French cellist Valentin Ceccaldi lists on his homepage 27 working bands. When you check his discography you can understand why he is such an in-demand musician. He is a highly inventive and resourceful musician and improviser. Ceccaldi is a true free spirit and his sonic spectrum ranges from refined chamber music to fiery, hardcore improvisation and everything in between,
«Ossos» (a dish with a lot of bones in it) is Ceccaldi’s debut solo album, recorded at Centro Norton de Matos in Coimbra in May 2017, and suggests his unique personal sound, and in his own special way conceptualizing his answer to Duke Ellington’s famous saying: «a man’s sound is his total personality». And Ceccaldi’s sound fills the recording space immediately. It is clear that the cello has become an organic part of Ceccaldi’s body and soul. He does not surrender to virtuous sparks but lets his cello talk in many languages, and not always gentle, comforting ones. The three pieces are titled – in French – anvil, hammer, and stirrup, capture his raw and unconventional approach.
Ceccaldi’s cello, moans, whispers, and complains in the first piece «Enclume», before it settles on a rough and highly resonant drone with strong lyrical undercurrents and sudden silences. The following «Marteau» shifts from restless, intense, and brutal attacks of the cello strings and wooden body to patient and delicate, almost ethereal touches of the bow on the strings, later sounding as ritualist playing of distant bells. Ceccaldi makes the cello whistle and sings with airy overtones on the last, short and expressive «Étrier», proving, again, that he not only has his own sound but also a great sonic imagination.
Valentin Ceccalddi (c)