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Thread: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

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    Default Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Last night I got the AMAZING pleasure of seeing Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma perform their Bach Trios material here at University of Michigan. (I even tried sneaking back to meet him in person and hopefully have some talent rub off on me but no such luck)

    For anyone who's seen their concerts in the recent weeks I was really curious about his choice in instruments. Obviously he had his Loar and a guitar, but for one of the pieces he picked up an A-style instrument. Normally I wouldn't think much about it but it almost looked and sounded like he was fingerpicking it. (I was in the nosebleed seats so I couldn't tell for sure)

    Does anyone know about this? What instrument/maker he's playing and if he does fingerpick it?

    (Also - I don't know if this debate is still going on but he was definitely using a Wegen pick all night)

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    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    There's an old pic of CT floating around playing Edgar Meyer's A. Aside from that, I've never seen him with one.

    I'm super jealous that you got to see that. My wife and I wanted to go, but we're having to "settle" for CT & Bela Fleck next month, then Punch Brothers in August
    "There ain't too many folks, who can play too many notes... on the mandolin"

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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    I certainly wouldn't call two concerts in a year settling!! I'd love to see Punch Brother perform!

    It was honestly a joy to see three musicians so in tune with each other. My girlfriend studies voice here at the School of Music (which is a pretty highly rated program) and even she was amazed at their timing and interplay. Obviously Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer were brilliant, but as a mandolinist theres something really satisfying watching your instrument pushed to the very edge of ability.

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    Natural Born Tar Heel Perilous Deep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    I've seen Thile play a Lawrence Smart A-style mandola as well as a larger bouzouki before, could have been either of those. I'll have a look at the Chicago show tomorrow and report back if there's no answer by then.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Probably his Smart mandola

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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Agree, Shaun. He has a Flatiron Bouzouki (see the video for Smoothie Song, back in the day), but I haven't heard of him pulling out in a while...

    Excellent album, btw. I like it better each time I listen, and I really liked it the first time through
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    It definitely wasn't a bouzouki - my guess from what people have said thus far is the Smart mandola. it was definitely carved top with f holes and a reddish color. I'm still interested about his technique during the performance though. Has anyone seen him fingerpick a mandolin-family instrument in the past?

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    Registered User Steve-o's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    I was also at the concert last night and agree with the others that it was his Smart mandola. What a magical performance. My wife was so touched that she teared up.

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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    I would have loved to have gone, but by the time the last tickets were released, they were $250.00. I heard they were right up front, but that was a bit rich for my blood. Perhaps if I planned ahead a bit....

    Glad it was a wonderful experience for you!

  12. #10

    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    I saw him in Boston with Yo Yo and Edgar last week. It was indeed his Lawrence Smart mandola!

  13. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Yo Yo Ma Bring the Stradivarius Cello?
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    In my opinion Yo Yo Ma is the world's best musician, certainly that I have seen. I have seen most of the top symphony soloists and none grab me like Yo YO from the first note. BB King could, but he did his one thing on another level. Yo Yo Ma channels God.
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    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Thile with Smart Mandola from NC reunion tour a couple of years ago.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...7&d=1222098402

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    Natural Born Tar Heel Perilous Deep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Welp it's definitely the Smart mandola Thile's playing. He played it on only one piece: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639. And he appeared the be picking it normally on the bass strings but would at times use his second finger to pluck a higher string. It wasn't clear to me what the advantage of this technique was though, maybe just a more subdued attack on those notes? Or possibly he was picking the C course and plucking the D course simultaneously while leaving the G course muted? Anyhow, I got to speak with Chris briefly when he walked into the restaurant I was in about a half hour after the end of the concert, but I neglected to ask him about his technique on Ich ruf zu dir. He was very gracious about being complimented effusively on the performance, and said what an honor it was to be playing this material with Edgar and Yo-yo. He also praised the sound in Symphony Hall to the skies. Very much the gentleman. We left him in peace to enjoy his dinner after that.

    Yo-yo was indeed playing the Strad cello, and it was spectacular. Such a powerful instrument.

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    We saw the show in Chicago last night. So much fun to hear this Music by Bach, played by musicians of this caliber, in a grand historic hall. It's was an interesting perspective to hear Thile and his Mandolin, not being the center of attention. He truly was part of the ensemble, not to little or too much.
    The concert was a pleasure.

    Joe B

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    Registered User Malco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Perilous Deep View Post
    Anyhow, I got to speak with Chris briefly when he walked into the restaurant I was in about a half hour after the end of the concert, but I neglected to ask him about his technique on Ich ruf zu dir. He was very gracious about being complimented effusively on the performance, and said what an honor it was to be playing this material with Edgar and Yo-yo. He also praised the sound in Symphony Hall to the skies. Very much the gentleman. We left him in peace to enjoy his dinner after that.

    Yo-yo was indeed playing the Strad cello, and it was spectacular. Such a powerful instrument.
    Ok, what restaurant? Thile seems to have good taste in food, and I need a new restaurant to try in Chicago.

    Oh, and yeah, it was definitely a mandola he was playing last night in Chicago. He played the mandola during one piece, and guitar during another -- the rest of the night was with the Loar.
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    Default Re: Chris Thile / Bach Trios Gear


    On the local NPR station today...
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