Polytropos show coming to Valencia Hall

Polytropos, the duo of Celtic multi-instrumentalists Oscar West and Rennie Pearson. Photos: Katrina Brandon

Katrina Brandon

EXPLORING the depths of the Celtic adventure, duo Polytropos will perform at Valencia Hall next month.

The pair has already performed in Gippsland, with a show at Yinnar.

That show saw around 30 people enjoy the worldly woes of Celtic journeys through each country.

During their shows, musicians Rennie Pearson and Oscar West frequently swap between instruments such as the flute, guitar, violin, vocals, electric kick drum, and pipes.

Reviving each other, they also swapped harmonies and melodies and asked the audience to join in on their performance.

Mr Pearson and Mr West come from Wellington, New Zealand and grew up playing in informal gatherings, where they eventually met.

Mr Pearson told the Gippsland Times that he was exposed to Celtic music at a young age.

He found some Celtic CDs among his dad’s Americano music collection, which inspired him to look further into the genre.

Later, he found inspiration in the work of Chris Norman.

At the age of 19, Mr Pearson became Mr Norman’s apprentice, where he travelled to the east coast of Canada and studied Celtic music for a year.

With uplifting energy, the audience enjoyed listening to the educational adventure throughout the show, featuring Gertrude, the old van that Mr Pearson and Mr West had travelled in during previous years for tours.

“We are also quite knowledgeable about music and are interested in its history.”

“We like to put everything in context for people to open the door to them connecting with the music in a different way, and on top of that, it’s going to be sort of like a journey from toe-tapping, ticks and reels, making people kind of want to leap up from their chair and dance,” Mr Pearson said.

“Also stuff that is kind of going to be heart-wrenching, slow, beautiful, melodic pieces and songs, and a whole array of different instruments.”

Mr Pearson told the Gippsland Times that Celtic music is in a resurgence.

He said that younger people are listening to it and that people are going back to the raw roots of acoustic music.

“Around Gippsland, there is quite a big scene of people playing Celtic music and listening to it, which is really cool,” he said.

“We had a great time playing at the ARC Yinnar. Oscar wasn’t there, but I was there with a different duo called Half-Life, and we did an amazing show at Yinnar. It was packed out, and people were just enjoying it.”

Back at the performance, Mr Pearson described the Polytropos show as one where everyone is in his living room with him, sharing the musical and storytelling experience with him, and they are part of the experience.

Mr Pearson will perform his Half Light show at Valencia Hall on June 13.

Multi-award winning guitarist and songwriter Bob McNeill will be sharing the stage with Mr Pearson for their tour Half Light.

For more information, go to http://renniepearsonmusic.com/

Duo Oscar West and Rennie Pearson take their audience on a Celtic journey.