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MEDUSA | PIERRE SCHRYER & ADAM DOBRES
FEB 11, 2024
The Square, Vancouver, Canada
Wielding a sound that would turn classical music scholars to stone, these four folk musicians are reimagining the Western string quartet. By inviting back voices previously regarded as too ugly for “polite society,” Medusa tempts us to redefine what is beautiful.
Medusa’s dynamic arrangement style cross-pollinates the sounds of Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, Celtic, Appalachian, and Eastern European music, as well as original tunes, to create something previously unheard. With this debut release, the band aims to connect audiences across dividing lines of culture and identity to reveal the common threads beneath.
Medusa is Georgia Hathaway, Lea Kirstein, Marta Sołek, and Saskia Tomkins. For these four seasoned string players, whose collective experience as side players in successful bands spans decades, Medusa is a refuge for natural creation. Their immediate and electrifying connection is transmuted through a common string language, a love of enigmatic and obscure folk fiddles, and their personal stories of navigating society’s liminal spaces.
One of the most misunderstood figures in ancient mythology, Medusa was wrongfully punished and cast out for being the victim of a violent act, but is remembered solely for her frightful ugliness and lithifying gaze. Through their personal narratives of alienation due to racism, sexism, immigration, queerness, and disability, Medusa the band aims to retell this story by bringing back what has been cast out. Marta Solek and Saskia Tomkins resurrect the Suka, the Płosk fidel, and the Nyckelharpa - near-forgotten traditional folk fiddles with disreputable connotations that were rejected for centuries in their home countries of Poland and Sweden.
Instead of a snake-haired Gorgon, they see Medusa as a symbol of vision, power, and inclusivity, and a source of inspiration for anyone who has been denied their true self.
"OMG, my other dream band!" - Chris McKool, Sultans of String.
PIERRE SCHRYER & ADAM DOBRES
Experience the magic of this phenomenal Canadian Celtic duo - fiddler Pierre Schryer and guitarist Adam Dobres. Schryer & Dobres feature an eclectic array of musical gems from across the globe including traditional and contemporary tunes in various styles from far reaching places including Canada, Ireland, Algeria, Brazil, Quebec, and more. The show will surely delight, as this duo is a tour de force of versatility, fine musicianship and technical dexterity. Together they represent two diverse and successful music careers laden with awards and nominations including the Juno Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards and Grammy Awards. Their first connections were in Victoria, BC through friends, and collaborations on festival stages and recordings. Several tours and musical projects later, the duo continues to appear at national and international festivals from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond.
“Schryer and Dobres are bringing their stunning range of traditional music to all generations of fiddle fans.”
- Alex Monaghan, The Living Tradition
PIERRE SCHRYER is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers. He is a recipient of numerous titles and awards including Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, Grand Masters Champion, Violoneux Championnat, and North American Irish Fiddle Champion. His ability knows no bounds, covering styles from Irish, Scottish, Québecois, and Cape Breton to Canadian Old Time, American Swing and more.The Pierre Schryer Band has built an international reputation as one of Canada’s most well respected traditional music ensembles by touring throughout Canada, the USA, Ireland, Europe and the UK since the mid-90's. Pierre has shared the stage with dozens of internationally renowned colleagues in the traditional music scene and has performed with numerous orchestras across Canada with his acclaimed Symphony Pops show. Pierre was the Artistic Director of the “Canadian Celtic Celebration,” a festival presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario for 16 years.
ADAM DOBRES is a highly accomplished guitarist with a natural ability to embody any style of music. He is equally at home with bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, Gypsy, country, folk, old time, rock, blues, and more. His love of the electric and acoustic guitar has taken him around the globe, performing throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. With a taste for experimenting with personal style and a love of touring, Adam has embarked on living his dream. From playing Celtic music with some of Canada’s finest fiddle players including Daniel Lapp and Pierre Schryer, Adam has branched out to pop rock with Grammy Nominee Toni Childs, and performed with renowned musicians playing exotic instruments such as the sitar, Turkish lira and African kora..