The Atlanta Guitar Trio, based in Johns Creek, has released two albums and has been contracted to provide songs for a movie soundtrack
The trio began with a duo — founder Scott Plato recruited Bill Hearn, guitar teacher at Clayton State University, in 2001, after his prior partner could not play at some scheduled concerts. The two recorded the album “Classical Guitar Duo" in 2002. Hearn described the album as all Latin-style music using two guitars.
Over the next few years, the two played together with different guitarists making up a trio. Many of these guitarists lived far from Johns Creek and did not remain with them long.
That was how Adam Craighed, the third member of the trio, joined. He replaced Richard Knapp, who had been his teacher at North Georgia College, as the third member of the trio in mid-2011. The three of them recorded the album “Atlanta Guitar Trio: AG3” in Feb. 2012.
“It’s a combination of Spanish guitar and Russian music,” Plato said. “We’ve got three guitars and two guitars and a mandolin.”
Hearn said the mandolin is used to substitute for the balalaika, a Russian stringed folk instrument.
When asked how the trio got onto the movie soundtrack, Plato said he went to the website Kickstarter over the summer and found movies with interesting plots. He contacted them and offered them his services. The makers of the film “Catania!,” the tale of five sisters returning to their family home in Sicily to divide their dead mother’s possessions, contacted him to work on the soundtrack after the filming was done.
“So far, all we have are two folk songs,” he said. Since the film takes place in Italy both these songs are Italian.
Plato said the makers of “Catania!,” which include Emory professor Doug Bremner, were easy to work with and open to the trio’s suggestions and ideas.
Hearn elaborated. He said the songs were originally intended to be performed with three guitars. However, one guitar part was so high-pitched he decided the mandolin version sounded better. The trio sent composer James Stone both the all-guitar version and the version with the mandolin and he linked the mandolin version better.
The trio were scheduled to record the final versions of the two songs on Dec. 22. Hearn said he anticipated the band recording additional songs for the film.
Plato said once their work on “Catania!” is done, the trio has a full schedule ahead. Many concerts are planned for 2013, including a Jan. 13 performance in Savannah. While in Savannah, they will appear on the “Mid-Morning Live” show Jan. 11.
More information about the trio can be found at www.atlantaguitartrio.com.