By Lillian Linscott
Thursday night, Oct. 4, Grand Rapids Community College hosted Folias Duo, a musical duo brought together through music, nature and love.
While attending Michigan State University, Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron met and began their 15 years of playing and composing music together.
“That’s how we met was playing music,” Bergeron said. ”And then I think I asked Carmen to go camping and then we got married and now we do both.”
Much of their music has been inspired by nature and Argentinian culture. In their program, they noted that all the music performed Thursday night was written while they stayed at “rustic cabins” in Canada and Colorado.
“I loved tango music and Andrew was a composer when we met, so initially it was a trade,” Maret said. “So he played tango pieces I wanted played and I played his compositions and now our music is more a blend of both.”
While speaking about the influences Argentinian music has on their compositions, Bergeron said, “It’s just great music.”
Both the artists are professors at GRCC with similar musical backgrounds. They both began by playing the piano and then proceeded to their preferred instruments – Bergeron with the guitar and Maret, the flute. Their experience as teachers and performers was described by Maret as a “natural synthesis back and forth.”
“It’s been a dream of ours to have our music played by others,” Maret said. “So much of what I do (as a professor) is informed by my performing and my understanding of other musical worlds.”
GRCC’s International Guitar Series concerts have been a staple at the school for 30 years. Jonathan Marshall, an adjunct music instructor at GRCC, became the facilitator for the event last year.
“I wanted to give them (Folias Duo) the chance to perform here because they write amazing music,” Marshall said.
The audience seemed to agree with Marshall as each performance was met with heavy applause in the full room.
Carl Uzarski, 25, a math tutor at GRCC said, “It has been really cool. I’m not all that familiar with classical guitar…this was very nice to have it paired with other instruments. I thought it was really neat to hear brand new music played.”
The couple was joined during their concerto, a piece where a soloist is usually accompanied by a symphony, by Kyle Thompson on guitar and Marissa Peak on bassoon. Bergeron described the performance as “a concerto on a budget.” Kyle Thompson also accompanied Bergeron on a piece written by Maret called “Parliament of the Birds.”
A list of upcoming GRCC International Guitar Series Concerts can be found here.
Check out The Collegiate’s coverage of the performance below.