13th Annual Live Performance Album Nominee
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Record Label: Dadgad Music & Favored Nations
Home Base: France
Genre: World Music, guitar, vocal
Categories Entered: Song, Live album, Live performance
Work Submitted: “Pas Sage”, Encore triple live album, “l’Alchimiste” (from “Encore”)
Artists Featured: Pierre Bensusan
Label: Dadgad Music
Who are your influences?: I play and write a music inspired by all the musics.
Describe your nominated work: It’s a title inspired by reading the book of the same name by Paolo Cuelho.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: My electro acoustic Lowden guitar named “the Old Lady” recorded with a mic blend with a piezo pick up.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: It was recorded Live in Concert in Charlottesville (VA) and there were a lot of “happy accidents”, such as a great audience, great acoustics and the desire to take risks to make the music come and shine.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: I paid the overall production of “Encore” out of my personal funds.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 13th IMAs?: One of your collaborators suggested I do.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: To be able to make a living by doing what you love could be a faithful definition of success. Another one would be to give happyness and pleasure to an audience, whatever the size. Celebrating 40 years in the music business without having made no compromise on the music is another definition of success.
I know I have achieved it after only one show, when the harmony between the music and the audience culminates, and everyone goes out of the room with a smile and a light heart.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: I suppose this would be something that will follow me – or advance me – in the way my team and myself will present our communication. It would attract the attention and incite new listeners to check me out. I see it like a positive, encouraging statement, a little light of recognition that contents the heart and the drive for more music creation to come.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: Anyone from 15 to 99, who loves: music, guitar, Europe, France, singing, story telling with music and/or words, tolerance, humanity, sharing, …
What makes them unique or very special is that we have both, separatly and then together resonated to the same music. All of sudden, we belong to the same world of art.
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Eating sweets and buying clothes.
Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: Missing planes and being on the edge of cancelling shows, my guitar not making a flight and having to play with another instrument, waiting for my guitar for a week, being ubnoxious at the Canadian border with a report that followed me for years (that was a long time ago), and plenty more…
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Chopin, Satie, Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, Steeleyspan, Martin Carthy, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Djan Reinhardt, Jobim, Jimmy Hendrix, Paco De Lucia, Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, Wayne Shorter, Milton Nascimento, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, George Brassens, Barbara, and plenty more…
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: I do not envy the music of anyone else, especially when I love it. I feel inspired by the drive that made a specific artist come up with such a powerful creation, and feel encouraged to dive into my own art and dig deep to bring back to the surface a music with a personal artform, and present it to the world. It’s a matter of sanity. Music likes to stay in and get stronger, but there is a moment she wants to pop out, see the world and become fully independent. I empty myself then and it’s a great feeling.
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: Pharrel Williams maybe, or Byoncé (?)
How do you discover new music? By listening to what my son (21) listens to, by Youtube, Google, Facebook, word of mouth, coincidence.
Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: I buy music when I am really touched.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: They will have to put everything they have into playing Live and develop a faithful audience, keep them and make them grow culturally and in numbers too, incite them to be supportive and purchase their productions. Ultimately, they could always switch and become a banker (just kidding)…
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: A lot of people do not even see it as an industry to start with. This is maybe less the case in the US, but in Europe lots of people are unaware of what it takes for all parties to make things happen. It’s maybe a matter of culture, lack of curiosilty, being installed in old habits, and also and probably not recognizing that you have to pay for a service.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: I certainly hope not. An EP is a consumption product with a limited life span — which is maybe in sync with what a part of the music industry is looking for. I rather believe into the full album statement which will always be a significant milestone, with a long live span.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…changing, adapting, catching up, understanding,
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: Lots of tours and a new studio album in my brand newly renovated home studio, located 1 jour east of Paris.