Delphine Dora
cat. MEA029/TFR057
release LP + digital
release date February 21st 2020
mastering Julien Grandjean
distribution Crevette
artist page
Additional credits:

Delphine Dora : piano, keyboards, vocals, field recordings, noises, stones
Aby Vulliamy : viola, accordion, recorder, musical saw
Paulo Chagas : bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, oboe, flute
Valérie Leclercq : flute, cymbal, percussion, tom drum, vocals
Adam Cadell : violin
Gayle Brogan : guitar (e-bow), zither (e-bow), stones, hammered dulcimer, violin, aeolian chimes (a sculpture by Fiona Sanderson)
Susan Matthews : harmonium, bass guitar, prepared piano
Le fruit vert (Andrea-Jane Cornell & Marie-Douce St-Jacques) - percussions, stones, analog synthesizer
Caity Shaffer : vocals
Taralie Peterson : saxophone, cello, zither, vocals
Sylvia Hallett : bicycle wheel, noises, hurdy gurdy, bowl, musical saw
Laura Naukkarinen : vocals
Tom James Scott : piano
Jackie McDowell : vocals
Songs and music composed, performed, recorded, edited, mixed, produced by Delphine Dora

Lyrics by Delphine Dora except Songe by Pierre-Jean Jouve

Arrangements written by and recorded by Delphine Dora and all the musicians Music and arrangements recorded between august and december 2018 in different locations (France, UK, Blegium, Portugal, USA, Canada, Australia, La Gomera)

Tracklist by Delphine Dora and Maxime Guitton
Art direction by Delphine Dora
Artwork by Marie-Douce St-Jacques
Layout by Marie Tourigny

With L’Inattingible, Delphine Dora’s music unfolds by drawing upon a new palette of colors. It will not escape anyone, that after having sung, in foreign, invented languages, or through extended vocal techniques, the musician resorts for the first time, to solely using the French language; and that after having often set texts and poems by other authors to music, she authorizes herself here to sing her own texts and fragments.

But beyond these formal enrichments, the new musical ambitions developed through L'Inattingible are to be found in the very fabric of the record. If the previous albums had been conceived through improvisations or spontaneous compositions, the new pieces have found their definitive incarnations through a lengthy process of collation, rewriting, and a multitude of transformations. Moreover, the composition process now involves a complex montage of texts, sounds and instruments. If the keyboard remains the inextinguishable lung of the record, it is no longer rare to come upon Delphine's sung lines and have them echo into a lush instrumentation - where in voices and instruments create a language, and develop dialogues that have never been heard before.

The new charm of her music seems to lie in the many participations that punctuate the album, giving her pieces their very particular colourations. We can hear no less than thirty instruments with configurations that differ from one piece to another: wind and string instruments, electronic instruments, a multitude of keyboard sounds, unusual instruments and all kinds of incongruous sonorities. Among them are Aby Vulliamy’s viola, accordion and musical saw (Nalle, The One Ensemble...), Adam Cadell’s violin, Susan Matthews’ harmonium, Taralie Peterson’s saxophone (Spires That In The Sunset Rise), Le Fruit Vert’s analog synthesizers, Valérie Leclercq’s percussion and flute (Half Asleep), Paulo Chagas' oboe and clarinet, the voices of
Laura Naukkkarinen (Lau Nau), Caity Shaffer (Olden Yolk) and Jackie McDowell, Tom James Scott's ghostly piano, Sylvia Hallett's bicycle wheel or hurdy-gurdy, or Gayle Brogan's sculpted sounds (Pefkin). That is: a constellation of musicians who have never ceased to expand their sonic territories, experimenting throughout the years since the 2000s, drawing inspiration from folk or psychedelic music as well as from the field of improvised or experimental music.

It must be highlighted, the extent to which this record could only come into being through the presence of these different participants. Incidentally, all of its strength lies in a paradox that gives shape to this "inattingible”, which is all the more elusive because it seems to only assert itself only through a series of actions engaged in a continual flux between presence and absence. Constantly brushing against each other, these sound bodies come to trace, as we listen, the contours of an "other" space that is both familiar and foreign to us. Thus, and contrary to what might be suggested by the participation of such a large number of musicians in the elaboration of the album, it finds its energy in this constantly renewed capacity to make the absent heard. This absence is certainly not played, but acts as a presence, a kind of “horizon inconnu” (unknown horizon) situated at
the edge of our perception, abounding in unpredictable potentialities.

