"I have this chance of living my childhood dream and I hope it continues forever," Thibault Cauvin, classical guitarist
As the spotlight gleamed over the lone figure sitting at the centre of the stage, the crowd awaited eagerly. With the anticipation reaching its peak, the "little Frenchman" started playing "Ulan Bator", a track from one of his album with the guitar cradling in his arms.
His eyes were closed and the passion with which he was playing the notes, truly signified that the guitarist was lost in a world unknown to us all. The symphony he was producing was an invitation like that of the Pied Piper to accompany him on his journey.
"While playing the guitar, music take over me and my fingers," stated the 35-year-old French guitarist.
Monsieur Thibault Cauvin, whom LA Times has described as "just incredible, don't miss him", was performing at the Shilpakala Academy; mesmerising Dhakaites with his own blend of classical music, honed and crafted through 15 years of extensive touring across the world.
Nicknamed "The little prince of the six strings," Cauvin is the only guitarist in the world to win 13 international first prizes.
So how did it all start? Putting up a feast to the ears, breaking boundaries and admixing audiences from different places.
"It all comes down to my father." Cauvin stated with a boyish inside the green room before the show.
"Back in his heydays, he was a guitarist in several fancy French bands. Later on, he moved on to jazz and finally after a while, he discovered the magical world of classical guitar and totally fell in love with the sound it produced and the complexity of the instrument. It was during that time of his life, I was born and he introduced me to the world of classical music at the age of five. Since then, I started playing a classical guitar. It was a big thing for me," he added.
A big thing indeed, which was demonstrated when he performed "Berlin", a soulful fusion of the city's different faces that is heavy on mechanical staleness on the intro and extro, flanking the ingenious imagination of techno music accompanied with string scratches and body taps on the guitar.
Just at the key moment, the French-guitarist manages to add a romantic plucking that reveals the city's softer and passionate sides. Truly a masterpiece! Infusing techno club music with that of occidental classic.
Emphasising on his work on fusion, Cauvin explained that he liked the idea of music having no style. "I like playing music irrespective of any genre; I like the idea of mixing worlds. As a little Frenchman (with a big grin) travelling across the world, I enjoy listening different music, for instance Indian Classic. Obviously, I lack the proper education to playthe genre, but I like to be open to watch and listen how it is performed and see what touched me and try some essence of them through my fingers and heart and my French vision to tell what the Sub-continent to me is," the gleeful guitarist added.
As the show went on, Cauvin went on to play "Istanbul", a song about a young man who left the big city for the mountains to become a shepherd. He proceeded with a dramatic melody suggesting an eventful transition, but as the song went on deeper, the strumming came in and grew heavier and heavier, conjuring ominous scenarios befalling the character. It was unclear though if the young man found a resolution, as the song was left open for interpretations.
So does the "little prince" always remain busy on the road? Not at all!
"Another reason for me travelling is that I like surfing waves across the world. Few weeks back, I was in Sri Lanka and the key reason for that was surfing. I also came to know that Bangladesh has some pretty good waves as well. I would really love to come back once again and pay a visit to the longest beach in the world!" exclaimed Cauvin.
Just as the evening was about to draw its conclusion, the guitar concert had a surprise for the audience.
Unable to hold back his excitement, Cauvin revelled that he was going to perform jointly alongside flutist Gazi Abdul Hakim.
"My album project 'Cities' is all about visiting different cities and collaborating with different musicians from those cities. When I came to here, Alliance Française de Dhaka proposed me to meet one of your famed musician; Gazi Abdul Hakim and today I had the privilege of sitting with him and play a piece together on the African Tuaregs. The piece is slow and poetic, and I felt it could match with the Indian music," added the guitarist.
Wrapping up the performance, Cauvin now is on his way to Paris after roaming around the old city for a day (Wednesday). But before his departure, he stated that his visit to our lively city will be a memorable one with a possible composition in the near future.