• "The mix of instrumental (Mark's expertise with the guitar amazed our friends), duets with Cindy (their voices blend beautifully as one),  humor and short stories to introduce the songs – it was perfect. Mark and Cindy's rapport with our friends was almost magical."
      -Sylvia and John Schofield
    • "Mark set our house concert audience on their ear.  Over the weeks following his performance our friends were still raving about his smooth and friendly stage manner, intimate delivery and clever songwriting.  We’ve had some wonderful troubadours grace our house concert series-- and Mark is at the top of a strong list of entertainers."
      - Charles Stacey, Four Corners House Concerts
    • "I've seen a lot of acts, but the harmonies of these two are so aligned and balanced, I felt as though I got an audio 'tune up' inside me after listening to their songs."
      - Kiki Wow, Music Host & Promoter for Carmel Valley
    • "It was an impeccable performance. Never have I witnessed such control of the steel stringed guitar's sound. This was a flawless show."
      - Mark Twang, Folkways Recordings
    • "In a world of thoughtless high volume, Mark Lemaire & Twilight continue the ancient tradition of acoustic music, skillfully weaving between folk, jazz, and even rock, with nary an electronic trick."
      - Mark Helprin- award-winning novelist, author of “Winter’s Tale”
    • Mark Lemaire and Twilight takes you back to the purity of early 60s folk music, with much in between bravely noted and adapted. The homage to Pachelbel In 'Rock and Kite' is brilliant and beautiful."
      - Mark Helprin- award-winning novelist, author of “Winter’s Tale”
    • Bob Stane says “I was fascinated by ‘Zanzibar Sands’-- it has a unique voice and story line. After his main set ended, I did something I have never done in 50 years of putting on shows: I asked Mark if he would sing it one more time. As he did, I enjoyed its uniqueness all over again."
      -Bob Stane, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Altadena, CA
    • "Lemaire has received critical kudos from the industry as well as his musical peers...Performing with van Empel, the blend of voices adds a perfect exclamation point to Lemaire's virtuoso guitar playing and songwriting."
      -John Sollenberger, Pasadena Weekly
    • “Complex, sophisticated song arrangements. His guitar playing his so good, it might distract you from his compelling, engaging melodies and sharp songwriting... But only for a second."
      -Richard Rice, Director of the San Francisco Free Folk Festival
    • "Mark has elegant performer's timing onstage, never a moment out of place. He's also a good songwriter and to call him a remarkable player would be a considerable understatement - just about nobody I know is doing what he can do on the guitar."
      - Carol Denney - Berkeley songwriter and political activist
    • "I have heard many wonderful CDs over the years, but a few of them just have that magical something. It is hard to explain. "Rubato" is one of those few. It is more like a companion than a recording."
      - Steve Meckfessel, songwriter
    • "Your music took the audience to a new level, a spiritual level that is unusual and rare. I definitely want you back to make your magic once again."
      - Harold Adler, Berkeley Art House Concert Series
    • "It really was a remarkable experience. The intimacy of the performance was really unique. Clever, funny, sensitive.... the music and playing superb. Again , I sound like a groupie and maybe I am. With a mix of humor, intimacy, and a little self deprecation, Mark had the audience just spellbound."
      - Bruce Romanoff guitarist and songwriter
    • "I've listened to everything on your site for about 2 hours of repetitive engagement. I've seldom felt as deeply moved by a musician (without some band covering up the genius)."
      - Neil Shelley, guitarist and harmonica player
    • "GUITAR PERFECTION! In addition to the amazing writing and the virtuosic execution, this CD is, quite simply, long-term listenable. I tire easily of "twangy" guitar and "sameness" in guitar albums - but "Rubato" stays in my rotation month after month. It is beautiful and varied."
      - CD Baby "Rubato" review
    • "Mark is a musical revelation. If you fail to attend one of Mark's shows you are depriving yourself of one of the main reasons we souls incarnate on our beloved Earth - to realize beauty. It is a rare privilege to encounter original material of this stature."
      - Don Villa, concert promoter, Berkeley, CA
    • "Mark Lemaire is one exceptional guitarist and songwriter, no doubt about it. And the stellar harmonies of Twilight simply mesmerize, silencing the audience who hang on every note."
      - Kiki Wow, Music Host & Promoter for Carmel Valley
    • "He is intent and concentrating on his music - he closes his piercing blue eyes as if that would help him perform better, or better express what he is trying to communicate. This is music of the quality that many people aspire to."
      - Point Richmond Voice
    • "I can listen to your songs and presentation for long periods of time. Why? The song themes resonate with my life experience."
      - David Mears, audience member
    • "Thanks for the beautiful, real, and exquisite musical gifts the other night. In addition to great skill you come straight from the heart."
      - Philip Rosheger classical guitarist and composer, former pupil of Andres Segovia

