Delphine Dora

delphine.dora@gmail.com

Press

 

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Delphine Dora
« Le fruit de mes songes »
(Bezirk, 2016)

>>> THE QUIETUS :

« On « Le Fruit De Mes Songes » Delphine Dora delivers a different, perhaps darker, shade of the unknown. Sixties psyche folk, Christian hymns and nursery songs – styles regularly deployed in horror films to deepen the mystery – seem syncretically blended here. (…) The compositions remain remarkably in flux between harmony and atonality yet somehow retain a classical elegance throughout. This leads to suspicions that their intent was not to spook, but to transgressively experiment to forge new forms from ancient modes, forms so new they unwittingly inspire misdirected associations. »

>>> WE NEED NO SWORDS – by Paul Margree :

(…) Dora’s eight pieces adding new shades and perspectives to her aesthetic without disrupting the base elements that make her work so captivating.(…) But for all that retro-futurist lushness, le fruit de mes songes, like Dora’s previous solo work, actually sets the pointer in the other direction, digging back through time to something strange and unfamiliar in the European tradition. Dora’s instrumentation mines both the classical and avant-garde worlds (Olivier Messiaen, Bernard Parmegiani, Meredith Monk), while her fragmentary poetry has echoes of Breton and Soupault’s surrealist automatism – yet the result is something that summons up the distant past. Forget Greil Marcus’s old weird America, this is Europe: older, darker and more mysterious.(…) »

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Delphine Dora
« L’au-delà »
(Fort Evil Fruit, 2015)

>>> THE WIRE – by Byron Coley :
« French musician Delphine Dora is in great form here. Improvising in various keyboards and singing with all the ominous intent of a witch from Polanski’s Mac Beth, she sounds great. The feel is less much friendly than on her recent Okraïna 10″, but it’s a wonderful whip of styles. Parts are akin to something Brigitte Fontaine might have done, but much is from turf untouched »

>>> WE NEED NO SWORDS :
« Only about a third of the pieces on Delphine Dora’s L’au-delà use the piano as their primary instrumentation, but these are the pieces that stand out, at least at first. Dora’s playing meets at the junction of Monk’s broken physicality and the minimalist, hammering repetition of Terry Riley’s Keyboard Study No. 2, the density of the latter crossed with the fluid breadth of the former, all the while holding a jewel-like glint of beauty close to its heart (…) The vocals, with their contrasting lines of high-pitched ululations and spoken stream-of-consciousness monologues, are in the tradition of experimentalists like Meredith Monk or Annette Peacock. But Dora ups the melodrama and anxiety to a new pitch, multi-tracking herself to pack each piece full of sonic information. That combination of vocal and instrumental overload puts immense pressure onto the fabric of songs such as Les chevaux de feu, pushing them almost to breaking point. Listening to this piece is like trying to walk to the shops after a night on the whisky, the alcohol-induced euphoria fading into an unbalancing dizziness, internal and external stimuli colliding into a hellish miasma of light and sound. Idiosyncratically brilliant. » – Paul Margree

>>> WAS IST DAS – by Ned Netherwood :
« L’au-delà is another remarkable album. It opens with « Jaillissements cathartiques », a track of savage piano and multi-tracked voices, sounding like John Cage scoring a 70s haunted house film. (…) Listening to this album, you feel aware of great forces at work. It feels like a metaphysical peep behind the curtains, the mechanisms of life. These sounds are pure poetry. Whatever next, Delphine ? »

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Delphine Dora & Sophie Cooper
« Distance Future«  (Was ist Das ? – 2015)

>>> Review on PITCHFORK « The Best Experimental Albums of 2015 » : « France’s Delphine Dora and England’s Sophie Cooper have both made impressively uncategorizable music over the past decade, and while they’ve been mutual supporters (Dora released Cooper’s excellent Our Aquarius on her Wild Silence label last year), this is the first time they’ve played together. Improvising in a echo-laden church in West Yorkshire, the pair found a sound distinct from their respective individual work. Their voices fill the space in a haunting-yet-reverent way; some of the tracks are like wordless hymns sung by ghosts. Distance Future’s surrounding ambience reminds me of the holy drones of Charlemagne Palestine and Janek Schaefer on Day of the Demons, but where that record’s power came in clarity, Dora and Cooper’s work is more mysterious—and ultimately something only these two could conjure. « —Marc Masters

>>> Review on THE QUIETUS « Best Experimental Tapes of 2015 » :
« One of these months I’m not going to feature a tape from the Was Ist Das label, I swear! They’re not making it easy though. This latest release is insanely beguiling, and features a collaborative session between West Yorkshire based musician Sophie Cooper and French improviser Delphine Dora. Recorded in the atmospheric confines of Todmorden Unitarian Church, Cooper reaches for her trombone alongside electronics throughout the tape’s 13 deftly chosen snippets from the performance, while Dora swaps her usual piano for organ and percussion, with both utilising their haunting wordless vocals throughout. The possible comparisons are few, yet brutally raw in nature: Keiji Haino’s Nijiumu albums, the sound of an Alfred Schnittke choral work reflected by an infinite number of ancient stone wall corners, small snippets of La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela epic vocal drones. Every moment in the unitarian church feels imbued with some truly ancient sounding ritualism. Cooper’s excellent trombone playing adds a rarely heard colour to proceedings, and Dora’s off-kilter percussion contributions (as on ‘Interlude 2’) yank the carpet out from beneath us just as we settle into the strangely alluring darkness summoned by the pair as they drone, sing and otherwise concoct strange sounds before our very ears. Distance Future is pure sonic magic, and the strangest part is, we’re never quite sure if we’re heading into, or escaping from the darkness. » – Tristan Bath

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Eloïse Decazes & Delphine Dora
« Folk Songs Cycle«  (Okraïna, 2015)

