[大师访谈]指弹传奇Pierre Bensusan三哥采访,音乐性最重要!


​​Pierre Bensusan

musicality matters most!


“What is very important is to remember that the aim is not to play guitar, it’s to play music.”                                                 Pierre Bensusan


Pierre Bensusan is an acoustic artist with few peers. He respects technique, of course, but regards it as necessary vocabulary and tools with which to find the – the story in the music. This is how he writes. It’s also how he teaches. If you get the chance, experience him up close during his 2017 tour.

Pierre Bensusan是同龄人中少有的原声吉他手。他当然很看重演奏技法,把技巧当做是寻找音乐的工具以及讲述音乐的必要词汇。这既是他的创作理念,也是他的教学理念。


What’s the most important thing about playing and writing?


What is very important is to remember people that the aim is not to play guitar, it’s to play music. So it’s not because you know how to play guitar that you’re going to know how to write music, those are two different things.


Do you value being praised for your “musicality” more than technical virtuosity?


Absolutely! Who cares about someone technically brilliant? In fact, what you see is not the technique, especially if you have your eyes closed, and you listen, you don’t need to see, your eyes become your ears. So the technique, we need a lot of technique, it’s like vocabulary. We need a lot vocabulary in order to express ourselves, to express an opinion, the mind, to go deep into-to being precise about what you feel, what you want to transmit.


You try to solve an issue, and you work in order to resolve it, and you create the new word in your vocabulary of technique. And so the technique is only there to help you to transcend something that you want to express. The thing is, anytime, in order for the technique to be in yourself, you need to repeat it, you need to work your physical memory, your audio memory, until you have it inside, and you forgot that it’s inside, but the music will remember where to go, to take it, if it needs it, yeah?



If you could choose three songs to introduce your music, what would they be?


“So Long Michael” and “The Alchemist” from my live record called “Encore”. Those versions are live and I prefer them to the studio versions. And the one called “Feeding the Birds”, where I whistle as well and I use a loop. I don’t use a loop anymore, but at that time I used a loop to record a chord progression and then I was playing a solo on top of it.

来自我现场专辑“Encore”的“So Long Michael”和“The Alchemist”,相比录音室版本,我更喜欢这两首的现场版。还有一首叫“Feeding the Birds”,我在里面吹了口哨,使用了循环器。现在已经不用循环器了,不过当时我用循环器录了一段和弦进行,然后在此基础上弹了段独奏。

You speak with great passion about your approach to teaching.


Of course, you cannot do what you do without passion, and it’s not only about passion, because the passion is the drive. It’s the engine – it gives the fuel. But you need also to spend time. You need to validate things. You need to cultivate your memory. You need to repeat things until they are really enrooted, and so your need to work your physical memory, your audio memory, your situational memory. When you have the time, then all the questions you ask find their response.


On giving time to time



It’s very hard to grab our attention for more than five minutes, it seems like in this world today. It is totally the other way around then to enter in the music world where you have to be so patient, so tenacious, so within the moment, but also within time. You need to give time to time, if you want a fast result, go and play the stock market, don’t play music. You see what I’m saying?


On the magic of it all


The instrument is only a way to get to that place that we call music, that we cannot really define, but that I want to think that we recognize it when we hear it. We don’t know why, but we do know we are addressing something special, that sometimes we say “magical,” you know. It is, in fact. We can analyze it, we can look at what is there that makes it work, we can look at what is missing that makes it not work, that doesn’t make it work, but we cannot explain why music- what it is.



Where is home?


One hour East of Paris. It’s a little village, 200 people live here. I could not live in a big city anymore. When we were young, my wife and I used to live downtown Paris. We had this tiny apartment that we loved. Then wanted to have a family and to have a recording studio, a dancing studio. The only way was to have a house and to move out. No way we could afford to stay in Paris and have that!


On using your ear to tune


The first thing we do is to put the digital tuners back in the knapsack and we don’t see the tuner at all for a week. People can use their ears, because if you cannot use your ear for tuning, why would you assume that you can use your ears, the same ears that you don’t trust, to play music and to listen to what you play? You know what I mean? It’s very interesting to see that people lack this confidence in their own ability to listen, so this is something that we do address.


What do we need to “un-learn”?


Sometimes, faster musicians are a bit left in the desert, you know? They have cultivated a strong motivation, a strong drive, but they have a lot “un-education”. Like myself, because I’m self-taught, so I know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve been learning things, but I have also just spent time to “un-learn” what I learned. And so I try to, in fact, help those people to optimize their time, and to optimize what they know, and to transform their desire into something tangible, which is going to be music, at the end of the day.


How would you describe your residential workshop students?


