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Dan: Shizuka means quiet in Japanese (it can also be a name), it’s about the gentle, soft glow of the low hanging sun here, and how this matches the restrained, polite culture of their everyday exchanges and behaviour.
Due to an ear injury I was landlocked in Japan for 18 months and found myself on a journey into Japanese culture. Out walking at Tokyo Bay I encountered a group of people that would congregate at sunrise, face the sun and sing to it as it rose, no words but a distinctive sounding scale – I was on a zoom call to Max at the time who immediately identified this as the Insen scale 
Max: It’s a raga called Shivrangani, the indian form of the Japanese scaled Insen – Insen is what they were singing. The Insen scale has this dark tri tone – an interval that used to be called the devil’s chord they used to execute people for composing with this chord! It's the note in between a perfect 4th and perfect 5th so even though it has this unease it still has this hope filled suspension. I think we bonded over the ‘tense but hopeful suspension’ feelings you get from ‘The Devil’s Chord’. 


The rustle of the leaves feels like a finger raised to sealed lips
the rounded edges of aging nylon strings
A gentle bow of the head
The ever growing list of things unsaid
The grey and brown canvas tones of this season’s fashion.
The soft whirl of the helicopter fans overhead
A gentle bow of the head
The ever growing list of things unsaid
A gentle bow of the head


from Ten Steps, released September 8, 2023
Taiga Mori-Whitehouse - Background Vocals (Shizuka)

Written and Produced by Max ZT (ASCAP) & Dan Whitehouse (PRS / MCPS)

Lyrics by Dan Whitehouse

Mixed by Max ZT

Mastered by Mark Freegard

Dan Whitehouse - Vocals, Guitars, recorded in Yokohama, Japan

Max ZT - Hammered Dulcimer, Percussion, Synthesizers, recorded in New York, USA

Art & Design – Martin Hyde
Photos - Peter James Millson 

dan-whitehouse.com & maxzt.com 
P+C Max ZT & Dan Whitehouse 2023
WTK006 Want To Know Records


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Dan Whitehouse Birmingham

“Subtle and delicate melodies” The Sunday Times

“Nothing short of beautiful – **** ” RnR Magazine

Singer-guitarist Dan Whitehouse renews, reinvents and reimagines - touching listeners with his observations and moving them with his sensitivity and impeccable songwriting.
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