After splashing onto the P.E.I. music scene with its stirring sounds in 2015, the Atlantic String Machine (ASM) is about to make waves on the other side of the country.
The group has been invited to perform a showcase for Pacific Contact, a touring music conference on April 6. It will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Shadbolt Centre for the Performing Arts in Burnaby, B.C.
And violinist Sean Kemp tells me he can’t wait until the plane hits the tarmac.
“It’s wonderful. It’s fantastic. It’s nice to have the group recognized on the other side of the country. We were the only classical group to be selected for this,” says Kemp, a member of the group that also includes Natalie Williams Calhoun, cello, Louis Garson, double bass, Karen Graves, violin and Jeffrey Bazett-Jones, viola.
Being able to perform their music in front of talent buyers and other industry professionals opens the door for them to play at festivals and concerts across the country.
“We’re looking at getting bookings for the next two years. So it’s a big step for us,” says Kemp.
Besides the professional showcase, the quintet will also be performing shows in Victoria, Duncan and Cortez.
“It’s our first tour as the Atlantic String Machine. And it’s big for us. We were very grateful to get funding from Music P.E.I. to help with this,” says Kemp, adding the group has already received an invitation from the Vancouver Island Folk Festival
But, before it heads out west, the chamber orchestra plans to perform two concerts in preparation for the tour.
The first, “Atlantic String Machine Goes to the Movies” is set for Jan. 21 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Charlottetown at 2:30 p.m.
What’s special about this concert is it invites audience participation.
“We perform themes from movies and the audience will guess the movies.”
Then, on Feb. 24, P.E.I. music lovers will have a chance to see the group when it performs as part of Live! at the Centre at the Homburg Theatre of Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. Show time is 7:30 p.m.
Currently rehearsing for these concerts, the upcoming British Columbia tour isn’t far from his mind.
“It’s like you work so hard through your career and then things seem to fall into place. It validates the group. We all feel so grateful.”
If you are going
- “Atlantic String Machine Goes to the Movies” is Sunday, Jan. 21 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Charlottetown at 2:30 p.m. Tickets may be reserved by calling ASM at 902-394-2579 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Atlantic String Machine performs Saturday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at Homburg Theatre, Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. For tickets and information, go to http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/show/360-Atlantic-String-Machine.
Call in and win
The question is: What year did the Atlantic String Machine form on P.E.I.?
The prize: A pair of tickets to one of the group’s upcoming concerts.
Last week’s winner: Jean Gaudet won a pair of tickets to see Dave Gunning and James Keelaghan in concert in Summerside.
To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.