On his debut solo album, French cellist Gaspar Claus takes you on an imaginary journey to a remote beach, lost between the rocks and the sea, the earth and the sky, where a group of like-minded individuals retreat to find themselves. Film soundtracks, post-classical, ambient, neo-flamenco, pop, electro, contemporary jazz,: his field of investigation expands ever wider. Claus has made collaboration his teacher, developing his sound and musical storytelling by working with artists from diverse backgrounds, including such luminaries as The National, Jim O'Rourke, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Rubbed with a bow, plucked, brushed, bumped, caressed, jostled, transfigured, the cello is the only musical instrument used on the album. The album is the result of a long creative process that began in 2017, when Gaspar Claus spent a few days alone near a small village in the Luberon, Barlande. Fully experiencing the anguish of creative solitude, he warded off his fear of emptiness by retrieving memories that resulted in the recording of sketches for a dozen pieces. The Covid-19 pandemic curtailed Gaspar's globetrotting habits, paradoxically enabling him to refocus on his own music, and to mould his pieces into a fascinating collection of impressionist compositions. Entirely (or almost entirely) instrumental, Tancade contains a total of eleven tracks. The result of slow, painstaking and sometimes painfully elaborate work, the album nevertheless has a remarkable fluidity and drive. From the opening track, "Une île" (an island), enveloped in a powerful auroral glow, one is carried far away from the everyday by a music that is both majestic and adventurous. The album evokes chamber music suspended in the fourth dimension, the soundtrack of an experimental film or the strange folk music of an undiscovered tribe. Gaspar aims to zoom into our mind's eye like the director of a movie: arriving on the mainland, your eyes turn to the shoreline ("Un Rivage") before recognizing the presence of a group of individuals. "Une Foule" starts by tiptoeing, shuffling timidly on a plucked beat. Then, at the halfway mark, it swells into something more precise and energetic. On "2359" (one minute before midnight) the cello, used as a hypnotic, percussive arpeggio, is then joined by another, played through a distortion pedal like a lead guitar. The album then begins a progressive movement towards the sky and extra-terrestrial landscapes with "Au Confins", before summoning cosmic entities on "Ô Sélénites". Fiery, eventful and underpinned by an unfathomable melancholy, the journey ends with "Mer des Mystères Amoureux".