Mark and Cindy Lemaire


The music of New Acoustic performer Mark Lemaire is both ethereal and deeply grounded, the guitar playing smooth, beautiful, and not quite like anything you've heard before. Berkeley songwriter Carol Denney says that "To call him a remarkable player would be a considerable understatement - just about nobody I know is doing what Mark can do on the guitar." He's shared the stage with Tracy Chapman, Maria Muldaur, The Dixie Dregs, and bass virtuoso Michael Manring. Recording studio experiences include work with producer Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones, Blind Faith, Traffic), and Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls).

"It was an impeccable performance. Never have I witnessed such control of the steel stringed guitar's sound. This was a flawless show."
- Mark Twang, Folkways Recordings

"Lemaire has received critical kudos from the industry as well as his musical peers...Performing with van Empel, the blend of voices adds a perfect exclamation point to Lemaire's virtuoso guitar playing and songwriting."
-John Sollenberger, Pasadena Weekly


Q: How do you ever come up with such a touch on your guitar?

A: I get that question (or others like it) quite a bit these last years. I'll try to answer with just a few sentences. 

"I have always wanted to play guitar such that I could create a 'complete' sound that did not require, say, a soloist or a bassist. Of course, this is tricky- I'm just one guy. But as I chased that rainbow over the years, I realized that I was inadvertently creating a style that is a little different than the way most others play. Once I saw that that was happening (and that many people appreciated it) I tried to understand how to nurture that sound directly. How did I do that? I did not really have any plan, but here's what happened...

I have always listened to all kinds of music, and my work recording other's music has me listening for hours and hours to some of the greats. But since my mid 20's, I have taken care to not learn anyone's guitar pieces or taken lessons to cop any guitar style- even music that I really enjoyed.  So even though I am listening to music all the time, I avoid directly learning anyone's techniques or approach to guitar. This puts me in a place where I am full of music, yet I have to find my own approach to the instrument itself."

 

Mark and Cindy Lemaire

While Mark's solo guitar compositions stand as complete statements, the message in his vocals adds another dimension. Mark performs with his partner, vocalist Cindy van Empel Lemaire, as Mark and Cindy Lemaire (previously "Mark Lemaire and Twilight"). The songs Mark and Cindy sing are personal, but everyone can identify with them. They sing of the vicissitudes of love and the strange surprise of middle age creeping up on us. Audience member David Mears says: "I can listen to your songs and presentation for long periods of time. Why? The song themes resonate with my life experiences." This is music for adults, yet with clarity and incisiveness appealing to the part of us that is ageless.

"Our House Concert with Mark and Cindy was a tremendous success. Mark's music is so very personal and captures the experiences we all have with life. The mix of instrumental (Mark's expertise with the guitar amazed our friends), duets with Cindy (their voices blend beautifully as one),  humor and short stories to introduce the songs – it was perfect. Mark and Cindy's rapport with our friends was almost magical. Everyone wants us to have Mark and Cindy return for another House Concert...can't wait."
-Sylvia and John Schofield

"I've seen a lot of acts, but the harmonies of these two are so aligned and balanced, I felt as though I got an audio 'tune up' inside me after listening to their songs."
- Kiki Wow, Music Host & Promoter for Carmel Valley

“Complex, sophisticated song arrangements. His guitar playing his so good, it might distract you from his compelling, engaging melodies and sharp songwriting...  but only for a second."
-Richard Rice, Director of the San Francisco Free Folk Festival




 

Acoustic Music in Your Own Home

Have you been to a house concert, loved the experience, and wished your favorite acoustic musicians might play for you in YOUR house? Have you thought it would be great to have live folk music in your own home, but figured you don't have enough room, or you're not sure how to pull it off? It's really easy to have a house concert! We are now members of Concerts In Your Home, a great way to put music together with music lovers. Click here for more info on putting on a show in your own home!


