Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus new album “Al viento” was sketched out in Icelandic territory, with Valgeir Sigurösson in his Greenhouse studio, then later completed in Spain with Didier Richard, drives the nail home.
Another fine idea was to go hunting across an ancestral land of ice and fire for what might resonate with the dry and sun-soaked landscapes of primitive Andalusia (a self-evident rephrasing of the indisputable saying "extremes meet").
Choosing as patron saint the character of the Petenera (cursed figure of Andalusia which inspired Frederico Garcia Lorca and still frightens the elderly, reaper of chaos because her love, too pure, was hurt), the two pirates invited the singer Matt Elliot (also known as Third Eye Foundation) to their bloody celebration, recording his incantations on a track whilst guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gay (former guitarist of Noir Désir) discreetly added layers of sombre textures and radioactive distortions between the strident lines, dissonances, percussions and vertiginous glissandi which Gaspar draws from a cello haunted by the voices of the most extreme cantaores (which he summons more than he replaces). Folkloric dances and traditional tunes are reinvested throughout these furious compositions, sounding sharper than Barlande could let us imagine.
Here Flamenco emerges once again as radiant music of uprooting and obscure sciences, the pain of which, expressed like a fluttering of impossible equations, galvanizes and spins around with fierce joy, in the fury of hammered wood, in the grumbling of strings and the handling of silences; in the rhythm of blood, the harmonic audacity and the raucous love of standing upright. The sighs, outbursts, dips, elisions and surges of discord with which Claus' cello hooks the paternal elements breathe life once again into this improbable and yet mineral truth: if these two, the father and the son, were not always playing quite the same music, they were certainly painting the same landscape.
About Gaspar Claus :
Gaspar Claus, a sinuous cross-country cellist who welcomes surprises, allows his unkempt technique to serve countless collaborations (with Jim O'Rourke, Sufjan Stevens, Rone or Angélique Ionatos). From improvised music (alongside Keiji Haino or Serge Teyssot-Gay) to contemporary music (with Bryce Dessner), all the way through flamenco (Pedro Soler and Ines Bacan) and pop (Barbara Carlotti, Peter Von Poehl), he represents those unhindered musicians for whom music is above all the manifestation of one's presence to the world, the celebration of a certain conception of friendship, togetherness, and the violence of pleasure. Values which he hexalts within Vacarme, a trio he established with the violinists Carla Pallone and Christelle Lassort.
About Pedro Soler :
Born in 1938, Pedro witnessed and played a key part in the ‘Golden Age’ of flamenco. He learned guitar as he went along, and under the tutelage of Pepe de Badajoz (Antonio Chacón’s accompanist). He went on to perform alongside the great masters (Pepe de la Matrona, Almaden, Juan Varea, Enrique Morente) and, over the years, asserted himself as one of the primary flag-bearers of an “archaic” style of Flamenco, with the accent on dynamics and sonority rather than on “voluble and shiny” virtuosity. Nevertheless he never turns down an opportunity to interact with instruments from other walks of musical life (Renaud Garcia-Fons, Raúl Barboza, Ravi Prasad). He is one of the most celebrated flamenco guitarists in the world today.