Giorgio Salmoiraghi / Vasa Cantici, Retta

The long string instrument of Villaggio Eni in Borca di Cadore.

The first experiment to make string vibration visible and countable through a monochord dates back to the first half of 1600.

The project develops the steps to realize a musical device with strings longer than 20 meters (ideally) inside of the Villaggio Eni, following up to studies done in strict cooperation with my previous luthier and electronics lab named ZED & Venarossa.

There are no manuals, documents or walkthroughs showing and reporting plans and phases to realize a similar instrument – additional challenge – that features content and concept tightly intertwined with the physics of sound, or the main gamechanger.

The surrounding place is not futile frame, empty decoration, spectacular mirage – but turns out to be a necessary greatly interactive element of any singular performance. Strings vibrate, frequencies shake running quickly propagating due to the own texture of the material – glass, wood, CONCRETE.

Concrete > resonance > grains > veins > life. Tired of celebrating and venerating abandon and decay, we make ours the tonal properties of the unique architectures we have the honor and privilege of witnessing.

The space chosen for the installation becomes soundboard, delicate but not less solemn of war drums. The sounds amplified through reverberation and sympathetic resonance of strings can now be sampled and imprinted.


After diving into the interactions with spaces, is finally possible to operate with a structure which allows to preserve and record the voice of the device and its timbrical peculiarities. Immutable presence in the village’s space, the long string instrument is made of durable elements.

Vasa cantici are not only the accompaniment instruments but the accompaniments themselves. The resulting compositional pieces are deconstructed, cards reshuffled, the shape sculpted and refined.

Volumes in space have been morphed into integral part, voices and unique resonances live and last inside of what the dialogue with the instrument shaped. Adapting to the rules and conditions of an ambience becomes mandatory, when you try to interact and move in without altering its build and anatomy.

Giorgio Salmoiraghi, novembre 2020



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