>> ANTHEM REVIEW : « It can be argued that ‘Folk Songs Cycle’ is an album focused far more on vocals than instrumentation. Both Decazes and Dora have done a stunning job bringing their vocals to life, and it would be hard to find fault in their talents, but the lessened impact of the music brings an imbalance to the album that is hard to shake. Certainly, ‘Folk Songs Cycle’ is an album to be praised, but it sadly suffers from the curse of comparison, and when comparing it to Berio’s original work, it’s a solid effort that falls slightly hollow. »

>>> THE ACTIVE LISTENER : «  With ‘Folk Songs Cycle’, both Decazes and Dora have clearly taken these simple but emotive songs to their hearts and the glacial beauty of their interpretations recalls both the relatively unadorned folk vocal groups (such as The Young Tradition) and the more complex, avant garde leanings of European modern classical music. (…) Both vocalists excel here and ‘Folk Song Cycles’ is very much an album of their voices, the accompanying instrumentation is subtle and serves to frame their words and inflections. Highly recommanded. » – Grey Malkin

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Delphine Dora
« Près du coeur sauvage » (Wild Silence, 2015)

>>> THE OUT: DOOR :
« There’s an indelible magic in music that traces seemingly-defined shapes, yet continually diverges from its own paths in small, crucial ways. Music like this never allows itself to settle despite often offering the comforting illusion of solidity, and more importantly it never allows the listener to relax even as it openly encourages them to. It’s the kind of music Delphine Dora makes, and on près du coeur sauvage she’s so thoroughly inside that zone between serenity and disquiet that at times it feels like she invented it.
That she manages to do this simply with her voice and her piano – plus a few subtle but important accents from field recordings – gives her songs an unsettlingly elemental aura. At times it’s as if she unearthed a cache of traditional children’s tunes that we all knew in a previous life, but in her hands they get a little warped, a little frayed, even a little frightening. She doesn’t even have to sing actual words for these tunes to burrow into the easily-vibrated parts of my brain, and when près du coeur sauvage really hits, it’s like my cortex is a tuning fork and Dora’s music is the best kind of hammer. »
– Marc Masters

>>> AVANT MUSIC NEWS – AMN Reviews :
« Delphine Dora is a classically trained French pianist who plays as close to the wild heart you can get. (…) Discovering a piano in the wilderness, she tests a voice that hasn´t been used in centuries, inventing a new language to claim the land as far as it reaches. (…) Près du coeur sauvage is a kind of masterpiece in its sometimes off-key, very off-kilter insistence; a raw, chthonic, yet fair-complected folk music, old as mountains and unbeholden to any tectonic shift other than within its own, ancient soul. » – Stephen Fruitman

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Delphine Dora
« A Stream Of Consciousness » (Siren Wire – 2012)

>>> INACTUELLES :
« A Stream of Consciousness, paru en 2011 chez Sirenwire Recordings, est un album de piano solo : de piano en liberté pure, quatorze plages d’oubli des cadres, des genres, dans une mouvance minimaliste très fluide. Le flot est rapide ou plus lent, toujours limpide, miroitant, léger. Il caresse, il dévale le temps, il caracole comme un cheval fou. C’est en effet un courant de conscience qui emporte, charrie à travers les espaces vides pour une ode démultipliée à l’infini – le premier morceau s’intitule « An Ode to Infinity », le second « Crowd vs Empty Spaces ». Cette manière de grouper les notes en grappes serrées n’est pas sans évoquer à certains moments les musiques orientales, notamment la musique chinoise, le piano remplaçant la cithare qîn. Comment ne pas penser aussi à un musicien comme Lubomyr Melnyk et à son piano en mode continu ? On flotte sur un océan, dont la surface est constamment agitée par des bulles qui viennent éclore à la lumière. Les notes se mélangent, tissent un réseau serré d’harmoniques. C’est une musique de plénitude heureuse, une pluie qui tombe des étoiles. « 

>>> DES CENDRES À LA CAVE :
« Tantôt calme, tantôt turbulent, le flux de notes tintinnabule vers une destination que Delphine Dora est bien la seule à connaître et on la suit les yeux fermés. Et peut-être qu’elle même ne sait pas très bien vers quoi elle nous emmène, découvrant le dessein au fur et à mesure qu’il sort de ses doigts en vagues ininterrompues mais qu’importe, lorsque l’on se retourne à la toute fin pour scruter le chemin parcouru, on ne peut qu’être soufflé par l’architecture ainsi dévoilée et son relief cabossé. Qu’ils soient simples clapotis ou martellements rugissants, ces agrégats de notes captivent insidieusement (…) »

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Delphine Dora & Half Asleep
« You’re not mad, you’re just lonely » (We are unique, 2012)

>>> POP REVUE EXPRESS : « En ce début d’année 2012, sortait un étrange disque né d’une collaboration entre Delphine Dora et le groupe belge Half Asleep, le tout pour le label We Are Unique Records.Une rencontre artistique entre deux univers bien marqués, entre deux styles musicaux originaux et très libres qui laissent beaucoup de place à l’improvisation, aux sonorités et aux bruits ambiants. Résultent de cette rencontre 13 titres étranges, que l’on croirait enregistrés dans un manoir avec comme seuls spectateurs des fantômes (ceux, peut-être, de la dramaturge Sarah Kane ou de Janet Frame) venus en curieux écouter cette musique faites de piano, de voix, de cris, des craquements, de sonorités d’instruments divers et harmonieusement assemblés. Ecrit, improvisé et enregistré en 5 jours « You’re not mad, you’re just lonely » est un disque brut et mélancolique, doux et rugueux, saisissant et troublant. Une vraie curiosité pour auditeurs curieux. »

 

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