East Coast Canada’s premier Acadian group Vishten at Skye Theatre July 18
SOUTH CARTHAGE - New England Celtic Arts will host Vishtèn at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday, July 18, and at Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday, July 19. Curtain at Skye is 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Unity. Pre-show jam sessions at Skye and Unity start one hour prior to curtain.
In the North Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off of Canada's east coast, lays tiny Prince Edward Island and nearby, the even smaller archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands (les Îles de la Madeleine). In addition to being connected today by a ferryboat, both Islands have a shared history and a shared cultural tie that dates back several centuries.
This cultural tie tells a story of early French Acadian settlers seeking a better life in the new world. In their quest to survive, many of these settlers eventually became fishermen and carried with them their musical traditions as a means of celebrating their survival. There still exists today a small enclave in Prince Edward Island where the French culture is predominant while the Magdalen Islands still remains primarily French.
There has been a musical connection between these two places for centuries, traded back and forth through trips made on fishing boats in the old days and marriages among the French people which have taken place over the years. A musical marriage that embodies the spirit and the sound of this connection in the present is the contemporary Acadian traditional group Vishtèn.
There's an old saying that goes something like, “ Go out and make your mark in the world exploring the new ways but don't turn your back on your roots.” The members of Vishtèn have been doing just that for the past ten years, touring their brand of new-traditional Acadian music in over 1000 performances rendered in eight different countries. Made up of seventh generation Acadians living separate but parallel musical experiences, twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc from Prince Edward Island, Canada have teamed up with Pascal Miousse from the nearby Magdelen Islands to create a sound that incorporates elements of the new ways while retaining and staying true to the essential Acadian spirit of their roots. The sound is essentially Celtic but with a difference.
The songs are French, sung by each band member, alone or in three part harmony. The foot percussion drives the rhythm in a fiddle tune at times yet refrains itself in the gentler musical moments. The band members are accomplished multi-instrumentalists and step-dancers incorporating the fiddle, guitar, accordion, penny-whistle, banjo, mandolin, piano, jaw-harp and bodhran into each performance. They are surely making their mark in the world today as their musical maturity comes through to captivate audiences wherever they play.
And now three young musicians each pursuing their own version of a personal musical road guided by their own inherent traditions have collectively arrived at the same intersection at the same point in time. These musicians who are still in their early years have made a conscious choice to play and interpret in new ways the music they learned from their parents’ generation. It certainly must stem from a deep respect for and love of the sounds and rhythms forged by the musicians who have come before, inspiring them to create anew and carry this music into the future. Vishtèn has evolved into a group that will leave its own legacy and inspire musicians for generations to come.
Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and US RT. 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot Street in Unity. Ticket price is $15 at the door. For reservations at Skye Theatre call (207) 562-4445 or UCCPA at (207) 948-7469. Reservations are strongly suggested at both venues.
More information is available at: http://www.necelticarts.com