Review by Cédric Theys:
The Touch Guitar Circle met for the 3rd North American meeting in January 2016 for 4 days. Though the winter had been unseasonably warm, the area was going to be hit by a winter storm the weekend where everyone was supposed to arrive. 14 Stick players, Warr and U8 guitarists, and tappers of all sorts, were supposed to meet from Saturday 23rd through Tuesday 26th with everyone driving or flying on Friday the 22nd. We ended up being 9, two unfortunately with canceled flights and 3 with last moment work and weather issues. But we soldiered on and this meeting was quite unique and extraordinary!
This was the first TGC with only Markus Reuter as Trey Gunn was in Mexico touring with 3 Below. Trey was definitely in the room in our thoughts when we convened and started the meeting. 4 of us had been to one or more TGC, 4 were accomplished players on their instruments and were meeting the Family almost for the first time and 1, a pianist of many many years, was playing the instrument for the first time!
After Markus arrived on Saturday, the circle started within 15 minutes of his arrival and we wouldn’t stop until Tuesday night. This was a very intense TGC in which many Family members were reviewed and many more introduced to most in the group. We went through the Son, Daughters and New Daughter, Mother, a couple of Fathers, the Uncle and the Great Uncle. But most of the time was spent on the Pentachord approach, explained and played inside out for hours to the point where one in the group exclaimed “this is fun! And I finally love playing this instrument!”
As a group we stayed under one roof, shared room and board, enjoyed meals, drinks, laughs and intense discussions together. As a circle we were able to play together as a unit every night, do circulations, improvisations and share musical ideas. If every day was like those 4 days, we would all live several more lives during our time on this planet!