PIERRE BENSUSAN INTERVIEW


(Originally aired on January 22, 2009)      

Acoustic fingerpicker and composer Pierre Bensusan is known for his restless creativity and original blend of classical, jazz, Celtic and North African music. The French-Algerian guitarist is also considered the world's leading authority on DADGAD tuning, which he has used almost exclusively for decades. In 2008, Guitar Player readers voted Bensusan "Best World Music Guitarist" in the magazine's Readers Choice Awards.


Bensusan emphasizes harp-style runs, shimmering harmonics and shifting dynamics in his distinctive playing. He mixes Middle Eastern melodies with impressionistic harmony and unusual rhythmic patterns to create ringing textures that are both virtuosic and haunting. Leo Kottke says, "Pierre’s music gives me the shakes. No other guitarist shares his strange gifts of sophistication, accessibility and downright joy. Even at its most complex, Pierre’s music only needs ears to be enjoyed."


In our exclusive interview, culled from a 2005 conversation, Bensusan discusses his performing and composing techniques and reveals how digital recording technology allows him to maximize the emotion and spontaneity of his performances. We'll also hear selections from his acclaimed album, Intuite.



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