MetaHouse prepares to get into the 'Swinguilin' of things

MetaHouse prepares to get into the 'Swinguilin' of things


Violinist Loic Cecilio and guitarist Marion Loraillere will bring their unique blend of jazz and swing to Phnom Penh for their first and last performance as a duo

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Loic Cecilio, left, and Marion Loraillere rehearse on Tuesday for their inaugural and final Swinguilin jazz and swing concert at MetaHouse gallery in Phnom Penh.

Consisting of Loic Cecilio on violin and Marion Loraillere on guitar, Swinguilin only really came into being for Wednesday's gig.

"When we found out we would be performing, we of course had to come up with a name," Cecilio explained, adding that the performance essentially is a one-off, as he is leaving Cambodia for good at the end of the week.

"But maybe we can continue if I can come back, or maybe somewhere else," he speculated.

At MetaHouse the duo, which has been playing together for the past few months, will treat the audience to acoustic swing, bossa and jazz covers.

"The jazz standards we play are very famous but also quite difficult to interpret, so not many people play them," Cecilio explained. "It's not so easy to play many kinds of music with only a guitar and violin, but swing is OK," he continued, adding that Loraillere also does the English vocals.

The duo met some five months ago at a live performance of local band Mekong Pirates, in which Marion was and continues to be involved.

"We exchanged numbers and kept in touch after that," Cecilio said. "The idea was not to make a group but to play just for fun, and then maybe if an opportunity to play live came up, we could do it. And now that opportunity has come," he said.

Shared passion

With extensive experience as amateur musicians, Cecilio and Loraillere, who both work as volunteers in Cambodia, were delighted to find each other and get together for informal jamming sessions.

"I'm very happy to play with Loic because I've played a lot of kinds of music before but not swing, and now I really like it," Loraillere said. "Loic is very good at improvisation. In France I met many musicians, but it's hard to find a good violinist," she said.

"To me, music is a way of expression and having fun. Up until now, we've just been getting together maybe once a week or whenever we have time, but now with the performance we have been practising more," Cecilio said, further admitting that Phnom Penh became a significantly more attractive place to live since he and Loraillere started playing together.    

Despite it being their debut performance together, Loraillere and Cecilio have a relaxed attitude.

"It will be very informal. The idea is not to have a concert, but more like we are playing with friends. We want to have a close relationship with the audience," Cecilio said. The duo also hopes members of the audience will bring their own instruments and join in the fun.

Swinguilin's first and last performance will take place at MetaHouse today from 6:30pm and will be followed by a screening of Chet Baker's London concert film Live at Ronnie Scott's. Both Loraillere and Cecilio will also perform with the Mekong Pirates at Gasolina on Friday from 7:30pm.


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