Gilles Chabenat

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The acoustic tradition of the hurdy-gurdy, a stringed instrument on which the strings are rubbed by a rosined wheel turned by the right hand while the fingers of the left hand pick a melody, has been…
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The acoustic tradition of the hurdy-gurdy, a stringed instrument on which the strings are rubbed by a rosined wheel turned by the right hand while the fingers of the left hand pick a melody, has been introduced to the electronic world by Gilles Chabenat. Performing on an electro-acoustic hurdy-gurdy that he designed himself, Chabenat continues to expand the musical vocabulary of his instrument. A native of central France, Chabenat launched his career as a member of Schoolboys of Genest Saint, an early-'80s band that mixed traditional and modern French dance music. Although he collaborated with French clarinet player Frederic Paris on two albums following the group's demise in 1987, Chabenat has remained focused on his solo career, releasing four impressive solo albums between 1988 and 2001. As a session player, Chabenat has worked with such top-ranked French musicians as Ahmed Ben Dhiab, Carlo Rizzo, Raúl Barboza, Gabriel Yacoub, and Denis Badault of the Corsica-based band L Muvrini.