“I must not fear these steps,” Dan Whitehouse confides at the start of the tune Ten Steps. If there is anything to fear, the comfortable, enveloping build, has a natural reassurance. And Dan is holding our hand anyway. His cool tones combine with Max ZT’s dulcimer chimes. This is the title tune of a collaboration between Dan and Max. And although this hand-holding is electronic, it marks a move to the real world for the pair.
The sound feels like a match made in dulcet heaven, but the two were hooked up via the international Global Music Match project in May 2021. Now the pair are sharing their Ten Steps EP, and going live in a number of gigs.
Interweaving poetry and song with music
They were chosen to represent the music of their country from thousands of applicants. The pair struck up a fruitful remote relationship. Max was in Brooklyn and Dan found himself in lockdown in Japan. Nevertheless, they fed off each other’s unique creativity in cyberspace to create a compelling and innovative sound, interweaving poetry and song with music that fused their multi-cultural roots and traditions.
Dan Whitehouse is a Black Country singer-songwriter, composer and spoken word artist. The son of a Wolverhampton community radio pioneer, the coming together of community through music has always been important to Dan, and is something he draws upon both in his own work.
Max ZT (of trio House of Waters) is Brooklyn’s celebrated hammered dulcimer player (he’s been called the “Jimi Hendrix of hammered dulcimer” by NPR). Taking his roots from Irish and American folk music, Max has transplanted his compositional techniques to both Senegal, where he studied the Mandinko technique with the Cissoko griot family, and to India.
Dreamland Tomorrow / Daybreak
This is a case of the sum being more than the parts. In their six-date tour, the pair will be performing music from both their most recent solo projects. Dan from his latest release Dreamland Tomorrow (Reveal Records) and Max ZT from his forthcoming debut solo album Daybreak (Six Degrees Records). As well as tunes from the Ten Steps EP.
Psst, the Ten Steps EP will be available exclusively from these live shows. (And there are whispers of an album in 2022). At the moment those Ten Steps and two artists are enough to swell your soul and soothe your ears. As they say, ‘let the rhythm guide you’.
Further tour information/ticket links go to https://www.dan-whitehouse.com/live
Wednesday 24 November – International Anthony Burgess Foundation Manchester
Thursday 25 November – Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Friday 26 November – The Sound Lounge, Sutton
Sunday 28 November – Ashburton Arts Centre South Devon
Monday 29 November – Glass Studio St George’s Bristol
Tuesday 30 November – The Plough Arts Centre @ St Anne’s Barnstaple North Devon
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