Listen and purchase Eudaimon on Three:four Bandcamp
piano, vocals, field recordings — Delphine Dora
Composed, Recorded & Mixed — Delphine Dora between June 2016 and September 2017
Words — Kathleen Raine
Selection & Tracklist — Maxime Guitton
Mastering — Julien Grandjean
Artwork — Dovile Simonyte
Eudaimon liner notes by Phil Legard (english) and Valérie Leclercq (french)
Review full page on The Wire, April 2018
« This is a sparse beauty. Eudaimon explores the magic and mysticism of Kathleen Raine‘s poetry in multi-tracked voice and unadorned piano. Delphine Dora‘s borrowed words melt in a melancholic sweetness, floating out on a mandolin of needled ivory.
The Nico comparisons are hard to avoid, but Dora’s muse is less frost-damaged, eking a warm and inviting glow, like Finland’s Lau Nau or kuupu. A voice imbued with a magic that fireflies, flutters with forgotten faces, burns with an untutored uniqueness.
In the lullaby quality of “Honesty” or the hypnotising vivisection of “Who Are We”, the weave is a simplistic one, honest. Notes seem to trickle like light-caught brooks, crystal clear, the perfume of camomile furnishing the mind as “Lament”‘s waltzing fingers meander through that ohhh(ing) voile.
A gentle lilt that conjures quite a spell, finds passage in the duet of “On A Deserted Shore”, for example, its multiple personalities falling into an unembellished bleed of lonely harmonics that spirals you intimately in, magnetically affixes. The folklore embering of “Fire”, “The Invisible Kingdom”‘s gothic folds, the tattered Teutonics of “No-Where” caged in a minimalistic tonal patter of repetition (the comforting crease of repetition that milks the vast expanse); yeah, there’s plenty to love here.
Every song has its own hue, tonally paints, plucks at Raine’s symbolism; the blossoming, the decay, the austere mirage that is “The Unloved”, a bat-like swoop of overlaid words to diminutive stabs of note. One of those wild-wooden-cabins of a record, a campfire to keep the wolves at bay.
Michael Rodham Heaps, Freq
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Videos by Amy Cutler
Eudaimon (2017) :
The first film made for the French composer Delphine Dora’s bewitching piano settings of the poems of Kathleen Raine, from the esoteric label three:four records. The figure of the eudaimon spirit recurs in Raine’s mystic nature poems, although this good demon to which we are bound is somehow lighter, and free to part way with us in dark waters.
The Invisible Kingdom (2017) :
One of the films made for the French pianist Delphine Dora’s Eudaimon cycle of Kathleen Raine settings. This is one of Raine’s nature spells, which describes the woven patterns and harmonies in the world which we are attuned to without knowing, with threads ‘slender as light’. The visuals build jewel-like kaleidoscopes from leaves, dew on stalks, and bracket fungi.
Lily-of-the-valley (2017) :
A tiny film inspired by the double-meaning of Kathleen Raine’s phrase ‘out of time moves not a leaf’, suggesting both a frozen moment of evergreen eternity, but also and in opposition, the certainty of leaf-fall. Fairy-gold, Raine has written, ‘is made of a few dead leaves’, hence her poems about ash trees and mirages in winter bark; but in others of her visions, trees do allow a magical space for love and faith against time. Thanks to the delicacy of Dora’s setting, the amulet in the cobwebbed, rotting tree can be read either way.
On a Deserted Shore (2017) :
This miniature film accompanies the French composer Delphine Dora’s setting of Kathleen Raine’s 1973 sequence of loss and mourning, ‘On A Deserted Shore’. Following the death of nature writer Gavin Maxwell, this sequence tracks the movements of the soul in the rings of bright water, flowers, and stars he leaves behind. The film takes on Raine’s attention to specific, pearl-like moments of nature to which memory attaches, and follows the sound of Dora’s piano keys to try and present a landscape glimmering and blurring at the same time.