Bernard Benoit

Lutunn Noz: Celtic Guitar

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When one thinks of Celtic music, the sounds of harp, fiddle, and pipes come to mind. So, the guitar might seem an unusual and out-of-place instrument to be featured in a Celtic album. Unusual, yes, but Bernard Benoit's skill with his instrument, his arrangements, and his familiarity with Celtic music make the guitar anything but out of place. And, although the guitar is featured, the more traditional Celtic instruments usually accompany it. Benoit gives the album cohesiveness by infusing each track with an ethereal quality. But he also manages to provide variety. There are several simple and beautiful melodies. "Theme de la Folle Toujane," with its siren-like female vocalizations, is particularly haunting; and the humming that accompanies Benoit's guitar in the title track, "Lutunn Noz," evokes images of pre-Christian Celts at their campfires. But in other tunes, Benoit achieves a cheerier atmosphere, such as in the jaunty "Jig Izelbriz" and "Fidandoue Kernevad." This is an impressive album of imaginative and enchanting arrangements by a very talented musician. Lovers of Celtic music will find it one of their more unusual albums, and it is not likely they will ever tire of it.

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