Scottish Guitar Quartet
- Kenny Mathieson
- 16 April 2009
The Scottish Guitar Quartet have been around for the best part of a decade, and still feature the same four players – Malcolm MacFarlane, Ged Brockie, Kevin MacKenzie and Nigel Clark – that launched the band at MacFarlane’s behest back in 1999.
They play entirely on lightly amplified acoustic guitars, using both nylon and steel strung instruments that include the visually intriguing Framework guitars made by Frank Crocker in Germany. As MacFarlane explains, their orientation leans toward jazz without being restricted by strict genre categories.
‘We all have a jazz background, but none of us are limited to that,’ he says. ‘There is no one stylistic brief within the band, it’s more a matter of what’s possible with the four guitars. If a piece has a classical influence or folk influence or rock influence or Flamenco influence, then that’s fine.’
The band have issued several albums over the years, but have been keeping a lower profile recently. This return to action will reveal some subtle shifts in their approach, incorporating both ensemble and solo features.
‘Our current focus is more organic and intuitive, and features new music and a generally looser approach, rather than the completely arranged and notated pieces we’ve done up to now – essentially a jazzier approach – although the music still draws on lots of influences, like Latin and, of course, Scottish music. We’ll throw in a few old favourites as well.’
The Lot, Edinburgh, Fri 24 Apr; City Halls (Recital Room), Glasgow, Sun 26 Apr