Pierre Bensusan

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Pierre's Seasonal Video Competition Results!

Hello to everyone !

I would like to thank all the players and listeners who have voted, accepted the challenge and breathed life into my first guitar contest. Of course my heartfelt thanks go to every participant for having taken the time to put this music together, and go through the whole process of performing. It is humbling for me to hear pieces that I once wrote, experienced by other players. I learn a lot from this and my response will be in line with what I transmit in my workshops.

Beyond the appearances, music is not a matter of competition. I see it more like finding a personal path to let it go through us, and tame the ego which might sometimes be in the way. What is to shine at the end is the light going through the music itself and not the brilliance of the player.

I am fully aware that these pieces are difficult to play: why do I put myself through such a challenge? Probably because what I play is most of the time conditioned by what I hear — dream — rather than by what I know or can do. This being said, it is about building a bridge between imagination, inspiration and a live sound, through an instrument.

To define music is quite challenging but I believe that we « feel » its presence or its absence. As a listener to the competition submissions, I expect to enter into the piece and feel the relationship between player and music from the first notes. What is crucial in this process is the clarity of the delivery, the respect and integrity of the original, the tone determining the sound, the understanding of the inner movement, the articulation, the tempo, the groove, the overall breathing of the notes and spaces (holdings, silences, nuances, etc.) — all what is leading to the expression. Simply to keep on « listening » as we play, in order to reach that « zone », remain there and enjoy it.

While I wish I could express feedback on every piece and every participant, I am currently preparing for my forthcoming US tour and simply do not have time to do so.

As far as the popular vote went, I congratulate @Angela who got the most votes, but also @Jenny and @Pascal who detach themselves from the rest of the group. At the same time, I observe that some players have gained few votes despite a real and genuine musicality.

@Javier Jubio Carballo & @David Burton
Listening to both of you allows me to enter the music right away. In different ways, each of you serves the piece(s) and I recognize both, composition and music path. Even if your playing is not perfect, it is still very musical, with great attention to tone, tempo, movement and space, you are constantly listening and your playing is carried by this energy. You make it breathe and talk, and I thank you for this.

@Javier Jubio Carballo
I am touched by your attention to the right tempo and cadence. You are carefully listening and not let it go. The structure is there and it’s very musical even if at times I feel you let the tension go and get looser, probably because of technicalities that become distracting, but you do not let them intrude and spoil the content. To me, you are second place winner, though I’m sorry there was no prize for this! Congratulations, Javier!

Overall Competition Winner Chosen by Pierre @David Burton
From the first notes, I am thinking « go on David, keep up that magic and you win! ». Your tone and articulation are great. Where there is a mistake due to complexity, leading to a break in the continuum, leading to another gap, you over come quickly, founding the way to go back on your feet, in a gracious way. In short, you succeed in protecting the music from vulnerability. You need to work on some resources like endurance and steadiness in order to keep momentum and full presence until the end of the piece, but otherwise …. congratulations, David, you are my winner!!!


« The secret is how you listen »
(Paco De Lucia)

Overall Competition Winner Chosen by Pierre

Winner Of The Popular Vote!

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