Heavyweight Black Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve
Tresor (Treasure) is Gwenno Saunders’ third full length solo album and the second almost entirely in Cornish (Kernewek). Written in St. Ives, Cornwall, just prior to the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and completed in Cardiff during the pandemic along with her producer and musical collaborator, Rhys Edwards, Tresor reveals an introspective focus on home and self, a prescient work echoing the isolation and retreat that has been a central, global shared experience over the past two years.
Tresor diverges from the stark themes of technological alienation in Y Dydd Olaf (The Final Day) and the meditations on the idea of the homeland on the slyly infectious Le Kov (The Place of Memory). Accessible and international in outlook, peppered with moments of offbeat humor, Le Kov presented Cornish to the world. It highlighted the struggle of Kernewek and the concerns of Cornish cultural visibility as the perceptions of a timeless and haunted landscape often clash with the reality of intense poverty and an economy devastated by the demands of tourism.
On Tresor, Gwenno shifts focus from the external to the internal, exposing the walls of gems hidden within the caves. Inspired by powerful woman writers and artists such as Ithell Colquhoun, the Cornish language poet Phoebe Proctor, Maya Deren and Monica Sjöö, Tresor is an intimate view of the feminine interior experience, of domesticity and desire, a rare glimmer of life lived in and expressed through Cornish. Don’t ever be fooled by Gwenno’s pop sensibility and her ability to create plush and immersive moods. Gwenno always has something to say, often signposting powerful commentary with discordant notes and sonic friction. Tresor is no different: like a soothing mermaid’s call it lures the listener into strange and beautiful depths.