• Listening
  • Active non-willing
  • Wide breath
  • Sharing
  • Improvisation
  • The whole world
  • Free singing.

Beñat Achiary

Singer, musician, teacher.
Living in Bayonne, France

I live in the Basque Country, in the city-port of Bayonne on the Atlantic… but I am also a son of the inland hills and mountains where I was born and raised.

My approach to singing: in singing classes and workshops, I like to share and live the experience of free and ‘rooted’ singing.

My ways of working: rooting the song in the wide breath, and rooting the song in a living tradition, in a life journey where each interpretation or invention, is a new creation, a new birth. I like to ground singing in the dynamic experience of improvisation, in the rich connections with the cultures that shape us, and that we never stop discovering throughout our lives.

I like to gradually open up a path so I can and we can drink from the wellspring of our own very personal and free singing.

I teach in French, Spanish, Basque and a little bit of English.  

Beñat Achiary grew up in the Basque culture, which he experienced as a great source of creativity and growth. He sees this living legacy as a means to his own artistic freedom; as a source of “ultimate poetry”. With this as his guide, he embarks on the adventure of his life and of the world. In a constant dialogue with some of the Basque Country’s – and the world’s – most original artists, he experiences the adventure of relating to the “Whole World” (le “Tout monde”), as Édouard Glissant would say.

More than 60 records, the creation of numerous pieces of music for dance and theatre, the design of many multi-artistic works combining music, song and dance, etc., are proof of this.
For example:
Oihana Auhenka (the Lament of the forest) – poetic woodcutters, flutes, sound trees that sing under the hands’ caress, percussive singing, singing, poetry.
Harria ta Herria (the stone and the country) stone lifters, feather and ball jugglers, singing, flutes and percussion.
Burdina (a show of song & dance inspired by the arrival of Andalusian families in the iron mines of the Bilbao region).
Lam Dyali (9 poems by Aimé Césaire dedicated to Africa) with the great griot of Saint Louis, Ablaye Cissoko, the Congolese dancer Chrysogone Diangouaya, the slammer Souleymane Diamanka, the pianist Michel Queuille, and his son the drummer and singer Julen Achiary.
Un Poète à New York, collection of poems written by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1929-30, a flamenco encounter. improvisation and Afro-American music, etc.

Still in the prime of his life, his passion for the transmission to each person of the “power to create”, is intact and manifests itself in his way of being, his singing workshops, conferences, articles, the work with teenagers, children and adults.
But also in the hosting of some of the most charismatic artists in the world, alongside Basque artists in two festivals founded over 25 years’ ago with his partner and wife, Maïté Etchemendy Achiary, alongside many friends, and today in the hands of the young generation of Basque artists. The generation of Julen Achiary-Etchemendy.

Beñat Achiary was trained in the oral tradition of the Basque Country. He holds a certificate as head of the traditional music department and has taught oral music for many years at the Bayonne Regional Conservatory, as well as in courses at the Paris and Lyon Conservatories and at the Centre national de danse.

He teaches singing workshops in the Basque Country and elsewhere. He enjoys working with teachers from the Roy Hart Theater in Malérargues or Itxassou (David Goldsworthy, Anne-Marie Le Tron). His passion is to devote a lot of his time to teaching, a passion that gives meaning to his life as an artist and to his life in general.