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Modeste Hugues

ArtForm: CityShowcase Act/Composer

Award winning songwriter and guitarist.

“World music star if there ever was one” – The Guardian

“A delightful performer – a really nimble fingered and melodically satisfying” - fRoots

After hearing the birdsong and shepherds whistling in his homeland of Madagascar, Hugues began imitating them on a homemade guitar. Fifteen years on he'd be playing his acoustic set - influenced by softer South African dance rhythms - at WOMAD. "The music I play is unique to the Betroka region of Madagascar where it's influenced by all the traditional sounds of the area together with some softer South African dance rhythms. "Though my mother sings and an uncle of mine played the accordion, I didn't start to play until I was about 15 years old. A neighbour played the guitar and I loved the sounds so much that I borrowed his and taught myself. Then he moved away with his guitar so I built my own at the workshop in the local technical college where my father was a teacher. I had to use fishing line for string so it meant I had to hold it very close to hear the sound but I persevered even though it was probably totally out of tune". "Around that time I got interested in other musical sounds especially those of the mervan, the traditional Malagasy instrument. During that time, partly due to my father's encouragement I took a degree in engineering and when I was 26, I left for Bulgaria to study post-graduate electronic engineering. I moved to study to London in 1996 and decided that I wanted to pursue music because it is my first love. I also play at festivals. I love playing to a live audience they are really receptive and wide-ranging." The next generation of Hugues is already in the wings with Modeste's 10 year old son, who has played with him at a Diaspora Festival in London and is also starting to co-write with him.

(biog facts provided by artists or representative - correct as released for City Showcase February 2003)

Featuring In:

City Showcase at RTTB 2010
Sunday 26.09.2010
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