The press about “As I hear it”

Vaucluse Matin • 9 february 2011

When the music is good

« Contemporary music in the countryside is a bit against the current, but for those who have ears opened to novelty it’s frankly enjoyable. Benjamin Dupé is an artist – guitarist, composer – who’s not afraid of taking risks.
“By dint of regularly realizing I was unable to tell others in simple terms what my music is, one day I thought it would be easier to create a show about it …” And some show there is! With paper, a few diaphragms Benjamin Dupé already challenges us, questions us and achieves a conjuring trick the smartest strolling player wouldn’t disown. With an acoustic guitar, very oftly, he titillates our ears in a rather pretty way while a soundtrack gives us the thousand remarks inherent in the musical purpose, and there it becomes totally hilarious. Thus a good laugh settles between strung out notes that play leapdiapason escaping from the score. Now our ears are well ready to enjoy a very beautiful solo played on the electric guitar. As you’ll have guessed, Benjamin Dupé  in two beats, three chords, conquered us! »

La Montagne 15 november 2010

A “mise en abîme” of contemporary sound

« With As I hear it, Benjamin Dupé proposes an atypic kind of concert. It is at the same time a show, a critique and pondering about contemporary music; he lays down the rule of listening to his music, while challenging it. To better understand it ?
He’s all alone on stage. With six paper lampshades, a chair, a guitar. Everything being apparently motionless, the interaction between each new sound heard first overtakes the audience. His intense gaze seems to create music, as one would activate objects with a remote control. The lampshades vibrate with his thought, his breathing. They vibrate like flying birds, like the shuddering caused by fear. Voices, coming from sound tracks, take over. By dint of : “this music really is unbearable” or “trying out this music is more pleasant than hearing it”, you start wondering. All of a sudden, one leaves the part of the listener at a contemporary music concert to become the listener of feelings on contemporary music. An imposed detachment, a “mise en abîme” of the show triggers off a strange impression: “have we got the keys to understand?”. Hard to say. Benjamin Dupé will explain. He won’t. Technically it can’t be explained. So he takes his guitar again and sends this so particular, so expressive sound of his. Because contemporary music has to be experienced, heard, felt. »

La Provence 3 december 2009

Benjamin Dupé, anti-guitar hero

« Not so easy to be a contemporary musician?  Talented Benjamin Dupé humorously toys with it.
As a guitarist and composer of electroacoustic music, he sometimes is confronted with reactions of rejection of contemporary music. In As I hear it, presented yesterday at the Merlan theatre, Benjamin Dupé opens the debate with a sense of humour – “to pick girls up, contemporary music is nothing much”, he confides. Hanging from the ceiling, mikes caught in lamps diffuse men in the street’s testimonials, talking about “trauma for the eardrums”, “debate between astrophysicists rather pleasant but we don’t have the keys”, “sound material”. The guitarist holds a dialogue with these invisible characters. Within the intimate space of the Merlan studio, one concentrates on the vibrations, silences of the musician. Thus As I hear it isn’t really a concert, should music-lovers be frustrated, for talent is there – but a touching piece, the iceberg submerged part of a long-termed work done with different audiences at le Merlan during creative workshops. »

Zibeline • monthly magazine 19/11 to 17/12 2009

Contemporary confessional

« Benjamin Dupé’s solo is something of a surprise! The guitarist-composer proposes an autoderisive concert-show that toys with the prejudice contemporary music arises. “Inaudible, aggressive, senseless, just noise”, the most delicate will say,” structureless, without emotion, with nothing to say”. “Something nobody in his right mind would listen to at home”. Benjamin, alone on his chair with his acoustic guitar, puts up with the assaults ofloudspeakers, the vibrations he triggers, the words he aroused with his music. He endures, plays, and says : his passion for playing that, that kind of music, since the beginning; his pain, stunned then accepted, almost amused, at being  perceived day in day out as an extraterrestrial Zombi; his desire to share. Then he plays. Different pieces. Very structured, headstrong even, virtuoso too, to answer the ” this is nonsense” reproached by the soundtrack. Lyric, lento, crescendo, to disprove the accusation of coldness. Evocative, almost figurative, to make see. Then the recorded commentaries seem to answer him, evoking journeys, stories, sensations. A meaning. The guitarist next grabs his electric instrument, and offers, standing at last, a long composition full of invention, a clear course, something between rock music the instrument casually evokes, and a Sequenza for electric guitar Berio wouldn’t have bothered to write. A door is open to all for entering his universe: through music, humour, autobioscenic performance. Go and see for yourselves! »