Charlie Dore

Two stand-out musicians feed off each other’s unique creativity

“extraordinary and beautiful” FRUK


New York’s celebrated Max ZT (House of Waters), and Tokyo/Black Country’s lauded Dan Whitehouse combine their inventive energy to create stunning performances. ZT, the hammered dulcimer player compared to Hendrix and the ever-regenerating Whitehouse, use spoken word and virtuoso playing to create impactful (often improvised) pieces with a belief in the healing power of music at its core.

Showcasing their debut album, ‘Ten Steps’.  The collection shows how effectively they have fed off each other’s unique creativity to deliver captivating, immersive performances. ‘Ten Steps’ was recorded between New York City and Tokyo and completed with improvisations captured at their meditative live gigs during 2021. Also featuring in the shows will be music from their recent solo projects: Dan ‘The Glass Age’ and Max ‘Daybreak’.

ZT is known as an innovator, although he can trace his roots back to Irish folk music. He creates complex and beautiful compositions from a much-expanded set of influences. Studying in Senegal with the Cissokho griot family and in India, where he received a grant to study under the santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. Part of the celebrated trio House Of Waters, ZT is signed solo to Six Degrees Records.

He expanded on the duo’s approach by saying:

“Our show incorporates elements of improvisation, we are trying to be in the moment as much as possible. That’s enlightenment, that’s the real deal. If you can get your fluency/your vocabulary and your grammar into a place where you can just talk and just be that’s heaven you know. We rarely get moments of stillness in life. Having a performance space where you can still have stillness, patience and this moment of just being – this feels like something unique.”

Dan Whitehouse has, across seven solo albums, gained a golden reputation as “a fine songwriter, a unique vocal talent and a talented multi-instrumentalist/ performer” (Maverick) and for his “subtle and delicate melodies” (The Sunday Times). 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.

Dan added:
“We are all interconnected. The best collaborations seek out differences. You have to look inwards to find fluency within and consistently look outside yourself. When Max plays it feels like the ground, or the sky, is opening up. I see things that weren’t there before. My perspective is changed. Ultimately I think that’s why we turn to art – be that a record, picture or a film – we yearn to get outside of our own heads and see the world from another’s perspective. This is what I hope Max ZT and I are bringing to you on this tour – a deep magnetic field.”

“A compelling and innovative sound” ArtsCulture Mag

“I strongly recommend you try and see this tour if you can” FRUK

Played: Birmingham Conservatoire, Manchester Burgess Foundation, St George’s Bristol.

Social media followers: 10k