flight (K. Dawkins)
"Puck" from Lyric Pieces, Op. 71 (E. Grieg)
the road to lisdoonvarna (Irish trad.)
Linus & Lucy (V. Guaraldi)
The Georgia Guitar Quartet (Kyle Dawkins, Brian Smith, Phil Snyder, and Jason Solomon) are a pioneering ensemble on the American chamber music and classical guitar scenes. These four musicians from the southeastern United States deliver a high-energy blend of breathtaking virtuosity and imaginative programming while taking an adventurous approach to classical music. Borrowing from both the past and present, the GGQ draws inspiration from the ever-evolving palette of music that has influenced them: classical masters such as Bach and Brahms, experimentalists in the vein of Cage and Stockhausen, and contemporary rock icons like Led Zeppelin and Radiohead. Audiences at a GGQ concert experience an exciting musical journey through an expansive array of genres, continents, and time periods. Accomplished composers themselves, the Quartet members frequently incorporate their own unique works into their dynamic concert programs. The incredible range and interactive spontaneity of a performance by the GGQ continually leaves audiences with something to remember, resulting in a thrilling new way to experience chamber music in the 21st century.
Formed in 1996 and hailing from Athens, Georgia, the Quartet performs throughout the nation in venues ranging from concert halls to popular music clubs. Recent concert highlights include performances in New York, Los Angeles, and a performance of Rodrigo's Concierto Andaluz with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. The GGQ has been featured on American Public Media's Performance Today on dozens of occasions. Their five critically acclaimed albums include their own arrangements and compositions. Several notable composers have dedicated new works to the GGQ, including Russian composer Nikita Koshkin, whose Suite for Four Guitars quickly became an audience favorite. The group has collaborated with modern dance groups and visual artists to produce multimedia performances and has recently embarked on a new collaboration with lyric baritone Robert Sims. With Sims, the GGQ adds American spirituals, blues, German art song, and rousing show tunes to its repertoire. In 2001, the Quartet was invited by Christopher Parkening to perform as the guest artists at his Twenty-Seventh Annual Masterclass in Bozeman, Montana. Parkening, the recognized heir to Andres Segovia, praised the GGQ, saying "the Quartet performs with good energy and technique, applies careful attention to detail, and maintains a diverse repertoire." A review of their Piccolo Spoleto Festival performance in Charleston, South Carolina, described the concert as "a dazzling display of technical prowess, versatile programming, and audience rapport." The town of Athens, which boasts a rich musical heritage including R.E.M. and the B-52's, has honored the ensemble by awarding them "Best Classical Artist" in Athens five years in a row at the Athens Flagpole Music Awards.
An offshoot of the GGQ, Revien is a contemporary chamber ensemble consisting of three members of the Georgia Guitar Quartet, with Phil Snyder on cello, Kyle Dawkins (Maps and Transit) on guitars and electronics, and Brian Smith (The Odd Trio) on guitars and electronics. Formed in Athens GA, the trio’s repertoire embraces classical music while incorporating an impressive mix of original compositions by the members, and drawing from the energy of rock and pop music as well. Playing in a collection of Athens bands throughout their 20+ years here, the trio is equally at home in rock and chamber music lineups, and creates a compelling program for audiences, incorporating modern tech and prepared enhancements on their instruments -- you might hear guitars and cello used as percussion, or guitar strings fitted with found objects to sound more like a sitar or an Indonesian gamelan, for instance.
The name of the group is taken from the text of the first piece the band played together, the art song “After a Dream” by Gabriel Fauré. Revien is related to the idea of “coming back” or “returning,” reflected in Snyder’s return to his first instrument, the cello, as well as the group’s return to its roots performing a wide assortment of musical instruments and styles. Good music, after all, transcends genres, styles and classification.
“Foreground” by Grizzly Bear, arr. B. Smith
2/7/2020 SCMEA Convention, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia SC, Keynote Performance and Masterclass
2/9/2020 Kiawah Arts Council, Kiawah Island, SC
3/16/2020 Center City Concert series, Charlotte, NC
5/16/20 Revien Duo w/ Natalie Smith, flute, Macon, GA, Little Carnegie of the South
11/8/20 Revien, Sautee-Nacooche Cultural Center, Sautee-Nacoochee, GA