For over a decade, Vishtèn has earned its place as one of the most respected bands on the international touring scene. The members of this driving trio are both powerful francophone singers and fiery multi-instrumentalists, fusing Acadian and Celtic genres with rock and indie-folk influence. On Thursday, Aug. 25, they arrive in the Midcoast to perform at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor.
Made up of third generation Acadians living separate but parallel musical experiences, twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc from Prince Edward Island, Canada have teamed up with Pascal Miousse from the nearby Magdalen Islands to create a sound that incorporates both new elements while retaining and staying true to the essential Acadian spirit of their roots. The sound is essentially Celtic but with a difference. The songs are French, sung by each band member, alone or in three-part harmony. The foot percussion drives the rhythm in a fiddle tune at times yet refrains itself in the gentler musical moments.
The band members are accomplished multi-instrumentalists and step-dancers incorporating the fiddle, guitar, accordion, penny-whistle, mandolin, piano, jaw-harp and bodhran into each performance. They are making their mark in the world today as their musical maturity comes through to captivate audiences throughout Europe, Australia and the United States.
Twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc grew up in a household where fiddle music was commonplace. They became accomplished stepdancers and learned the fundamentals of music on the piano. Pastelle's early piano training proved useful in making the transition to accordion and Emmanuelle soon discovered a flare for playing penny whistle and bodhran. Their voices matured and the sweetness and smoothness of sibling harmonies was soon added to the mix.
Growing up on the Magdalen Islands fiddler Pascal Miousse was also influenced and inspired by his guitarist father's connection to music. He inspired Pascal to take up the fiddle at the age of five, and it wasn't long before he was playing for his father's friends. Pascal broadened his musical scope to include the guitar, mandolin, and bass. With his style of play, he has become a musical anchor of Vishtèn's sound giving it a distinctive voice within the broader Celtic genre.
Tickets for this evening of Acadian Celtic fusion are currently on sale through the Opera House Box Office at 86 Townsend Avenue, or by calling 207-633-5159. Vishten tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the concert. All seats are general admission, doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30. Tickets and information are also available online at boothbayoperahouse.com.