Born in France into a family of generations of ancient instrument makers, Guilem has lived surrounded by ancient and indigenous traditional French music and instruments his entire life. He was taught instrument building by his father (who was taught by his father) and enter the Tarn Music Conservatory in France at the age of 6 and quickly grew in skill and creativity. Combining the skills and techniques he learned from his father and applying the knowledge he gained as a computer engineer, he built his first electronically enhanced hurdy gurdy in 2008.
This little-known mechanical, stringed instrument traces back to medieval Europe and has maintained a strong presence in traditional French folk music. Desq’s sound is unmistakable as he electrifies this originally acoustic instrument and plays a wide variety of genres on it – anything from traditional European folk to Middle-Eastern, and even contemporary rock and hip-hop. His music sources deeply from the ancient Medieval and traditional folk music of his native region in France, even as he modifies and enhance it to bring it forward in time for modern audiences. He is also an accomplished and sought after teacher on the history and playing techniques of the hurdy gurdy and frequently offers workshops and demonstrations un associations with his performances.
Nicknamed the “Hendrix of Hurdy-Gurdy,” along with having the most viewed Hurdy
Gurdy videos on YouTube – Guilhem Desq breathes new life and innovation into this old-world instrument. Having already toured throughout Europe and India, Guilhem Desq is garnering international interest in the Hurdy-Gurdy while also establishing himself as a modern virtuoso on this ancient instrument and is internationally recognized and acclaimed as a musical and cultural innovator.