Because/ I Wouldn't Trade Places

The John Lennon classic from "Abbey Road" done as a solo guitar piece, followed by an original piece from "Rubato, Pieces for Guitar". Performed at Half Moon Bay, CA in November 2012.


The Map Song

A quick 'raw' recording from the Cypress Meadows concert series in Moss Beach, CA. Co-written in 1985 with Lisa Aschmann, "The Map Song" is a favorite that has yet to be recorded for CD.


Make it Simple/ The Deepest Secret

Folks have been asking for a song where CINDY sings the lead, and "Make it Simple" is an excellent way to show off what she does! This is followed by "The Deepest Secret". Both songs are from the Home Isn't Home CD.


Home Isn't Home Mark Lemaire and Twilight

TitleLyricsListen
1. Home Isn't Home
2. Zanzibar Sands
3. Seaglass
4. The Deepest Secret
5. Lake of the Coheeries
6. Red Umbrella
7. Almost Twilight
8. Make It Simple
9. Diamonds on a String
10. Dedication
11. The Family Way
12. Rock and Kite
13. Ready for Luck
14. If There Ever Was a Time

"Home Isn't Home" is the first CD with Cindy and me singing together. It's a response to your requests that we create a full length album of what we do on stage.

Here are answers to some questions folks have been asking about the CD:

On the CD artwork, songs one through seven are grouped separately from songs eight through fourteen. Why is this? Well, I miss the old days of records! There was always side one, and then side two. And this convention goes way back. In concerts and the theater -- there is always Act One, a break, and then Act Two. So on this CD, the dividing point is there, even though you don’t turn over the disc. Besides this, “Almost Twilight” (seven) is an instrumental—call it intermission. And “If There Ever Was a Time” is the very last song: it’s set apart because we think of it as the ‘encore’. It’s all part of the music concept behind this particular CD.

These days, songs are often presented to an audience as single entities—for instance on the internet. But there’s a lot to be said for a larger work, with each song supporting the others. Together, the whole thing makes a complete experience. So “Home” was created as an entire mood. If you have the time, it is best heard that way, with ‘intermission’ in the middle! In what other ways is "Home Isn't Home" like a live show? The core of the CD, like the show, is our two voices and my one guitar. In fact, Cindy and I performed most of the songs singing and playing together in one room-- a live performance. Players create an immediacy and spontaneity when they play together- with eye contact, and all the communication that that entails. But many CDs are made quite differently nowadays. On many pop records, live performance is minimized: the parts are played separately, overdubbed one instrument at a time. It's easy for all that creative mojo juice to get lost in favor of creating a mistake-free record. The live performance concept is also expressed this way: other than a simple rhythm section, we did not add guest players. We stuck with the core idea: one guitar, two voices. Is there a unifying theme to the lyrics on the CD? Well, yes and no. The song “Home Isn’t Home” is about how life forces us to change—hopefully to grow. Many of the songs are about life changes. “Zanzibar Sands”, for instance, is about how when we start as children, there’s no way to know who we might become as time passes. Other songs ignore this theme, like “Lake of the Coheeries”--but because of how they’re grouped, they add meaning to each other. It’s like putting interesting people next to each other at a dinner party-- the whole becomes greater than the individual parts. Did you write all the songs on the CD? Yes, with the exception of "If There Ever Was a Time". This was written by my old friend Andy Schulman, who I used to play with in Boston in the 1980's. Cindy and I have always loved singing that song, and Andy kindly gave us permission to include it. Can you tell us about the photographs on the front and back covers? Cindy and I were looking for ideas for cover art that would communicate "Home Isn't Home"—the sense of loss and loneliness combined with the knowledge that we belong to the larger universe. We wanted it stated in a visual way. We were on the web looking at photos of abandoned houses, and came across this. We pretty much immediately knew it would be perfect. We hunted around for the photographer and found that that shot was taken by an Icelandic photographer named Örvar A. Þorgeirsson. His website is full of incredible nature photography. We had some issues getting in touch with Örvar, but our friend Neil Shelley lives in Sweden and actually found Örvar's cellphone number and negotiated the rights to the photos for us. So we lucked out there.


