Recording this album was a magical experience. Labeaume is a cobbled village and in the middle stands a beautiful church with one of the finest acoustics I have ever heard. I first came to Labeaume to perform in their summer festival with the Diana Baroni Trio and was so taken by the sound that I told Phillipe, the director of the festival that I would love to come here and record one day. And thus began the journey of this album. I had always wanted to record a solo cello album featuring the Bach suites, but had never felt the time was right. The suites are such colossal monuments in the solo cello repertoire that it is hard to find other pieces to balance them. So, I decided to create a new work. In the summer I began composing The Elements, a piece for solo cello and in the midst of writing it came the inspiration for Three Mande Songs. Straight after, I travelled to Labeaume for the concert with the Diana Baroni trio and knew this was the place I had to record this album. There were a couple of calls between Diana and Phillipe and it seemed it may be possible to record in a period of November but it was not certain. It was still up in the air by October and tickets had to be booked for I was performing with Diana's ensemble in Lyon at the Opera House and the idea was to travel down with her to Labeaume for the recording. I also wanted to bring the engineer, Steve Lowe, who I knew would be able to capture the sound and it happened that he was also free at that time so, with faith, I booked the tickets. Then an email came through to say Phillipe had been unable to secure accommodation for us and it seemed the project was off. I became low and unable to practise as before. The go ahead was only confirmed the week before and it all happened very fast as I made my way to Lyon. We met Steve off the train carrying two large suitcases of equipment and Phillipe and his wife drove us down from Lyon to Labeaume. For the next week they fed and facilitated us in every way leaving us to focus all our energies into the music. They gave us the keys to the church with unlimited access and without their generosity of spirit and openness this project would not have been possible. It was a very intense few days and Diana and Steve became an amazing team who helped me delve deeper into the energy and performance of the music. Set in the southern heart of the Mediterranean, Labeaume was the perfect environment to record the Bach Suites. It reminded me of the landscape in which Pablo Casals gave birth to these suites so long ago, and which inspired me to play both Bach and the cello as a child. The imprint of the South of France can be felt in Labeaume and locked away from the distractions of internet and phones I was able to revisit an older part of myself. I hope you are able to experience some of the magic we felt whilst recording this album.