For March, I decided to do a recording review for the album Distance Future, sung and written by French musicians Delphine Dora and Sophie Cooper. This album is the perfect blend of mystery and relaxation in the most strangest way. If i close my eyes and listen i just can not tell if i should be scared or calm. These two musicians edited together some highlights of a visit to Todmorden Unitarian Church in England. A review i read on this album from Pitchfork was that it sounds like “wordless hymns sung by ghosts” and that is probably the best words to describe this album. The voices as they sing through the church echo around sounding like ghosts echoing though halls.
This album is considered “Experimental” because the two musicians were improvising in this church and found a sound that is unlike their own from their own previous albums. The album was voted #19 for 2015’s Best Experimental Album and i can see why. It is unlike anything i have ever heard before and it brings minimalism to another level for me, i mean how much simpler can it get, walking into a church and singing through to create hauntingly beautiful echos.
Delphine Dora and Sophie Cooper are extremely underrated. It is almost impossible to find information on them online and its sad because they have a lot of talent and deserve to be in the spotlight a bit more. I think this album helped that a bit but definitely not enough and i hope i can help just a little by bringing these women into peoples attention.
The video below is one song off off of Delphine Dora and Sophie Coopers album Distance Future.It is not the best recording of this but if interested in hearing more please visit Delphine Doras bandcamp website and listen to the whole album to get a real sense of what these women can do.
This sound is quite stunning. How would you describe what they are doing? They seem to be using synthesized sounds (recordings?), drones and long melismatic vocal lines that take advantage of the resonant church they recorded in. Fascinating.
I wonder what artistic trends we might connect this with. Pauline Oliveros once took a group down into a cistern to experience the incredible resonance. Here’s a video of a version of that experiment / experience: https://youtu.be/oZ8MhEn-jm4?t=5m