Now a much loved part of the Australian music scene, the dynamic quartet Guitar Trek was formed by Tim Kain in 1987 specifically to launch the guitar family project, a unique combination of classically-constructed, different-sized guitars – Treble, Standard, Baritone and Bass. Steel-string Dobro and 12-string guitars are also paired with the classical instruments to magical effect.
A compellingly rich repertoire of music from across the globe, many historical periods and popular traditions, and Australia’s own phenomenally inventive contemporary composers has sprung to life through the huge variety of colours, textures and acoustic effects available to the group.
With new Australian music at its heart, the group’s fresh, innovative and popular approach to repertoire has taken it across all musical boundaries, breaking the sound barrier between different styles and tastes in the process. The new music of contemporary Australians rubs shoulders with Led Zeppelin, JS Bach, music of the Spanish masters, unbuttoned Brahms, the Beatles, the Greats of the Renaissance, George Gershwin, the Gypsy Kings and the sensuous rhythms of modern day Brazil.
Audiences and critics alike have readily acknowledged the outstanding innovative significance of Guitar Trek’s work and the group has been still more highly acclaimed for the extraordinary energy, assurance and musical quality of its playing. “The instruments were played with magnificent sensitivity”, enthused one critic, “and the transcriptions and arrangements were brilliant. As for the players, their individual and collective quality, taken with their imaginative musical leap into the unknown, has given chamber music in Australia a new dimension.”
Guitar Trek’s performing activities has included many tours for Musica Viva, performing in the capital cities as well as the regional centres of Australia, including performances in Musica Viva’s prestigious ‘International Series’. Other Australian performance highlights include appearances at the Adelaide and Sydney Festivals, and the Darwin International Guitar Festival.
Their new album, Serene Nights spans 150 years and a kaleidoscopic range of musical cultures and colours – all brought together through the beauty and eloquence of the guitar quartet. Guitar Trek’s previous five albums have been released on ABC Classics and Tall Poppies labels and their music also appears on many classical guitar compilation CDs. Overseas activities to date include highly successful tours of the USA, Eastern Europe, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.