Vishten looks to future while remembering roots
January 13, 2011
Special to The R-C
The Carson Valley Arts Council hosts their third concert of the season when they feature the Canadian, foot-stomping band Vishten at the CVIC Hall in Minden on Saturday.
The musicians of Vishten have made a conscious choice to play and interpret in new ways the music learned from their parents’ generation. It must stem from a respect and love of the sounds and rhythms forged by musicians who have come before, inspiring them to create anew and carry Acadian music into the future.
According to an old saying, “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 Vishten have been doing just that for the past seven years, touring their brand of new-traditional Acadian music in more than 1,000 performances rendered in eight different countries.
Made up of third-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 and Louis-Charles Vigneau 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 four 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.
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In the North Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off of Canada’s east coast, lays tiny Prince Edward Island and nearby, the even smaller archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands. The islands share the history and cultural ties of early French Acadian settlers seeking a better life in the New World. In their quest to survive, many settlers became fishermen and carried 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.
A musical marriage that embodies the spirit and the sound of this connection in the present is the contemporary Acadian traditional group Vishten. Band information at vishten.net
Vishten tickets are $20, or $17 for arts council members, purchased at cvartscouncil.com, 782-8207, or at the door.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a wine reception hosted by Tahoe Ridge Winery, Marketplace, and Bistro, followed by the concert at 7 p.m.
Next in the Carson Valley Arts Council concert series is Red Chamber on Feb. 25, Robert Mirabal on March 25 and Hot Club Cowtown on May 13. Information, 782-8207 or email@example.com