7:40am

Sat February 19, 2011
Appearing Saturday Night at Swallow Hill

Pierre Bensusan: Creating 'Vividly'

When Pierre Bensusan sat down to write and record his latest album, Vividly, the project needed to come to him organically. Taking his time, Bensusan says, he'd spent five years fighting the music in his head before making his 10th studio album.

"It was not a project I was aware of beforehand," he tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon. "All the tunes were saying, 'Play me! Play me! No, me first! Me first!' And I said, 'Wait a minute. I hear you, but I'm going to take my time.' "

Born in Oran, Algeria, before he and his parents fled to Paris during the Algerian revolution, Bensusan taught himself guitar at the age of 4 and has been called "the acoustic Jimi Hendrix" for his experimentation with alternative tunings. Bensusan says he considers his background instrumental to the creation of his music.

"It's going to reflect in the music," he says. "In the music, I feel like I'm a sponge. I had to adapt myself and it's good to feel home anywhere — to belong anywhere."

You can hear the full interview and performance at the top of this page. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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