Delphine Dora

As Above, So Below

Recital • 2023

With Recitals, I go to church, as is tradition. Now Delphine Dora is releasing her new album on Sean McCann’s label, in other words, a musician who for the most part makes pretty worshipable music herself. A classic case of a lot coming together and so on. »As Above, So Below« is just as sacred and ornamental as I suspected it would be. Even from the titles: »Temps«, »spirituel«, »éternelle«, »le ciel«, none of them are for minimalist/brutalist fans, that much is clear even before the first note. The music quickly confirms this view. In keeping with the label’s tradition, Delphine Dora has packed a lot of reverb into the piano and not tuned it to perfection. Plus vocals (a distant breath), spoken word, field recordings. Two friends walk through the narrow streets, small birds chirp, an old diesel truck rattles by, the landscape calls out for an oil painting. Here Dora sounds like the everyday ambient of Claire Rousay. The next piece then goes baroque: She recites a poem by the early Romantic German poet Novalis, and the piano is in a fever. The rest is piano music and open windows, a light breeze blows the curtains into the hall, everything is really nice, but something is weighing things down – people are also suffering here.