A dynamic celebration of the music of Ennio Morricone

The guitar’s musical flexibility offers new experimental compositions, says Marc Morin, guitarist for Montreal Guitar Trio (MG3). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, MG3 brings a virtuosic, energetic groove at Victoria’s Hermann’s Upstairs on May 16.

“The interesting thing with the guitar is that it’s not just one instrument,” says Morin.

MG3 is all about exploring music genres without holding back

While it’s often a lot of effort to learn an entirely new mix of guitar styles, Morin says the result is akin to being able to play a new instrument entirely.

“Classical guitar has its own way to play, but so has flamenco guitar, rock guitar, they’re all different instruments,” he says.

Changes over time

The music has changed plenty in the 25 years since MG3 first came together, even if their ethos has remained the same. In the late 90’s, the original trio was composed of three guitarists, each with a classical guitar background, and each with a desire to explore beyond it.

With performances and recordings that incorporate jazz, flamenco, tango and spaghetti western music, as well as music from Brazil, India and eastern Europe, Morin says MG3 has always been about exploring all kinds of music without holding back.

“We didn’t know at the time really what we were doing because we didn’t have a path. We didn’t follow someone’s path… But we discovered with time that it was our sound we developed that tied everything together,” he adds. “It gave us what we needed as individual musicians, which is to not be restrained in only one music style.”

Another thing that has changed is the composition of the group itself. Following the departure of Sébastien Dufour, a founding member of the trio for 24 years, Morin and fellow MG3 member Glenn Lévesque hoped to find someone who could fill that void in.

While such a replacement would usually be no easy feat, it would be another Sébastien, surname Deshaies, that Morin says has been able to fit in seamlessly.

“We made a short list and we called number one. We didn’t know that much at the time. And [Deshaies] happens to be born to do that,” says Morin. “He’s happy to play with us, we’re really happy, and Sebastian [Dufour] is where he wants to be, and it’s like perfect.”

A love for Morricone

While many of MG3’s genres and worldly influences have come and gone over the years, one thing that has remained is a love for the music of Ennio Morricone. While the famed Italian composer wrote hundreds of film scores over his decades-long career, he’s best known for his work for the classic spaghetti westerns of the 60’s like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

“We are playing [it] now more than ever,” says Morin. “I think it’s music that is addictive.”

Morin says it’s been inspiring to see a younger generation of fans take to the exciting, iconic composer. Before Morricone’s death in 2020, he had been composing even for recent popular films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

And while Morricone is just one part of a typical MG3 concert – although that one part is often a 15-minute suite of the composer’s music – Morin is always eager to see how the audience reacts with recognition.

“I always tell people, if you know Ennio Morricone you’re probably very excited hearing his music,” he says. “But if you don’t know about him, maybe you actually do know about him.”

Audiences aside, Morin notes that performing Morricone is a joy that has stood the test of time for MG3 themselves, throughout all these 25 years.

“Still today, we sit on stage and we look at each other when we’re going to start, for example, the music of [The Sicilian Clan], and we have those smiles like kids,” he says. “It’s like I can’t wait to play it again.”

For more information on the concert, visit www.caravanbc.com/events/montreal-guitar-trio-2

For more on MG3, visit www.mg3.ca