Guitar duo blends musical themes

Guitar duo blends musical themes

Summerland musicians combine styles in original compositions

Two guitarists are combining their musical styles and traditions to form Acoustic Noire, a musical duo.

Phil Patenaude and Rob Dewar have known each other since 1995 and have played together in the past. In 2013, they recorded an informal jam together and in 2015, working from that, they began what would become Acoustic Noire.

Their recently formed duo is a collaborative effort, with Patenaude’s happier sounds brightening Dewar’s darker moods.

“We reflect each other’s music,” Dewar said. “Phil writes stuff I would never write alone.”

Patenaude’s musical background is in folk and jazz, while Dewar is a self-taught musician with a rock background. Between the two of them, they have more than seven decades of guitar playing experience.

Dewar describes Acoustic Noire as an “orchestrated acoustic guitar duet.” The two musicians play original acoustic guitar compositions, with a wide range of stylistic approaches.

“My mainstay in the guitar world is lead improvisation, and I use that medium as an inspiration for writing melodies and textures,” Dewar said.

These sounds are blended with Patenaude’s rhythmic chordal progressions.

Patenaude grew up in Montreal and developed his musical styles based on the multicultural and jazz traditions he experienced while growing up.

“For me, the opportunity to co-create and share the many moods and colours of what the acoustic guitar can bring is a dream come true,” he said.

Dewar enjoys the collaborative efforts and the resulting sounds from the work he and Patenaude create together.

“My inspiration in writing and performing Acoustic Noire’s music, is to give our audiences a real treat of great music and deep, evolving emotions, with a little excitement at seeing how we play what we do, live, tossed in, just for fun,” Dewar said.

On May 27, Acoustic Noire will perform at Jojo’s in Osoyoos. On June 23, the duo will open for Alfie Zappacosta at Kelowna Habitat. On Aug. 25, the two musicians will perform a full concert at Centre Stage Theatre in Summerland.

More information on Acoustic Noire can be found at