 1945): Duo 23: Farewell to the Bride
Bartolino da Padova: Strinze la man (harpsichord)
Bela Bartók: Duo 22: Mosquito Dance (violin/violin)
Bartolino da Padova: Strinze la man (electric guitar/cello)
Howard Skempton/Sheridan Ensemble: freely after „Two Highland Dances, Nr. 2“
Bela Bartók: Mikrokosmos Book V: Bagpipe Music
Bela Bartók: Duo 36: Bagpipe
Bela Bartók: Mikrokosmos Book VI: Bulgarian Dance
György Ligeti (1923 – 2006)/Sheridan Ensemble: freely after „Hungarian Rock”
Howard Skempton/Sheridan Ensemble: freely after „Quavers 3” (April 1975)

Violin, violin (viola), violoncello, harpsichord, piano, vibraphone, electric guitar