In a couple weeks, I’m doing two concerts with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. This is exciting for a few reasons! First, playing with the TBSO is a lot of fun. I’ve done a number of concerts with them, and they’re always a great time.
Second, this will be the first performance of anything I’ve ever orchestrated. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been arranging stuff for orchestra since I was a teenager, but I never thought that someday, something of mine would get played. I’m aware that this is not really a big deal in itself. There are lots of people who orchestrate day-in, day-out, and for a living if they’re lucky and really good at it. But a lot of my life right now is a series of “wow, I can’t believe I’m actually getting to do this” moments, and this is one of those things that seven-year-old Matt, picking up a guitar for the first time, would be awfully happy about.
And third, in addition to my own arrangements, we’re playing a few movements from Vicente Amigo’s Poeta. Yeah, I know, right? I couldn’t believe it either, and I’m not quite sure how it happened (for those who haven’t heard it, Poeta is a suite for solo flamenco guitar with orchestra). Vicente Amigo has been one of my favourite artists for many years, and his work has had a huge influence on my own. I know that a lot of flamenco guitarists today feel the same way. Getting to play Poeta is literally a dream come true and no, that is not a misuse of the word “literally”, because one time I literally had a dream about getting to play it with a real orchestra.
Joseph Roy, who taught me classical guitar at Lakehead University, is playing in one half of the show, and I’m playing in the other half. Hence the concert being called “Duelling Guitars” … though I doubt you’ll see any real duelling. Now there’s an idea for a show.
So, if you’re in Thunder Bay on February 9th or 11th, come to the Italian Cultural Centre for 8PM! Hope to see you there. I’ll try to remember my silver Sharpie so I can sign your CDs.
Here’s some more info on the shows, and the Facebook events so you can invite all your friends if you’re feeling inclined to do so: