Bensusan played his entire set at the 1986
Festival d’été de Québec under an umbrella
held by Bob Walsh. Photo by Henri Pichette
In the 1980s, you turned to effects to create
lush acoustic-electric soundscapes, but it
seems that lately you’ve all but abandoned
electronics. Why is that?
I was reluctant to enter that world to start with,
but once I did I went all the way. I was like a
child in a toy store. It was amazing to discover
ping-pong delays, to be able to record more
than a minute of myself playing, then add layers and layers on top of that. I did sound-on-sound;effects;live;onstage;for; 15;years,;and;my;
music reached a very inspiring place—though I
that ended up being a very dangerous thing. I
before a new tour began, I took a look at all
only my guitar and a cable, wanting to touch
At first, it was difficult to be stripped of
some sound systems, not so great. But I started
to accept those sonic limitations and work within that dimension. I concentrated on things like
making a beautiful vibrato tell a story, and after
a while I got to a point where I could do a con-cert;with;no;PA—just;a;guitar;and;a;room.;Now;
my guitar, a volume pedal, a reverb unit, two
microphones, a little guitar stand, a music stand
that takes up the most space of all.
Has ditching effects changed your playing at all?
the sound of a guitar and cause you to forget
attention to make the instrument sound beau-
myself concentrating a lot on my right-hand
attack and on my left-hand touch. I was forced
to address the sound correctly on an acoustic
effects later in the recording process.
Tell us a little about your latest album, Vividly.
On;the;last;recording;[2001’s;Intuite], I put
my singing aside. But this time I wanted
to do a record where songs with lyrics and