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Philippe Fouquet
Turning Point

Review and In-depth Interview with producer Gregg Miner

Track Listings

1. Lueurs d’horizon
2. Primerose
3. Life Will Give You
4. Run
5. La pluie du voyage
6. Turning Point
7. Veille de baptême
8. I Believe

9. Les fleurs de l’aube

10. Jour après jour
11. After the Show
12. Sky Rivers
13. Sensible

Produced by Philippe and Harp Guitar Music founder Gregg Miner (that's me).  This is Philippe's third CD, and (other than one previous track on an old kontragitarre) his harp guitar debut.  And what a debut it is!  If I had to describe Philippe and his music in one word, it would be passion.  I refer to him as "the Pierre Bensusan of the harp guitar" - though his style is uniquely his own.  In these 13 new solo compositions - 8 on his Brunner harp guitar and 5 on his Wingert 6-string - Philippe's heart seems stripped bare for all the audience to hear, feel and absorb.  His music is joyous, sad, uplifting and heart-wrenching.  It is life.  I've never heard anything quite like this music, and am thrilled to have been able to help bring it to you.  Song notes (not included in liner notes) are below.

REVIEWS

"C’est belle, c’est magnifique, cette musique. Enchanting, delightful, rich in texture and color, the steel stringed melodies of Philippe Fouquet on his debut release for Harp Guitar Music, "Turning Point," captivate the listener with their sheer musicality. In a departure from previous recordings, Fouquet delves headlong into open tunings on "Turning Point." Eight of the 13 tracks are played on his unusual Lukas Brunner harp guitar, where the harp neck is longer scaled and fretless, allowing Fouquet access to deep, resonant registers to anchor his soulful tunes. He makes fine use of them, while allowing the mids and trebles to weave the melody. "Life Will Give You" - as every song on this collection - is a gem of flowing musical ideas. The heat rises a bit on "Run," with a pulsating bass thumping along the route, alternating between major and minor gymnastics across the fretboard; it’s a real digit workout. Fouquet shows equal aplomb when only using six strings (a fine Kathy Wingert guitar), adding unexpected turns in color and chords, as on "La Pluie du Voyage," where a well-placed slap gets our attention. Like most good music, we can sense the development of Fouquet’s themes and ideas as the song progresses, enveloping the listener in his aural meditation. The title cut, "Turning Point," is a melancholic chestnut, brimming with douleur and angst, yet never losing its subtle beauty. There are brief, scattered allusions throughout the CD to the amazing Pierre Bensusan and his complex musical ideas. Whether intentional or not, it’s a fitting homage to a fellow Frenchman and fingerstyle pioneer. "Sky Rivers" bounces between droning bass and ascending and descending chords, rising in tension, only to resolve in gentle harmony. Fouquet concludes the CD with "Sensible," and with his skillful hands, indeed it is. A fine CD, and another great recording from Gregg Miner and the folks at Harp Guitar Music." © Kirk Albrecht, minor7th.com

"If you have acoustic guitar lovers in your clientele, you simply must introduce them to Philippe Fouquet’s Turning Point, a recording on which the accomplished artist performs on harp guitar, a dual-necked instrument pictured on the CD’s cover. The harp-guitar’s uniqueness is partly embodied in its sub-bass strings. In Fouquet’s hands, this instrument becomes a vessel of nuance, grace, and artistry. It’s hard to believe that what the listener hears emanates from a single instrument, but it does. By turns fiery and passionate, reflective and inward, and warm and approachable, the 13 tracks on Turning Point will enchant and delight instrumental acoustic guitar lovers." © Bill Binkelman, New Age Retailer

About the Artist

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Song Notes by Philippe, translated by Gregg Miner (French version here)

ALL THE PIECES ARE PLAYED WITH THE MAIN 6 STRINGS TUNED TO "DADEAD"

GUITARS:
Harp guitar: Luke Brunner 
6-string: Model E Kathy Wingert


1 Lueurs d’horizon: 3,33  Harp guitar: Sub-bass tuning (low to high): E, F#, G#, A, B, C#
I composed this piece mainly by singing it to myself. A ballad about the small country lanes where I live.

2 Primerose: 3,42  6-string
A sweet and transparent light, the perfume of spring flowers, the friendly heat of the sun, the big tree defenders, an island of happiness; days which we would never like to see end. Primerose is the name of the house where my wife and I lived for our first years.

3 Life will give you: 3,45  Harp guitar: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#
Life has so much to give. We have so much to give.

4 Run: 2,52  Harp guitar: E, F#, G, A, B, C#

I wanted to create a rhythmic motif with the basses of the harp guitar while developing melody, harmonies and variations on the six strings.

5 La pluie du voyage: 4,20 
6-string
Rain is sometimes favorable to dreaming. Internal journey, opened world, fleeting, lightning, running glances, images which follow each other go away and return.

6 Turning point: 4,50  Harp guitar: E, F, G, A, B, C#
This piece is especially dedicated to Gregg Miner to whom I owe a good part of my story with the harp guitar. Thank you so much, Gregg, and let's continue on!

7 Veille de baptême: 2,52  Harp guitar: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#
I found a lot of tenderness in this air for bagpipe from the center of France from Michel Andre. The bagpipe is an instrument which fascinates me and it was great pleasure to adapt and develop this melody for harp guitar. The sub-basses of the harp guitar often remind me of the drones of the bagpipes.

8 I believe: 2,47 
6-string
I firmly believe that good is what prevails in humanity's' story.

9 Les fleurs de l’aube: 3,32  Harp guitar: E, F, G, A, B, C#
This piece is like a dream to me. A garden of the inner world where the flowers of imagination bloom. This is the piece I created for the compilation Harp Guitar Dreams - now re-envisioned and recorded on the steel-string Brunner harp guitar.

10 Jour après jour: 4,12 
6-string
A letter to Sophie. She already knows what these notes whisper to her.

11 After the show: 2,38  Harp guitar: E, F#, G, A, B, C
The main idea for this piece came to me after performing in a concert with Don Alder and Michael Friedmann during an evening in Switzerland.

12 Sky rivers: 3,16  Harp guitar: E, F#, G, A, B, C#
Clouds in the sky sometimes remind me of rivers.

13 Sensible: 6,12 
6-string

Sometimes I sit down at the foot of the hill and listen to the wind playing in the trees. I close my eyes and I let the world fill in. I hear the breath of the oceans; I feel the freshness of mountains and the mystery of the deep valleys. I feel inside of me the infinite beaches and the ardent deserts, the forests with tall trees and the majestic rivers. I carry in my heart the smile of the children of the world, the heat of laughter and enjoyment, the brilliant suns, the singing flowers and spotless dawns. I also acknowledge the shouts and the revolts of all which carries me to tears and makes one suffer. Sensitive life, united universe, from me to you and from you to me, these modest notes are part of the Whole.

CDs & DVDs by Stephen Bennett, John Doan, Muriel Anderson, Andy McKee, Stacy Hobbs, Tom Shinness, Dan LaVoie, James Kline, Larry Berwald, Bill Dutcher, Gregg Miner, Pasquale Taraffo
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