By Marilyn Delk
Acoustic Eidolon will present their joyful music at Montage Cafe in downtown Greenville at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, as part of Darke County Center for the Arts Coffee House Series. Acoustic Eidolon is a duo consisting of married couple Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire; Hannah is a classically trained cellist, while Joe plays the double neck guitjo. Okay, already you have questions, right?
Most of you know that acoustic music does not have electrical amplification, but what does eidolon mean? According to Internet definitions, eidolon is an image or representation of an ideal form or idea, so Acoustic Eidolon would be ideal music played without electrical enhancement; nice. Now we know what the name of the duo means; but what in the world is a guitjo! According to information on Acoustic Eidolon’s Website, the instrument, developed by Joe, has 14 strings on two necks played simultaneously and described in USA Today as sounding like “nothing we’ve ever heard before.”
Joe Scott, who grew up near Boulder, Colorado’s vibrant acoustic-based music scene, took up the banjo at age 14, winning many contests at regional bluegrass festivals, and playing with various folk, bluegrass and rock groups for several years. At age 23, he attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA, where he studied guitar and started experimenting with different ways of stringing the acoustic guitar; he tried stringing the standard 6-string like a 5-string banjo, then played banjo licks on the guitar—and created a whole new sound.
After graduating from GIT, Joe toured the country playing guitar, banjo, mandolin and doing vocals with popular 1960’s folk group, the New Christy Minstrels, then started the group Wind Machine which released 13 critically acclaimed recordings during its 14-year run. In February 1998, Joe made a phone call to fellow musician and neighbor Hannah Alkire, suggesting they get together to play their instruments, as he had a feeling that the guitjo combined with the warm sound of Hannah’s cello could make beautiful music. What started and continues as a musical partnership blossomed into romance and marriage in 2001, and they continue to blend their love for one another with their passion for music as they grace stages throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Hannah grew up in Champaign, Ill., a member of a musical household where her father played the piano, her mother was a music instructor, her sister played the violin, and love of music was a way of life. Although she maintained her passion for the cello and continued playing music, Hannah graduated from the University of Illinois with a teaching degree, and taught French, English, and Spanish at the high school level for five years before moving to the Boulder, Colo. area. There, she performed in the Boulder Bach Festival, Colorado MahlerFest, and in area symphony orchestras, while also playing with rock, funk, and alternative groups in various venues. Additionally, she was a founding member of the Anasazi String Quartet, a unique group with a repertoire ranging from Dvorak to Led Zeppelin.
Hannah’s emotional, impeccable playing is recognized internationally for its stunning tone, and when combined with Joe’s intricate technique, creates powerful and intriguing music. The duo blends Celtic, Americana, World, and Flamenco influences to captivate audiences around the globe in work that Dirty Linen Magazine praises as “a sumptuous musical feast.” Local audiences are invited to partake of this entertaining musical bounty in the inviting atmosphere of Montage Cafe as the internationally known duo shares their prodigious talent and engaging stories to create a memorable evening of exceptional music and entertainment right here in our community.
Tickets for DCCA’s casual, comfortable Coffee House Series cost $15 each, and can be purchased on DCCA’s Website www.DarkeCountyArts.org, or at the DCCA office located on the third floor of Greenville Public Library; if any remain by showtime, tickets will be available at Montage the night of the show. For more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908.