Live Appearances

Name Location Date Details
       
     
       
       
       
Moke Hill Music Festival Mokelumne Hill, CA Friday, June 5, 2014 http://mokehill.org/2015/04/moke-hill-music-festival/
Oakdale Market Concert Series Oakdale, CA Weds June 17th @6:30PM-8:00PM Oakdale Ca is starting a summer concert series, new for 2015. We looking forward to this new venue.
Harbin Hot Springs north of Middletown, CA Weds July 8th, 2015 8:00PM Happy to return for another beautiful evening at Harbin. This will be part four (part one was in August, 2013, part 2 June 2014) of the unique comedy and music show featuring Earthman, with music by...moi !. Cindy may be elsewhere tonight- but we will do our best to get her here. If we cannot get her up to Harbin, I will be doing music without her lovely harmonies.
Private concert Middletown, CA Thursday, July 9th, 2015 8:00PM A comedy/ heart concert presented in conjunction with Mur "Earthman" Kapoho. I love working with Mur! Please write me at my email address to find out more.
Ruth Mcgowan's Brew Pub Cloverdale, CA Saturday, July 11, 2015 Another gig at McGowan's. A good place, and a good menu as well. Our home away from home in the North Bay.
San Gregorio General Store San Gregorio, CA Sunday, July 12 11AM-1:00PM
We love playing at this venerable, true General Store. It has a full bar, open at 11:00AM! But there's coffee for us lightweights. The flavor and atmosphere are first rate, and so is the scenery. Come down as part of a Route One Sunday drive!
Oakdale Market Concert Series Oakdale, CA
Weds July 15th @6:30PM-8:00PM
Oakdale Ca is starting a summer concert series, new for 2015. We looking forward to this new venue.
Elkhorn Gardens
Elkhorn Slough Area 
in North Monterey, California
 
Sunday, July 19th
1:00PM
Elkhorn Gardens has an incredible outdoor venue, with beautiful gardens that you can wander (the music is piped to you, I'm told). There are also tables and chairs and the show is there for you, should you like to relax in the shade and enjoy.
Volcano Fire Department Fund Raiser Volcano, CA Saturday, August 1st, 8PM This is a benefit show for the Lockwood FPD Auxiliary. We are happy to help raise some money for the volunteer fire department in this lovely little foothills village.
Fiddler's Dream Concerts Phoenix, AZ Friday, Sept 11, 2015 http://www.fiddlersdream.org/
San Juan Unitarian Fellowship 209 N OrchardFarmington NM 87401 Sunday, Sept 13th
11AM
I so enjoyed being here on the last tour through Framington-- very happy to play for the Fellowship again.
Four Corners House Concert Farmington, NM Sunday, Sept 13th 3PM Charlie's house concerts are always the best! Please email me for details.
San Gregorio General Store San Gregorio, CA Saturday, sept 26th 11AM-1:00PM We love playing at this venerable, true General Store. It has a full bar, open at 11:00AM! But there's coffee for us lightweights. The flavor and atmosphere are first rate, and so is the scenery. Come down as part of a Route One Sunday drive!
Great Valley Songwriter's Series Modesto, CA Friday, Oct 9, 2015 Closing out the summer season at this lovely house concert series! More info at https://www.facebook.com/GreatValleyAcousticConcerts
FARWEST Folk Alliance Conference Oakland Ca October 15-17, 2015 The Folk Alliance Regional Conference is a great place for venue folks to check out Mark and Cindy Lemaire. We will be showcasing several times this weekend. Specific slots and times soon.
       