I have people coming from all over, from Australia, Japan, China, of course United States, all over Europe, France. So it’s very interesting, because the groups are totally multicultural, multi-ethnic, and people are all together. They share the same passion for music and the same inhibitions sometimes. And after one day they start to be so friendly together, so comprehensive, so open to each other.


What do you mean by “re-educating your ears?”


It’s an instrument, we are talking about the instrument, so the agenda to transpose music on an instrument is the same for every musician. It does require you to listen carefully, profoundly, deeply, analytically, precisely, and to remember. Your ears become like a tape recorder that not only remembers melody, harmony, chords, notes, but also the pitch, the tonality. You start to re-educate your ears so that your ear becomes extremely sharp, very very sharp. We were talking about tuning, but, in fact, when people tune their guitar they essentially tune themselves. In order to tune correctly, you need to be tuned in yourself. And so a lot of people are totally not aligned when they start tuning, this is why they lack confidence, and use [digital] tuners.The thing is that a tuner will never be as accurate as your ear can be.


Do you tour with one guitar?


I’ve been touring with one guitar, my old Lowden that George [Louden] built for me in 1978.
The guitar is just so amazing. It’s an elixir of sound, and for this guitar -it’s like coming home. If a guy was saying to me “I’ll give you half a million dollars for this guitar,” I don’t even think I would sell it. I can’t. You cannot sell your friend, who is the confidante of all your emotions. You can’t, there’s no price. And it’s a sound, the sound has no price. You cannot put a price on such a good muse, you cannot buy everything.


Talk to me about a few of your acoustic heroes.


Paco de Lucia, for instance, that’s maybe the most important one, but there is another guy from Brazil who is Egberto Gismonti. I also love George Benson. I love John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, Jimi Hendrix. There are so many players. Of course, I mention only guitar players, there are composers like Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Debussy, Faure. I love those people, you know. I grew up listening to them. It’s amazing to see the commitment that they had. It was a mythical commitment that goes beyond everything.

比如Paco de Lucia,他对我的影响也许是最大的。此外还有巴西吉他手Egberto Gismonti。我也很喜欢George Benson,还有John McLaughlin、Ralph Towner、Jimi Hendrix,太多了。当然我提到的都是吉他手,还有我爱的作曲家们,比如Bach、Beethoven、Handel、Debussy、Faure,从小就听他们的作品。他们对音乐庆祝的热情令我感到敬佩,那是一种无与伦比的热爱。

How old were you when you started?


I was six when I played the piano, six or seven, and the guitar I think I was 11.


Do you remember your first acoustic guitar?


Yes! It was a guitar given to me by my father, who was a big fan of Django Reinhardt. I didn’t know what to do with it, so it stayed in the cabinet for several months, collecting dust, until a friend of mine from school saw it. I didn’t even know how to tune it, I didn’t know how to change strings.” So he went out, bought strings, told me how to tune it and showed me a few chords – and that was it. That’s my guitar teacher, the guy from school. He has been my only official teacher, everything else I found by myself, listening to other people.

记得,是我爸爸给我的,他是Django Reinhardt的忠实粉丝。我当时不知道该怎么处理,就在阁楼放了几个月。后来学校的一个朋友看到了,可我当时连调弦和换弦都不会。那个朋友去买了琴弦,告诉我该怎么调弦,还教了我几个和弦。就这样,学校的一个朋友成了我的吉他老师。他也可以算是我唯一的老师,其他都靠我自己听别人的演奏进行自学。

What do you enjoy most about performing?


I love performing for people, because I grew up from there. It’s something which for me is a growing experience all the time, it’s endless. I feel I play better when I play for people, and I feel also that you are in a very unique community experience. Nothing comes close to this. For me, I need to have the audience, to have the urgency of the commitment with the audience, to feel them, sometimes to even look at some eyes in the audience, for the magic to trigger, you know.


If you could see one acoustic show this year, who would it be?


Take 6. I would love to see them again, I saw them in Paris. When I said “acoustic” – those six guys sing, that’s all they do. A Capella. Cannot be more acoustic than that.

Take 6,之前在巴黎见过他们的表演,我很期待再次欣赏。不过这里的“原声”,指的是纯人声,他们六个人唱阿卡贝拉,这是最纯粹的原声表演了。

What causes are you passionate about?


There are many out there.From the top of my head, anything which goes in the direction of acceptance, of tolerance, of sharing, of rescuing people, helping others, all those causes are for me. They’re extremely important and we should help them.

太多了。能想到的,我对所有跟接纳、宽容、分享、救赎、帮助他们人有关的事情,都怀有热情。这些都很重要,我们应该努力帮助他人。Lowden Pierre Bensusan签名款原声吉他

Lowden Pierre Bensusan签名款原声吉他

转载自[acoustic life原声生活]​​​​

Author: 吉他平方 编辑部