A project designed by Sound Gallery, dedicated to the preservation, digital restoration and future exhibition of this unique harpsichord built in 1782 by Vincenzo Sodi in Florence, currently stored at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. More: http://vincenzo.sound-gallery.net/


The Virtual Vincenzo digital harpsichord is developed by Sound Gallery CIC and the hungersleep productions team. This project is dedicated to the digital restoration and preservation of the unique voice of this important harpsichord built by Vincenzo Sodi in 1782 in Florence. Sound Gallery is planning to have The Virtual Vincenzo digital keyboard available as a fully functioning sample instrument in the near future. The sound of the original instrument can be heard in all its glory in the album Propeller by GRICE www.gricemusic.co.uk


In 1975 Decca made a vinyl recording of a collection of Scarlatti’s sonatas. These pieces were played on a harpsichord constructed by Vincenzo Sodi in 1782. The Vincenzo Sodi harpsichord is by all accounts one of the most authentic instruments surviving and very much in keeping with the instrument that Scarlatti would have been composing on. The actual harpsichord was kept in the basement of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and was displayed for the first time after 35 years when the museum re-opened on 15th December 2011.

In 2002, members of Sound Gallery (Exeter-based not-for-profit organisation, which became social enterprise Sound Gallery CIC in 2007) digitally recorded all the working notes from the harpsichord with the permission of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. The team has re-created the entire keyboard (or at least an approximation of it) with the aid of the latest computer and MIDI technology. In this way the sampled notes were transferred to a MIDI controlled master keyboard and then played and heard by the public providing access to this important instrument. A fully working keyboard has been used in performance and for recording purposes at Sound Gallery Studios at Exeter Phoenix.


In 2006, a multi-media performance entitled ‘New works for Lost Voices‘ took place at Exeter Phoenix, organised by the Sound Gallery team and a number of musicians and technicians. The event featured the digitally re-constructed instrument and a number of new commissions which were played to an enthralled audience. This performance featured Hillary Boxer, David Cottam, Richard Langham Smith, SWANSTON and new arrangements and compositions by M.C Peters (GRICE),Tim Boxer, Steve Clarke (NTropic) and two short films created by Verity Healy. 

We are exploring the idea of holding presentations, a temporary virtual installation and a possible music event alongside this splendid instrument featuring the unique voice of Sound Gallery’s Virtual Vincenzo™.

Sound Gallery wishes to thank the following individuals for their faith and dedication to this project:

Jim (GRICE) Peters: Original Concept and Artistic Direction (Sound Gallery CIC)
Zac Woolhouse: Research & Advice
Paul Bateman: Sound Recording & Sampling
Maria Peters: Research (Sound Gallery CIC)
Steve Clarke: Sample Editing
Jo Gedrych: Filming & Support
Aleksis Gailans: Website Design & Server Support (Sound Gallery CIC)
Duncan Chave: Sample Library Development (Sound Gallery CIC)
John Allen: Support (RAMM)
John Maden: Support (RAMM)
Robert Porch: Research & Support
Girts Gailans: Photography
Jose Vasquez: Research notes
Michael Latcham: Research notes
Tim Boxer: drums (live performance)
Alan Boxer: live performance support
Hilary Boxer: cello (live performance)
Fred Ehresmann: keys & Virtual Vincenzo (live performance)

Justin Graham: development

If you wish to support the Virtual Vincenzo project or if you would like to find out more, please contact us: [email protected]

Sound Gallery’s Virtual Vincenzo installation and digital harpsichord was presented at the Analogue to Digital Music Expo on 19th March 2011 and 21st April 2012 and were shown at the Big Bang show at Exeter University on 28th June and the Devon School mix on 27th June 2013.

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