Organ / Voice

Depuis quelques années, Delphine Dora a exprimé un intérêt tout particulier pour les sons de l’orgue à tuyaux, en relation avec la voix et l’acoustique de l’église. « Hymnes apophatiques «  est son nouvel album sorti sur le label belge Morc et son premier album entièrement réalisé à l’orgue à tuyaux et à la voix, lors d’une résidence en Suisse. Les improvisations de Delphine Dora pour orgue à tuyaux sont spontanées, minimalistes dans leur structure, spirituelles, libres et révérencieuses dans leur approche. Cet album tend à capturer la qualité transcendante de l’expérience intérieure qui cherche à exprimer l’ineffable.
Faisant suite à l’album « Hymnes Apophatiques » de Morc sorti en début d’année, In Illo Tempore a également été enregistré à l’église de St. Saphorin en Suisse l’année dernière. Il est sorti en 2022 en édition cassette limitée sur le label belge Sloow Tapes. Des mélodies d’orgue atmosphériques accompagnées de voix sans paroles qui se propagent dans une ambiance dévotionnelle intemporelle. Elle a été invitée à jouer de l’orgue au festival Meakusma, en Belgique, en septembre 2022.
Delphine Dora est actuellement à la recherche de nouvelles opportunités live ou/et de résidences pour expérimenter davantage la relation entre l’orgue à tuyaux et la voix, dans sa dimension physique en tant que matière sonore, à travers une exploration des vibrations et de la richesse des spectres harmoniques, des modes de jeu polyphoniques et dissonants, une recherche de timbres spécifiques, un travail sur le son continu, la complémentarité des textures, les micro-tonalités et les silences.

Since a few years, Delphine Dora expressed an interested to explore the sounds of pipe organ work in relation with the voice and the acoustic to the church. « Hymnes apophatiques » is her new album released on belgian Morc label and first album made entirely with pipe organ and vocals, made during a residency in Switzerland. The improvisations of Delphine Dora for pipe organ are spontaneous, minimalist in their structure, spiritual, fearless and reverent in their approach. This album tend to capture the transcendant quality of inner experience that seek to express the ineffable.
Follow up to Morc’s ‘Hymnes Apophatiques’ that came out earlier this year, In Illo Tempore was also recorded at the church of St. Saphorin in Switzerland last year. It was released in 2022 as a limited cassette edition on belgian Sloow Tapes label. Atmospheric organ melodies acompanied by wordless vocals descending into timeless devotional ambience. She has been invited to perform pipe organ for Meakusma Festival, Belgium, in september 2022.
She’s looking actually for new live opportunities or/and residencies to experiment further on the relation between pipe organ and voice, in its physical dimension as sound matter, through an exploration of vibrations and the richness of harmonic spectra, polyphonic and dissonant modes of play, research of specific timbres, work on the continuous sound, the complementarity of the textures, micro-tonalities and silences.


Selected organ performances : 

  • Friedenskirche, Meakusma Festival, Eupen (Belgium)
  • Zionskirche, Berlin (Kieszalon) (Germany)
  • Atriu Na Zizkove, Praha (CZ)
  • Jolie Vue Festival, St Saphorin (Switzerland)
  • Eglise Notre-Dame, Metz (France)
  • Sonderho Kirke, Fano, Fano Free Folk Festival (Danemark)
  • Igreja de Santa Isabel, Lisbon, Appleton Festival (Portugal)

Review on FLUID RADIO EXPERIMENTAL FREQUENCIES :

Hymes Apophatique is the latest album from French musician Delphine Dora, recorded last year during a residency at the church of St Saphorin, Switzerland. Delphine recorded her improvised music on the church organ, an instrument she fully respects and recognises, and this level of respect comes through in her music.
Although traditionally confined to the dusty recesses of a church, the organ is so much more than an instrument of devotion. Delphine isn’t afraid to open the doors and push the sound of the organ out and into the modern world. No hesitation is found in her music, and in her wish to spread its wings.
With so many pedals and tonalities, the organ can be an intimidating instrument, not something to necessarily master but to temporarily hold the reins and somehow snake-charm its tones. Delphine manages to remain in control at all times while still respecting its background and rich history. Somehow, the organ exhales with the unfathomable weight of history.
One of the most interesting elements of Hymes Apophatique is the introduction of her voice, which accompanies the instrument, partaking in a slow, entangled dance, but never blotting it out or overshadowing it. Trenches of deep reverence, respect, and awe are maintained. Other sections are incredibly melodic, sometimes sounding like an echo from a fantastical forest and at other times carrying medieval undertones. All the while, though, the organ is airy and well ventilated.
Its reverent nature is not lost – not even a drop – as it steps forward into the glowing sun of a new dawn.

Review on Terrascope by Simon Lewis

Recorded in the summer of 2021 at the Church of St Saphorin (Switzerland), this album is a collection of pieces for voice and Church Organ, that were improvised and recorded during a residency by the artist Delphine Dora.
Familiar to anyone who attended church as a child, the sound of the organ is warm and comforting, easily evoking memories, the smell of wooden pews, old books, a quiet chatter and the echo of footsteps, whilst the addition of Delphine’s voice adds a slightly stranger feel to the music, taking it into Canterbury sounding music, reminding me of early albums by Kevin Ayers especially on “Ritournelle Scolastisque #2” which has a lovely melody that would sit happily on “Joy of a Toy”. Another charming aspect of the album is the way the pieces just end as the pause button is pressed, each track a raw nugget of sound, the experience as it happened.
Over 17 tracks, the music retains a similar pace and feel giving it a wonderful flow, allowing the listener time to just sit and contemplate the simple beauty of the music.
Maybe I should be highlighting some individual songs at this point but it is the album as a whole that is its strength, seemingly more than the sum of its components although “. L’immuable sous-jacent “ has a fragile beauty running through it, whilst the six minute “Opus Divinum” is a distillation of the whole album, a gnetly breathing piece that could be the beginning of an early seventies Tangerine Dream track, especially as it contains distant voices picked up by the recording process, I was just waiting for a sequencer to kick in.
I have played this album several times now and it gets better every time, the rawness of the recording and Delphines’ untrained voice adding a human element to the music that really appeals to me, give it a listen. (Simon Lewis)