       
Live at the Star Glasgow, Scotland september 6, 2016  
Dunfermline Folk Club Dunfermline, Scotland Sept 7, 2016  
Crail Folk Club Crail, Scotland Sept 8, 2016  
Wee Folk Club Edinburgh, Scotland Sept 11th or 18th, 2016  
Leith Folk Club Leith, Scotland Sept 13 or 20th, 2016  
Irvine Folk Club Irvine, UK Sept 14, 2016  
Falkirk Folk Club Falkirk, Scotland Sept 15, 2016  
       
Uxbridge Folk Club Uxbridge, UK Sept 29, 2016 Archie always produces such lovey shows! Happy to return again!
       

Rubato: Pieces For Guitar

Rubato's music is calm and contemplative. These guitar pieces create a perfect atmosphere for rainy afternoons, conversation, or drinking tea while staring out the window - yet they are also engrossing enough to turn up, close your eyes, and listen to closely.

"Whenever I have such a bad day that I wonder if I've ever done anything worthwhile, I remember the people who have contacted me about how they enjoy Rubato. I have received letters about how this music has been used for cancer recovery, weddings - even a bridal bath (not sure what that is...) as well as for massage and other rituals. One woman wrote to tell me that her daughter insisted on having this music on as part of her 'going to sleep' routine for some years. More than one person keeps Rubato in their car to calm frayed nerves during traffic snarl-ups. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to know this music is serving others."

Highlights from
Rubato

Rubato
on CDBaby

Buy on CDBaby

Practice Makes Perfect

An album of stories and songs. The sounds vary from intimate to huge, from simple guitar and vocal to a full band with drums, bass, Hammond B3, and all the fixins". A few highlights:

"Companion" has a French horn trio courtesy of symphony player Eric Aachen, while "Deep Shade" is layered with beautiful textures added by famed Latin percussionist John Santos -- And "Leftover Dreams" rocks with lead guitar and bass added by Scruffy the Cat members Steve Fredette and Mac Stanfield.

"I really enjoyed having guests and friends add their special talents to the songs. There were a few, though, where all those lovely textures were best left off. For instance, the song "Practice Makes Perfect" was originally recorded with two electric basses, background vocals and keyboards; but in the end I laid that version aside because the lonely feeling of the song came across better when it was left unadorned. On the other hand "Companion" is a mariner's tale, and Eric's horn calls created an incredible oceanic effect that just makes the song for me."

Highlights from
Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect
on CDBaby

Buy on CDBaby

Home Isn't Home

A work of art is often defined by what it is not.

On this CD we limit ourselves to the small palette of instruments we use at a live show.  A photographer creates a different kind of composition if he restricts himself to black and white.  By the same token, when musicians choose fewer instruments, they have to use them more inventively .

So here we have--with very few exceptions--just one guitar, our two voices, and a simple rhythm section. We find simplicity truly does rock. Folks appreciate my guitar’s “voice” and our vocal blend, and often mention the space between the notes as key to what we do. It’s a delicate texture, and easily covered up.  So we have done our best to preserve it: we have avoided layers of extra guitars, multiple voices, sequenced synthesizers, horn sections, guest soloists playing bagpipes and castanets, and extended choreographed dance numbers.

But within these self-imposed limitations, we have applied great effort to create a wide range of emotions and moods. Here are three songs from the CD in their entirety. You can hear excerpts from the entire CD and read more about the making of "Home" by clicking this link: http://www.marklemaire.com/#homeisnthome

 

Highlights from
the upcoming CD


A House Concert With Mark And Cindy

It's simple. Invite some friends – perhaps 10-15 couples – over for dinner or a potluck, and we'll perform two sets with a 20 minute intermission, about two hours total. We'll perform favorites from Practice Makes Perfect, instrumentals from Rubato, and new music from Home Isn't Home. We also will have brand new 'premieres' and stuff so fresh we haven't even written it yet! You can ask your guests for donations, or you can choose to pay us directly and provide an evening of music free for your guests.

What A House Concert Is

A house concert is a personal concert for you and your friends in a private space. Smaller house concerts might have about twenty folks. Some are regular events at large homes that hold a hundred friends and friends-of-friends. The house concert movement (yes, it's becoming that popular) is a response to the desire to hear live acoustic music in a personal setting – where folks really get some quality time with their favorite artists. It is tailored to be what YOU want, and is usually as unlike a club as your home is unlike a club.

What A House Concert Is Not

A house concert is not meant as background music, so it's not a good choice for a party where people will want to chat during the music.

