These terms are often used to describe musical groups or ensembles outside the common, difficult to define. All these terms have been used to describe the Lightwood Duo, the pairing of guitar and clarinet through master musicians Mike Christiansen and Eric Nelson.
growing popularity of the pair is easily defined, however. The Duo's first CD
recording has been selected by United Airlines to be included in its in-flight
programming. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gives the same CD heavy play
time and the Duo plays concerts across the country, including a recent engagement
The Lightwood Duo has been performing together for the past six years, but Nelson and Christiansen were not musical strangers. They have performed together for years in the jazz/rock band, Mirage, a group that is still active. Performing as the Lightwood Duo adds to the musical diversity for the two performers. Christiansen heads the guitar program at Utah State University, has released instructional guitar videos, and has written numerous books. Nelson is a music educator as well, working in the public school system. He has published several articles about the clarinet and its repertoire.
The Lightwood Duo plans to complete several short concert tours in the future. The Duo recently performed at the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) convention in Anaheim, California and at the MENC Convention in Phoenix, and has been included in the Utah Arts Council's Performing Arts Tour, whose organizers state: "the unique sound of this amazingly versatile Duo is winning re-engagements for them from coast to coast."