Joëlle Léandre / Théo Ceccaldi - Elastic

Joëlle Léandre - double bass
Théo Ceccaldi - violin

1 - Elastic #1
2 - Elastic #2
3 - Elastic #3
4 - Elastic #4
5 - Elastic #5
6 - Elastic #6
7 - Elastic #7 (Hidden track, just included in the cd)

Recorded live at the home of Alban Caussé on the 2nd October 2015.
Recorded, Mixed and Master by Jean-Marc Foussat.
Photo by Jeff Humbert.
Artwork by Ksá.
Thanks to Alban Caussé, Jacques-Henri Béchieau, Stef Gijssels and Cipsela Team.
Executive Production by Cipsela Records.
All Music by Joëlle Leandre and Théo Ceccaldi
Cipsela 2016


Limited edition of 300 copies.


Photo by Jeff Humbert

French theater maker Louis Jouvet once said : Limprovisation ça ne simprovise pas, meaning that improvisation can only be done properly with lots of preparation and practice, and that is what you get here.

Music that at first hearing sounds like modern classical music, composed, well-structured, balanced, with lyrical lines and interactions that could only be the result of carefully annotated written music. But listen - and think - again. The dynamics, the tension, the rawness and authenticity, the inventiveness, the liveliness you hear, can only be the result of improvisation: it is the music coming out of more than one mind, or one heart, the music that creates itself on the spot, out of the tension and the harmony between two people, full of confidence in each other, musically and technically, two musicians who have something to tell. It is a personal story. Two personal stories of likeminded people merged into one.

They clearly love what they do, they love their instruments, the sound of strings, the resonance of wood, the scraping of the bow. They follow each others movements, the low bass and the high violin, they echo, or they challenge, they tease, they take the sound a step further and enjoy it. You can feel that. Théo Ceccaldi confirms that not one word is spoken about the pieces before they start playing. Joëlle Léandre says it is all one big adventure. It is the music of surprise, even to them. But is it? It is, yet in a way it is not. You can feel that they know each other. There is no surprise there. They trust each other so completely that they open up. They listen with incredible concentration. They value what they hear. They like what the other one is doing, what the other one is feeling. And it is exactly then that the element of surprise hits. Possibilities open. The other one gives ideas, and they mutually reinforce one another. They like what they can add to this, to co-create, to co-compose, expressing their feelings, while rationally keeping the focus to keep the free ideas tight and compact, cherishing the new sounds. It is the moment of magic. When seemingly paradoxical elements come together, like frivolity and gravitas, sadness and playfulness, serenity and exuberance, control and abandon, sensitivity and rawness, intimacy and austerity, often alternating but even more magically within one sound, like life itself, full of conflicting feelings and unspoken sentiments.

If this is a journey, or an adventure, the two travellers set out seemingly without luggage, yet they carry with them the skill to transform emotions into sound, they carry the mastery of many musical idioms, whether classical or jazz or folk to create something new, something never heard before, something that moves, that touches the emotion, that touches our sense of aesthetic beauty.

 The title refers to the flexibility of the taut strings, stretched to the limit, tense and unyielding, another paradox, yet it is also a wordplay on the French word elastique, or rubber band, which, when stretched and pulled, also produces sounds. A rubber band is also meant to keep things together, compact and coherent. This is a story of strings. They bend, they vibrate, they are muted, they stick together, and all other technical things that can be done in the hands of masters, who transform these strings into sound and then transcend into emotional bonds between musicians and listeners. Wonderful magic indeed!

Stef Gijssels, February 2016

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