James Dillon: Tanz/Haus


Coming almost a decade and a half after the last CDs devoted to James Dillon’s music, this twinned pairof digital releases from Delphian Records and Red Note Ensemble presents two major works written for and premiered by the ensemble in the last six years. Tanz/haus: triptych 2017 is one of Dillon’s richest recent conceptions: a 45-minute meditation on dance as a form of ‘trembling’, featuring electric guitar and – as in so much of Dillon’s recent music – a prerecorded electronic track of immense mystery and power.The work secured for Dillon his fifth Royal Philharmonic Society award – an astonishing tally, unequalled by any living composer.

Carnival, the first in a projected series of ‘emblem books’, is a compellingly sustained whole built up from a series of character pieces tailored to the imaginative as well as technical capacities of the Red Note musicians.

"This release is only the seventh album devoted exclusively to Dillon’s works since his debut on the NMC label back in 1992. But he has a way of making each appearance count. On the Red Note Ensemble’s album, you can hear traces of his earlier, chaos-courting soundscapes (like “Helle Nacht”). Yet this new chamber music triptych dances more than it thunders.

The first movement alone shows Dillon’s penchant for drama and finely judged blends. Brief songs for clarinet snake between string trills and percussive fillips. He toys with sparseness, then a new pitched percussion chord leads to a subtle electric guitar declaration; it’s lightly distorted, yet not driven in an overly obvious way. The most aggressive material — toward the end of the movement — is given to acoustic instruments. Then, at the close, sustained wisps of accordion bring to mind the deep listening music of Pauline Oliveros. European complexity? American Minimalism? The categories aren’t all that helpful: It’s James Dillon. Thankfully, these same players will release another album of his recent work in March"

"Once again James Dillon breaks new ground with a work which immerses its audience in a music theatre of the mind. It is compelling for the sureness of its unfolding in time and space, the striking soundworlds conjured from its nine-piece ensemble, and its rich underlying vein of melancholy"

Release Date: 27 January 2023
Catalogue No: DCD34299
Total playing time: 48:41

Recorded on 22-24 September 2021 in Perth Concert Hall
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineer: Jack Davis
24-bit digital editing: Jack Davis
24-bit digital mixing & mastering: Paul Baxter

Design: John Christ
Booklet editor: John Fallas
Session photography: foxbrushfilms.com



Album Booklet

You may also like ...