Space and time are rare luxuries. Ten Steps delicate carves out both for you, teasing out a freeing sense of connection through its interconnected storytelling, beguiling musicianship and deceptively tangible atmosphere. Ten Steps is the live embodiment of the album from Max ZT and Dan Whitehouse, and is on tour.
Power of music
Black Country tunesmith Dan Whitehouse, who can harness the power of music to protest as well as sooth, is joined New Yorker Max ZT, aka the ‘JimiHendrix of the hammered dulcimer’, for their live show promoting new LP Ten Steps on the road.
The show is calling in at a limited number of atmospheric and inviting venues or rather, beautiful listening spaces. Dan and Max bring a haunting blend of virtuosic hammered dulcimer and soulful spoken-word.
A unique masterpiece
At once timeless and decidedly modern, the Ten Steps album was recorded between New York and Tokyo. Max’s meditative dulcimer and Dan’s soothing spoken-word poetry meld together in a unique masterpiece of tear-stained impressionism.
“We try to be in the moment as much as possible,” says Max of the live shows. “There are flashes of enlightenment, elements of improvisation. It’s the real deal. We rarely get such moments of connection in real life.”
Tackling subjects as wide-ranging as fatherhood, golf swings and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Max ZT and Dan Whitehouse’s songs shimmer with restless inventiveness and draw you in with their irresistible intimacy.
Max ZT is renowned for his groundbreaking compositional style, taking stylistic cues from a dizzying array of influences. He studied in Senegal with the Cissokho griot family and in India, where he received a grant to study under the santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, but he also loves Irish folk. Part of the respected trio House Of Waters, ZT is signed solo to Six Degrees Records, and has been described by NPR as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the hammered dulcimer’.
Dan Whitehouse has released seven solo albums and been celebrated for what the Sunday Times has called his “subtle and delicate melodies”. Nominated for the FATEA 2022 Innovation Award, Dan has become known for his drive to renew, re-invent and imagine, and the Ten Steps project see him push boundaries further, stepping into the arena of improvisation and spoken word.
Opening up the sky
“When Max plays it feels like the sky is opening up,” says Dan of this project. “I see things that weren’t there before. Ultimately I think that’s why we turn to art. We yearn to get outside of our own heads, and see the world from another’s perspective.
“This is what Max ZT and I are doing with Ten Steps – tapping into that deep, shared magnetic field.”
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