If “World Music” is music that pays tribute to the spirit of a collection of human beings through distinct rhythms, traditional instruments and harmonic colors, French-Algerian guitarist, singer and composer Pierre Bensusan can be recognized as one of the most eloquent and diverse world musicians of our time.
Born in Oran, French-Algeria, in 1957, when France was decolonizing its Empire, Pierre Bensusan's family moved to Paris when he was 4. He began formal studies on piano at the age of 7 and at 11 taught himself guitar. Influenced in those early days by the folk revival blooming in Britain, France and North America, Bensusan began first to explore his own diverse musical heritage and then moved to the horizons beyond.
At 17 he signed his first recording contract, and one year later his first album Pres de Paris won the Grand Prix du Disque upon his debut at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland.
Described by the L.A. Times as "one of the most unique and brilliant acoustic guitar veterans in the world music scene today", Pierre Bensusan was voted "Best World Music Guitar Player in 2008" by Guitar Player Magazine Readers Choice. His name became synonymous with contemporary acoustic guitar genius, long before the terms New Age, New Acoustic Music or World Music were invented. He has the ability to make a single guitar sound like an entire band as he brings the audience on a mesmerizing musical journey. And yet, Bensusan is more than what any musician or music lover expects from a guitarist. He is a composer as well as a bilingual and a brave improvisational vocalist, melding whistles and resonant low notes with something like his own scat technique. There is a sense of something both playful and serious in his work, an unparalleled sense of freedom in his compositions and his improvisations. His "manner" of playing defies classification - crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk and more.
"An artist of superlative imagination and technical skill, who has produced just about the best testimonial yet for the remarkable range of the acoustic guitar." - Acoustic Music
Pierre Bensusan' s sound and style confounds classification. It is profoundly original. His fingerprint is on it whether it is found in his earlier folk and Celtic-based renderings, his free-form improvisational material, or in settings, solo or ensemble. Undoubtedly, a word association game among guitarists would yield the instantaneous response, "DADGAD," at the mention of Pierre's name. Although DADGAD is Pierre's "standard" tuning, he would rather his audiences forgot about that particular detail.
His music reaches far beyond the idiom of a guitar played in a non-standard tuning. "I don't look at music as being made for a specific instrument," says Pierre. "Music is more sounds than any particular instrument. The guitar just happens to be the mechanical transposition of the music. The important thing about making music - whether it's played on the piano, bass or saxophone - is what do you do with all the musical ingredients you use. It's how you paint with those colors. It's what you express. It's something that is beyond the notes, beyond the simple idea of one sound related to one place in one time. The notes are the same all around the world, but the way you put notes together must be something very personal -- your own story"
Titles include: Suite Flamande, Nice Feeling, Four A.M., La Femme Cambre, Shi Bhig Shi Mhor, The Last Pint and Flamorgan Aire
75 minutes - Level 3/4 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD