A freelance editor and feature writer, also fond of quilting, reading, yoga and tea. Visit me at ellwords.com.au
Published July 28th 2021
Forget convict sites and apples, this is the real Tasmania
It's Saturday night, you're in Hobart, and you'd like to go out for live music. But you want something different - something soulful, special, intimate, real. Not pub rock, no artificial personalities, nothing loud and flashy.
Here's the answer: you want the Tasmanian Guitar Experience, a magical evening with renowned local composer, guitarist and luthier Cary Lewincamp.
On Saturday evenings, Cary and his wife, Sona, welcome small groups of guests into their home for a 2-hour experience of Cary's 'simply beautiful music'. And as newcomers to Hobart, we can attest that it's a simply beautiful experience.
Cary performs during the Tasmanian Guitar Experience
On our first visit to Salamanca Markets last week, we were captured by Cary's playing. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to find ourselves in conversation with this warm, welcoming man and to walk away with tickets in hand for that night's Guitar Experience. (We've just arrived, we know no-one, and now we're going to someone's house?!)
It was a wonderful way to spend our first Saturday evening out and about in Hobart. Cary and Sona welcomed us, and other booked guests, to the Lewincamp family home in the bushy foothills of kunanyi/Mt Wellington with wine and cheese - as you do for a 5 pm event.
Soon, chatting away, we all headed through the garden to the studio, where Cary set up to play in front of a backdrop of instruments and books. (I love how some spaces just feel creative!)
Buy tickets from Cary at Salamanca Markets or via his website
For the next hour, we were treated to an inspirational performance of Cary's exquisite guitar-playing and his stories of life and Tasmania that inform his compositions. And his music is ... well, as his website says, simply beautiful. I think we all forgot where we were for that hour and found ourselves somewhere divine.
It's truly an intimate kind of house concert: bookings are currently limited to 12 people maximum, and the night we attended there were 8 of us. So it's easy to ask questions and chat with Cary as he shares his talent, heart and love of music.
And it's not all over when the performance ends. We left the studio and wound our way on through the garden to the luthiery workshop, where Cary showed how he makes guitars and ukeleles for family and friends or on commission. Cary himself plays a lovely arch-top 7-string guitar that he made by hand.
Cary's arch-top guitar. Spot the differences from conventional guitars
Most of the timbers he uses are Tasmanian, and gorgeous. He has tubes of fret metal, thin sheets of body timber, panels of fretboard ebony, templates, frames, handtools ... It's fascinating, and I feel ashamed that although I've played guitar at times, I've never given a thought to how they're made!
People all over the world listen to Cary's wonderful recordings, which are available for purchase on his website. But if you're in Hobart, you're able to sit down with this talented man and share in his wonderful music face to face, as well as discover the craftsmanship behind guitar-making! For a reasonable price, too: just $55 per person at the time of writing.
I can't recommend the Tasmanian Guitar Experience highly enough if you're looking for a different memory of Tasmania to take home.
For more information and to make a booking, visit Cary's website.
PLEASE NOTE that this activity is not suitable for people who require mobility access, as there are steps and meandering paths involved in moving around the garden.
A wonderful article Lee. Tasmania is our favourite Australian destination having travelled there about twelve times over the years, but unfortunately not lately. Cary's guitar experience could be the catalyst for another visit.