Monday, January 28, 2013

A double dose of MGT and CGT at the One World Theater

For several years, I have been trying to persuade Bert Lams to bring the sextet of the Montreal Guitar Trio and the California Guitar Trio, to Austin, via Facebook posts.
Well my nagging payed off, it finally happened. I of course, took advantage of this opportunity, to get tickets to both shows, last night.

Both sets lasted somewhere between 90 - 100 minutes. When both trios played together, as a sextet, the sound was amazingly powerful. It was interesting to hear the mix of nylon and steel string guitars, and watch the differences in hand positions brought about the different tunings used by both trios. MGT comes from a traditional, classical guitar background, whereas CGT is heavily influenced by Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft. Many of compositions featured interlocking layers of polyrhythm and polyphony.

This tour also featured a first, a song specifically written for the sextet, Magneto. Here's to hoping for more touring, and more material like this.

MGT & CGT

Early Show

For the first show, both trios played a bit tense for their intro segment, but quickly settled down for the sextet. None the less, they reached the crowd, who was very pleased, and responded with a rousing demand for an encore.

Set List

MGT

  • El Paso
  • Garam Masala

CGT

  • Walk Don't Run
  • Melrose Avenue
  • Beethoven's Fifth

Sextet

  • Blockhead
  • Breizh Tango - a piece based upon a melody, from the traditional music of Brittany
  • Chacarera
  • Magneto - specifically composed for the sextet
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Encore

  • Bohemian Rhapdsody

Late Show

I would say that for the 2nd show, both trios were more relaxed. This was to be expected. I also noticed that CGT carefully changed the setlist, for two of the songs.

Set List

MGT

  • El Paso
  • Garam Masala

CGT

  • Walk Don't Run
  • Melrose Avenue
  • Train to Lamy

Sextet

  • Blockhead
  • Breizh Tango
  • Perpetuum Mobile
  • Magneto
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Encore

  • Bohemian Rhapdsody

There were many magical moments during this show, and it was a great night of music.
I am anxiously hoping that I will get to see the sextet again, in the next few years, as they develop more compositions specifically for the combined ensemble.

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