By Evan Turner
The classical guitar duo, Kevin Marsh and Mike Lyngstad, started out as students at the University of Alberta. It was returning from their first concert when they wrote their first tune in the car. But if it were not for the unfortunate illness of Mike’s wife, Lyngstad says they would “probably still be playing standard classical repertoire.”
Today the duo plays a mix of classical, contemporary, and world music influenced by genres such as jazz. They wish to enlighten and inspire other musicians.
“An infinite amount of possibilities exist on the guitar and a lot of musicians are just not aware,” explains Marsh.
Style, tone, and technique are important when making music your own. Lyngstad elaborates, “Our music comes out as a conglomeration that is uniquely our own style. But it influences everything that we listen to.”
The duo will perform this week as part of their CD release tour for their album, Portage to Tunnel Mountain. This unusual title signifies the journey from where the beginning of the album, the Radisson Hotel on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg to where they finished at Tunnel Mountain in Banff. In fact, the music represents Canada’s geography.
“That was the scope of Canada, physically we had covered up until that point,” says Lyngstad. “The piece is actually supposed to kind of reflect the territory… like musical motifs of the mountains and prairies and coulees.”
Refreshing is the duo’s courage in revising and editing pieces whenever they feel it needs to be changed.
“We don’t consider any of our pieces actually finished,” explains Lyngstad.
They believe that there is always something they can do to revise their compositions. Their CD took two years to perfect. Marsh admits, “it’s never really perfected, but was as perfect as we wanted it to be [at the time].”
The duo’s music also appeals to a large audience.
Marsh explains, “The music may appeal to an academic audience that knows a lot about music.”
Lyngstad continues, “But we’ve had people as young as 13 that enjoy it as much as those who are 75. Our music isn’t stuffy or scary; it’s just good to listen to.”