Pierre Bensusan

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Pierre Bensusan at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead

By Clare Brotherwood
Occasionally, when I find myself moved so much by a performance other than acting, a review about music finds its way onto this website.
Last night was such an occasion. Pierre Bensusan is recognised as one of the premier musicians of our time. Winner of the Independent Music Award and voted Best World Music Guitar Player in 2008, his humility is touching as he tells his audience he is privileged to be playing for us. But let us tell you, Monsieur Bensusan, the privilege is all ours.
I had gone along to the theatre disgruntled - by too many things happening in my life. By the start of the second half I was in a state of quiet euphoria, totally at peace with the world. I was even moved to the odd tear. Music at its best is like that, isn’t it? It’s magical; it can make a difference, and Pierre Bensusan makes a difference.
Not that his music is an easy ride. He is famous for using the Dadgad method of tuning which isn’t always melodic, but it does wake up your senses, and makes you aware of the complexities of the guitar. You wonder, are there really only six strings on this instrument which seems a living extension of this gentle yet passionate performer? His music is both soothing and invigorating, and his songs, which he and his wife, Doatea, compose, can be moving or amusing. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are in French. Infact, that adds to the appeal.
Bensusan may be known as The Mozart of the Guitar and, as such, is worthy of the title, but he takes after no-one. He is unique.
Pierre Bensusan tours continuously worldwide, and his remaining dates in England and Scotland are:
Nov 5: Bristol Folk House
Nov 6: The King Arthur, Glastonbury
Nov 9: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Nov 10: Broadoak Hotel, Ashton-Under-Lyme
Nov 11: Crown and Mitre Hotel, Carlisle
Nov 12: Milngavie FC, Milngavie
Nov 14: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

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