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Viola Organista, the Leonardo's invention, got its voice after centuries of silence. Sławomir Zubrzycki is recording its first album.
Viola Organista, the Leonardo's invention, got its voice after centuries of silence. Sławomir Zubrzycki is recording its first album.
Viola Organista, the Leonardo's invention, got its voice after centuries of silence. Sławomir Zubrzycki is recording its first album.
169 backers pledged $10,000 to help bring this project to life.

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The da Vinci sound - Viola Organista first recording

$10,000

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The da Vinci sound

Leonardo da Vinci in 1480s invented a musical instrument called Viola Organista. However he never built it. For 500 years very few attempts were made to bring this project to life, moreover none of them fully succeeded. Until now. In 2013, after 4-years-long work, Sławomir Zubrzycki, Polish pianist and constructor, built the first concert Viola Organista and started a new chapter of its history. Now with your help we would like to release CD album and preserve this music.

Your support will allow us to complete this project as soon as this AUTUMN.

”The instrument’s popularity after the first concert (gained thanks to Agence France Press which as first got interested in it) was truly unexpected”, says Zubrzycki. ”I thought that the viola organista would be an intriguing but rather a niche instrument. Although its success is quite surprising, I must admit that it is amazing to hear and read about it so much.” We would like to share this joy with others from all over the world.

But this is not the only reason. The most important is that we want to preserve a sound unheard for centuries. Viola Organista is a unique instrument built specifically for concert, but the possibilities of organizing concerts are limited by time and distance. The only other way to appreciate and fully preserve the heritage that this instrument brings is releasing CD.

We wish to make the first Viola Organista album perfect in every detail. Our aim is to create a little masterpiece, pleasing not only to ears, but also to the eye. With Leonardo as the inventor, we feel obliged.

fot. Grażyna Makara / Tygodnik Powszechny
fot. Grażyna Makara / Tygodnik Powszechny

Why do we need your support?

Viola Organista came into being thanks to the passion, perseverance and efforts of one man, Sławomir Zubrzycki. He had been working on it for over 4 years. Producing CD album of an exceptional quality , however, is impossible to be done by a single person, even with the aid of team of friends. That is why we ask you to help us in bringing this project into life. 

In return we give you an opportunity to create the history with us.

Viola Organista in Collegio Borromeo (Pavia)
Viola Organista in Collegio Borromeo (Pavia)

CD album

The CD album will consist of eight solo  pieces for Viola Organista - music of the French, Italian, German and Polish Baroque composers. 

As a location of the album recording we chose historic Lutheran church in Mikołów (Polish Silesia region). We are convinced that the great acoustics of this place and the spirit of its history will help us to share with you the emotions experienced during performances of Viola Organista. 

The booklet  will include texts about the history of Viola Organista and the music pieces in three languages: Polish, English, and German, as well as pictures from a special photo session.

The money we would like to raise in this campaign would allow us to produce and release 1000 copies of the Viola Organista album.

The project team

Sławomir Zubrzycki - pianist, musical instruments constructor, composer,culture TV presenter and educator, piano pedagogue, Viola Organista player... man with passion, Renaissance man.

If you would like to get to know his newest artistic plans regarding Viola Organista or just say hello, you can do it via Facebook or Twitter

PianoClassic Association - non-profit organization which cooperates with Sławomir Zubrzycki since his very first Viola Organista recital and, with many years of experience in managing international cultural projects, helps to organize concerts and popularize the instrument.  PianoClassic gathers professional musicians and specialists from other branches who feel passionate about classical music and want to share that feeling with the rest of the world.

Indie Designers is a creative collective that gathers creative people to bring great ideas, like Viola Organista, to life. We mix together experience in design, engineering and art to create revolutionary projects.

Viola Organista - keys and bows
Viola Organista - keys and bows

Few more facts about Viola Organista

At the first glace, Viola Organista resembles baby grand piano or harpsichord, but when it comes to sound it is slightly more complicated

Due to the bowed technique of playing it is usually compared to the cello, but it produces the sound similar rather to that of its Renaissance-Baroque ancestor, viola da gamba. Thanks to keyboard allowing to play many melodic lines simultaneously, the listeners receive the impression of the whole ensemble of violas playing.