"How to describe what has never appeared to us," Delphine asks herself on the piece entitled "Loin" (Far). There is, of course, no definitive answer to this question. Perhaps only the belief in a collective that is in the process of becoming, that, through the forms of engagement requires that everyone (musicians and listeners) unearths all of the “sensations enfouies” (buried sensations) that allow us to catch a glimpse of other forms of life that are all the more fascinating, because they remain on the threshold of the “l’inexplicable".


new record by delphine_dora “L’Inattingible” is an extremely magical sound world, highly recommend if you need something inspiring right now

French composer Delphine Dora first crossed my radar when she collaborated with personal favourite Mocke Dépret on the gentle, gossamer 2017 album ‘Le Corps défendant’. She now presents the intricate, densely detailed ‘L’inattingible’ on Three:Four Records which continues the sonic journeys first embarked upon by great Gallic avant-folkies like Brigitte Fontaine and Emmanuelle Parrenin but possesses its own oneiric yet unsettled aura. A cursory G**gl* search suggests that the title translates as ‘the intangible’ – while the music might not present as easy to grasp at first, there is something delightfully difficult to put your finger on about its magic. A wide variety of guests include Fonal Records artist Lau Nau, Sylvia Hallett and Aby Vulliamy from The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden. Here are the bookends by way of introduction…

Trop d’amis (dont Sylvia Hallett, Le fruit vert, Lau Nau) pour tous les nommer, trop d’instruments pour tous les énumérer colorent cette épopée fantomatique signée Delphine Dora. Cordes, vents, synthétiseurs analogiques, sons électroniques, accordéon, bruits divers : c’est un véritable orchestre là-dedans. Mais tout en retenue. La Française invoque avec ce disque en français une spiritualité éthérée ancrée dans les éléments, prenant son essence dans un passé païen et gothique. Demi-incantations, les mots de Dora sont faits d’une poésie du mystère et de l’émerveillement. Les courtes pièces de L’inattingible (déjà, ce titre, c’est beau, non ?) sont une illusion psychédélique collectivement assemblée sous la commande d’un cerveau rêveur. La beauté du geste collectif, c’est qu’il tisse un enchevêtrement anonyme. À qui appartient cette voix, cette note, ce râle ? Qu’importe.

A beautiful lullaby-esque soundscape, this. The soothing French vocals a paper boat floating out on a lilting tide of gentle disquiet, instrumentals that subtly blur boundaries. Something that’s especially true of “L’inexploré”’s panoramas, with an avant classical verve where the fragments of narration ease you elsewheres.

Dora’s invited lots of like-minded musicians to help her sculpt this recording, including Pefkin’s Gayle Brogan and Fonal’s Laura Naukkkarinen (Lau Nau) amongst others, an array of talent fleshing out Dora’s unique piano/vocal work with plenty of extra colour. Aeolian chimes, stones, bicycle wheels and musical saws, as well as a tirade of chorusing extras that calligraphically dine, slip psychedelically into your ear.

L’inattingible is an inspired piece of work that’s attentively observed, its shapes left to mirage, elusively flutter as they unearth buried sensations from the sediment. A shadowy blush here and there, spinning sweet sinistrals, conspiring sonorities that grasp you with their strange dialogue, tonal tensions stalked by chalk-faced Nosferatu(s) and turbulent tarantulas. Dora’s spoken/sung words often feel like autumn leaves spiralling on up-swirls of broken chord and stretchy discordia.

Everything breathes this warm spatial awareness, “Dans La Torpeur Du Lacunaire”’s theremin kites and butterflying piano flowing outside their containment, visually filling your mind with suggestive atmospheres. “Kynance Cove”’s labyrinthine caves vividly re-animated in “Lumiere Aveugle IV”’s dripping precipitation and chipping pebbles as Dora’s whispering intertwines this wavering varicose of voila, slowly succumbing to an eerie unison of otherness. A sweet delirium that holds you captive, captivated, cuts through all this February greyness with its felt-like warmth.