Sonnambula performs rare historic music written for the viola da gamba (viol) and other similar instruments.
Those of us who grew up playing music are likely more familiar with what music historians call "violin family" instruments—violins, violas, and cellos—in a modern setup, with innovations that have evolved over the last two hundred years to fill modern concert halls with sound: steel strings, end pins, chin rests, and modern bows.
Viols possess none of these artifacts of industrialization. Their delicate bodies are made with thin slabs of wood, strung with gut strings and frets, and are played da gamba, or 'on the leg'. In short, these instruments are meant for the court, for the domestic interior, and for the cultivation of a quiet beauty, the sort of which is difficult to come by in today's loud and fast-paced world.