Guitar playing — lots of guitar playing — is how one member of the Canadian Guitar Quartet, Louis Trépanier, described the upcoming show at the Mary Winspear Centre.
“I know I find the sound of a plucked string just tremendously beautiful whether it’s guitar or harp …” said Trépanier.
The show, he said, will be a cross between string quartet or orchestral type music — and four guys playing guitar is what it’s all about.
It’s a very pure musical show with almost no amplification, unless absolutely needed.
“In some ways we’re cutting edge and in some ways we’re really old fashioned in the sense that we play un-amplified instruments and you hear exactly what you hear,” said Trépanier.
Trépanier is the last original member left in the group, which began in 1999. The four originals were together for about 10 years.
The Quartet came together with two guitarists, who were active classical guitarists, well into their careers.
One of them wanted to form a serious guitar Quartet as there wasn’t many of them.
They then looked around for others to join in, Trépanier taking the bait.
He was offered a spot in the group a few months before graduating from his Masters degree, studying under Patrick Roux at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Hull.
He said the nice thing about being part of a group with four guys is that you get to talk shop.
“For me not only was I now playing as a colleague with my former teacher but there’s another older player around from whom I learned really a lot,” he said.
Trépanier loved music as far back as he could remember, discovering The Beatles as a pre-teen.
One day in the fifth grade, a friend of his brought in her guitar for show and tell, singing a few tunes. It was after that performance that Trépanier went home and asked his mother for guitar lessons.
The rest is history.
“It’s kind of something looking back that it really feels like I always was going to go there, it’s just you had the spark one day of a friend who played …” he said.
He then proceeded to take guitar lessons at a little music school and studied mainly pop guitar with a few people.
“I look back and I can tell you I wasn’t even all that good really but I didn’t care, I just loved it so much.”
Fast forward to now, Trepanier is currently a classical guitar teacher at the University of Ottawa.
As for the Canadian Guitar Quartet, they have a new CD coming out at the end of this month. It’s also the first CD with the new line up.
The album is called Mappa Mundi, which is latin for world map.
The group will be performing at the Mary Winspear Centre Jan. 22.
For tickets call 250-656-0275.