chamber music and Celtic fiddling are in for a treat at Immanuel Episcopal
Church, Bellows Falls, on September 1st when The Fretless performs one of a
string of dates on its New England tour. Combining Celtic, folk and chamber music into
a unique sound it likes to call “rad trad,” the young quartet aims to create
its own unique path in the music world.
Admittedly more a “Celtic band with a twist” than a chamber quartet, The Fretless has certainly fiddled with the rules a bit. Each member’s training, however, is deeply rooted in the classical tradition.
Canadians Trent Freeman, Ivonne Hernandez, Karrnnel Sawitsky and Vermont’s Eric Wright comprise the group, which is currently touring its newly-recorded debut album, Waterbound.
Freeman described the album as “a string quartet’s take on folk music” featuring “new arrangements of traditional-style tunes.” He said the members enjoy challenging themselves and each other to “take string instruments to new places.”
In their youth, Sawitsky, Freeman and Hernandez
competed frequently in the Canadian fiddling and step-dancing circuit, often
against each other. They became good friends, and some of Canada’s most
decorated young musicians, in the process.
After high school, Sawitsky earned a degree in civil engineering while Freeman and Hernandez headed to the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. There they met Wright, who had a similar musical history as a young prodigy of youth orchestras in the New England area.
The four share a long-standing passion for fiddling, supported both musically and technically by their extensive classical training. Since forming The Fretless in November of 2011, their exciting tunes and unique arrangements have garnered airplay and rave reviews across North America and Europe. Most recently, the group has been nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year at this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards.
Freeman said he and his bandmates are looking forward to their upcoming appearance in Bellows Falls. “Each one of these venues we’ve played at, especially the last few nights, there’s been someone in the community who has really taken this venue and is making [their local] scene thrive,” he said. “Helping them out as they help us out is sort of a really neat relationship and that comes across in the music and the audience as well. You can really feel that community experience.”
The Fretless will perform at 7:30 pm on Saturday, September1st at Stone Church Arts at 20 Church Street in Bellows Falls, VT. Doors will open at 7:00 pm. Admission is $17.00 for adults ($13.00 for seniors and children under 12) in advance and $20 ($15) at the door. Tickets are available at Village Square Booksellers (Bellows Falls), Toadstool Bookshop (Keene, NH), Brattleboro Books, Misty Valley Books (Chester), and at www.brattleborotix.com or available at the door.
For more information or directions go to www.stonechurcharts.org or call 802-463-3100.