Among a few historical attempts of constructing a viola organista there were works of German craftsman, Hans Heiden at the turn of 16th and 17th centuries. A description of Haiden's instrument with its sound characteristics and musical properties is contained in Syntagma Musicum by Michael Praetorius, published in 1618. In a typical Baroque manner, Praetorius wrote that it could play urban music, rural music, it could express various feelings, and even imitate the sound of a drunken man. Unfortunately, none of Haiden's instruments nor its blueprints survived to our time.

Quote placed on the inside of Viola Organista's lid
Quote placed on the inside of Viola Organista's lid

Risks and challenges

The entire project is well thought-out. The recording is already in progress and, the whole process of producing of the CD is planned thoroughly. We created it basing on Sławomir Zubrzycki's experience, who recorded 5 solo and chamber albums as a pianist (first of them on a VINYL). Still, we are aware that due to some unforseen events we can face some delays, but we are sure we will deal with it. We will keep you updated on the project progress.

We greatly encourage you to support us, tell your friends about this project, and the just look forward to the first-ever CD recording of the da Vinci sound - Viola Organista album.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU
    Any amount brings us closer to our goal. From now on you are a part of our project - a creator of the history. We will keep you updated on the progress and thank you for your support onTwitter.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY BIRD: SPECIAL CD ALBUM
    Viola Organista has been waiting for over 500 years to be recorded. Do not let it wait any longer, support us right now and get one of the 25 CD albums signed by Sławomir Zubrzycki.

    We will also keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    CD ALBUM
    Support us and enrich your CD collection with the Viola Organista album.

    We will also keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CD WITH DEDICATION
    The Viola Organista CD album will be unique.
    We can make your copy even more special by adding a dedication from Sławomir Zubrzycki to you or your loved one.

    We will also keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SOUNDS IN NOTES
    In 2014 Zubrzycki composed the first original music piece for Viola Organista titled "Sarmatian Suite". It has not been published. You can receive a copy signed by the composer.

    "Sarmatian Suite" for Viola Organista by Sławomir Zubrzycki - premiere performance in October 2014
    I. Preambulum
    II. Capriccio
    III. Preambulum II
    IV. Gorczycki
    V. Hajduk
    VI. Preambulum III
    VII. Capriccio II
    VIII. Jarzębski
    IX. Pękiel
    X. Polak

    Additionally, we will keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    HOW DOES IT WORK? – VIDEOCHAT
    You just need to figure out how Viola Organista works? Want to interrupt while playing just to ask a question? You can do that in front of your laptop! Have a half-hour Skype talk with Sławomir Zubrzycki (in English or Polish language) and listen to short piece played on it. You will also get 2 CDs with dedication for you and your friend and a copy of score of "Sarmatian Suite" - music piece composed for Viola Organista signed by the composer.

    Additionally, we keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FOR YOUR OWN EYES + 3 CDs WITH DEDICATION
    Are you as fascinated by this instrument as we are? Now you have a chance to meet Sławomir Zubrzycki and his Viola Organista during a private meeting in Krakow (Poland) and get three Viola Organista CD albums with dedication for you and your friends.

    The meeting will take at least half an hour. The date must be set with the agreement of both sides, at least one month earlier. Please note, that we do not cover the costs of your travel and accommodation in Krakow, however we can offer you a piece of advice if this is your first visit in this beautiful city.

    Additionally, we keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    VIOLA ORGANISTA PLAYS FOR YOU IN KRAKOW
    Would you like to participate in the Viola Organista private concert, invite you friends along and meet Sławomir Zubrzycki after the concert? How fortunate, it is possible!

    A full viola organista concert (about one and a half hour with intermission) for max. 100 listeners in the venue chosen by you - either in Krakow or some other within a 50 km range from Krakow.The date must be set with theagreement of both sides at least one month earlier. Please note, we do not cover the cost of the venue hire, but we can advise you.

    Additionally, we keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PRIVATE CONCERT OF VIOLA ORGANISTA ANYWHERE WITHIN EUROPE
    Would you like to listen to the viola organista recital in your local concert hall or even your own livingroom?
    Viola Organista and Sławomir Zubrzycki are ready for this trip.

    A full viola organista concert (about one and a half hour with intermission) for max. 100 listeners in a venue chosen by you - anywhere within Europe (indoor only).The date must be set with agreement of both sides at least two months earlier. Please note, we will organize the travel and accommodation for the artist and his instrument, but we do not cover any other costs, like venue hire.

    Additionally, we keep you updated on the progress in the project as from now on we consider you our partner in creating the history.

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Funding period

- (30 days)