Do I Need A Sound System?

No, we'll bring a small, unobtrusive system with us. In smaller rooms, we may even do it unplugged!

How Do I Start?

You can always call or email – we can talk you through it. For a deeper level of information, Concerts In Your Home goes into detail.

Our page on Concerts in Your Home:  http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/artist/MarkLemaireandTwilight.html

Easy, informative videos to introduce you to the experience: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8166691116056535 

These articles are (obviously) from the specific writer's point of view. Your house concert is really about what YOU want – the articles are just a guide. You can use some of the pointers, or make it up your own way. Feel free to contact us!

Press Materials

Mark Lemaire ...

... has been performing on guitar since he was twelve. Originally from New England, by high school he was writing songs and playing the coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge. At 23, his musical world changed when he landed a job as a recording engineer at the legendary Euphoria Sound. As a staff engineer, Mark learned his studio chops with producer Jimmy Miller, who produced The Rolling Stones, Blind Faith, Traffic, and the Spencer Davis Group. He also did sessions with the wild and infamous Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls, as well as 80’s college radio darlings Scruffy the Cat.

Mark moved to the San Francisco area in 1985, planning to perform more and engineer a little less. He opened for Maria Muldaur at the legendary Sweetwater in Mill Valley, and for Steve Seskin and Even Dozen Jug Band founder and folk icon Stefan Grossman at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, but then tendonitis forced Mark to perform a little less and engineer a little more.

Since then, Mark has recorded artists ranging from Latin quartet Cascada de Flores to experimental metal band Neurosis, as well as folk and rock artists of every stripe. Between sessions, he found time to record his guitar solo CD "Rubato, Pieces for Guitar", as well as many of the songs that have now appeared on "Practice Makes Perfect".

In the mid 90’s, Mark began to engineer a different kind of music. He found himself in the cloistered world of classical and early music recording. He's recorded the San Francisco Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and many other classical groups. He still records anyone dedicated to their craft. Find out more about Mark’s recording life at RubatoRecording.com.

Since his divorce in 2004, Mark has revitalized his life yet again. He completed "Practice Makes Perfect" in 2008. Mark began performing with Cindy van Empel as Mark Lemaire and Twilight in 2009. In autumn 2012, they released their first CD as a duo- "Home Isn't Home". Listen to selections from "Home" here http://www.marklemaire.com/home.html#homeisnthome.
 


Cindy van Empel Lemaire ...

...has been singing since her youth. In high school in Southern California, she sang in a band that covered REO Speedwagon and Led Zeppelin. And she also toured Europe with the group Madrigals, performing music from the Renaissance and the Middle Ages.

While Cindy never fully left music behind, her geography degrees from UCLA and Cal State Northridge drew her to a career in planning. She has been a consulting planner and is currently working in government, seeking to bring her extensive and varied experience to bear in the San Joaquin Valley.

Mark met Cindy in early 2008. It was immediately clear how perfectly their voices blended. Then Mark asked Cindy if she would please learn a few of his songs. And so she did.

They have been performing together as Mark Lemaire and Twilight ever since. They tour New England every summer, and California appearances have included shows in Carmel Valley, Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many places in between. On their European vacation in the fall of 2011, they busked on the streets of Italy and Croatia. In autumn of 2012, they released their new album "Home Isn't Home"-- based around their unique vocal blend combined with Mark's inimitable guitar style.

Autumn 2013 saw their first tour through Texas and New Mexico. They are currently booking a tour of the United Kingdom in September 2014.

Mark and Cindy live in the San Francisco Bay area.


Connect with us!

I would love to hear from you! For all inquiries, please reach me at marklemairemusic@gmail.com.

Also, please 'friend' me any of the following ways> BUT please note that I seldom (ever?) visit myself on Reverb Nation, My Space, etc. THIS WEBSITE is the best place to see what's happening with me and Cindy, and the email address above is the way to contact me.

Note for January 2015: Cindy is getting more and more active on Facebook. She would love to hear from you. If you'd like to send her a 'friend request', she'll add you and you get our FB posts. Look for her on FB as "Cindy van Empel Lemaire". Good?


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