At the age of 70, Tim Kain is still looking forward.
He's one of the country's leading players and teachers of the guitar and the builder of Canberra's reputation as the pre-eminent centre for classical guitar music in Australia.
"To me, he should be a national treasure," fellow guitarist Carolyn Kidd said. Over three decades from the early 80s, he led the guitar department at the ANU School of Music. Ms Kidd said it was "the finest guitar department in the world. He has a legacy which will never be matched in Australia".
Despite the achievement of the past, the future is what drives Mr Kain forward. He has commissioned more than 50 works from composers and more were on the way.
He's made a string of recordings, including one of duets with the doyen of the guitar, John Williams. He founded the Canberra-based quartet, Guitar Trek.
His latest project was to commission composers to write pieces for the guitar based on popular songs.
"I wanted an original work and not an arrangement," he said at his home in the shadow of Black Mountain.
The aim was to record the new works next year. He and the other members of the acclaimed Canberra-based quartet, Guitar Trek, would play the pieces.
Mr Kain said it would happen. Some of the "substantial" funding came from Canberra arts benefactors Tony and Cathy Henshaw. "It was very generous of them," Mr Kain said.
So far, four composers had completed works, based on the originals by, among others, Lady Gaga and Scott Joplin.
Some of the composers were from abroad - one is Brazilian - but others were Australian.
Mr Kain said his instrument bridged pretty well all the genres, from jazz to pop to classical. He preferred to refer to "contemporary art music" rather than "classical music".
"Guitars stand at the meeting point between pop, folk, world music, jazz - anything you want," he said.
"There's a lot of things that come together in a project like this. Ultimately, what you want is a meaningful piece of music that audiences can relate to - something with depth."
His eclectic tastes and outlook stemmed from his upbringing in Braidwood and then Canberra.
His father was a butcher who was a fan of country and western and his mother loved jazz, pop, classical and pretty well everything else. There was music in the house.
Tim's elder brother David played (and plays) the guitar. The younger brother got the bug from the older one. Tim, who went to Daramalan College, then took formal lessons in his mid-teens from a Canberra guitar-maker and player, Lindsay Churchland.
And the teacher was a painter (of pictures not walls) and very different from Tim Kain's father.
"He was a massive influence. Dad was a butcher. Older males in my life were working men. Lindsay was a painter in the Canberra School of Art," Tim Kain said.
Lindsay Churchland started him off on a career which eventually took him to Spain and Britain. Initially, he moved to London for post-graduate study with John Williams at the Royal College of Music and then to Spain to study classical guitar with the Spanish legend José Tomas at his famous studio in Alicante.
He then returned to head the established guitar section of the Canberra School of Music which was eventually incorporated into the ANU. It became the strongest school of guitar in Australia and with a worldwide reputation. Students went on to win first prizes in the world's major guitar competitions.
The artistic line comes from Segovia, the master of the guitar. Segovia taught an Australian guitarist, Sadie Bishop, who taught Tim. She was one of the key figures in the Australian guitar renaissance, and had shared a house with Len Williams (father of John Williams) in Melbourne in the early 1950s, and then followed the great guitarist to London.
At 70, Tim Kain was as enthusiastic about the guitar as he was 50 years ago; playing is the magical thing from which the ability to teach stems. "I'm still trying to figure out how to play the guitar," he said.