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The Sick Room

by Tadzio

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The Sick Room is centered on the topics of death, sickness, memory and anxiety. The music culls from a variety of influences-from Gregorian chant, Javanese Gamelan and Arvo Pärt to late-career Scott Walker. Tadzio often collaborates with musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, which includes both acoustic timbres (clarinet, strings, baritone sax, harp, flute and piano) with the caterwaul of analogue synthesizers and vintage organs. These collaborations have imbued Tadzio’s recent releases (including 2018’s The Complaint) with an uneasy lushness that recalls both the soaring verticality of a symphony hall and the distorted hum of a basement noise show.


released April 23, 2019

Ross Lipton: Piano, various keyboards
Darian Scatton: Harp, various keyboards, electronics
Alison Stout: Synth, flute, electronics
Jim Krull: Clarinet
Shaina Kapeluck: Vocals
Benjamin Bennett: Drums
Sean Ali: Bass

Mixing: Darian Scatton
Mastering: Peter Larkin
Art: Patrice Poor
Layout: Caroline Acheatel/Ben Schurr


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Tadzio Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tadzio is an ensemble of Philadelphia/D.C. based musicians who share an interest in creating evocative
sonic landscapes that blend warm acoustic tones
(harp, piano, flute, percussion) with electronic
instrumentation with an uneasy lushness that recalls both
the soaring verticality of a symphony hall and the
distorted hum of a basement noise show.
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Track Name: Little Joys
Here, I cannot leave,
your beauty will not allow me
laying on the grass,
veins like the blue of river snakes.
We take the wrist and hold it to our cheeks
little fist pressed against the glass
dividing the living from the dead.

The knife descends, the purple line extends
From clavicle to chest
Facemask pressed tight
Looking for the bite of flesh.
We remove the heart, snap open the ribs
wrap blanket to lips
The knife incising,
To find a nest of young worms thriving:
Swimming in their enclosed horizon.

Life gives, youth and joy survive and multiply
Creation for creation’s sake
Overtakes the body that dies.
Track Name: Cythera
When the only thing we have
to look up to
are the birds,
flowing blood
skies above.
Where they peck and claw
At these stomach walls.
Track Name: Defiance
God has terrified me
But I will not be silenced by this light.

Eyes toward the sky, flowering blue
I filled my void by creating one in you.
life through painted glass
Is more beautiful than the flesh

I defy you, I defy you
To be my knife.
I defy you to sleep through this night

If only our heads were set upon one neck
Cut and bled, pass into this light out of a sudden stroke of night.
The laughing child, milk curdling on the tongue
Save me from the burden of this happiness

Let the child see, A tepid stream,
the slow turning, the slow unraveling, the unfurling seam.

Running through the green expanse, green grass hills unfold their fist
Rolling sky, stem of a flame, crystal blue,
I face you, I face myself,
Rolling sky, crystal blue
I face you,
I face myself.
Track Name: The Cripple
I remember you
On that day; it was winter,
toys underneath a gray dome, slate grey of city streets. Cold lips.
You slipped and fell.
There was no ice.
For you, there was no ground
But it’s getting easier now to forget the sound
of your voice.

In late May,
We saw the paintings-the golden apples, each one on the verge of running away.
Your trembling hand on the steering wheel.
And I knew you too were falling apart in all directions.
The voice in my ear, stark and simple
“look at her lover, her husband, her cripple.”
But it’s getting easier know to forget the shape of your face.

1998, early fall.
She held onto you tight like a drowning weed
The midnight crying, the sound of the zipper closing over your face.
A child is born unto us
And we kill it, every day.
Track Name: Scared Animal
There is a shadow under your skin
Cells hardened like a clenched fist
A shadow under your chest-
In the throat of an angry hour under a sunken breath
The doctor grins, administers language into your veins
A grey growth, seed planted into your flesh, waiting to give birth to a perfect death
In your ears, you hear scratching against cement walls.

Look at yourself in the mirror and weigh the odds.
How much do you know yourself?
If you could only discern the voice in your blood.
Guilty or Not-Guilty- you stand under this imperious hand, the golden throat.
Guilty or not Guilty. Body pressed against a sieve.

You know now that there is nothing more dangerous than a scared animal.
Track Name: Lily
Lily, you look so still in your hospital bed,
mouth pressed as if holding in a secret death
Your clavicle, defined by the parallel lines
Across your sunken chest, face upturned
The shape that barely holds your color
Lily, I was there with you that day
When the good doctor took your little hope away
How I wanted to kiss your purple lips
I wish I could take his scalpel to cut through the scar
Make a home for myself inside your shivering heart.

Lily, I saw you in the mirror, trying to lift your little body into view
The nurse brushing your hair, falling out in knots behind you
It seems that one should only see you like this in a dream
where doctors dig into your sternum
I saw my reflection in the hollow of your eye lids.

Lily, I just want you to know
I remember you falling in the snow…
Track Name: Continental Divide
A tongue climbs the stairs of your spine
The rope that ties my neck to the wall
The line that ties east from west
Press my lips against your white neck

I look into your eyes Opaque and terrified
buried in your dream
your blood turns inside of me
beats against the skin
sleep is closing in.

holding my head against your seething back
words are not still enough to match
to block out the light that descends to rend
there are no new facts, just news ways of seeing
Track Name: Sabbath Bride
Luminous, stuck in my dreams of the massacre-
A moon fixed in glass,

Excruciating thoughts revolve in my head
Glowing but barely visible

In the valley where I set a place
For the angel that never comes
But for whom we wait upon.
Asphyxiation, but the voice remains
Out of time and out of place

Skin draped across my face
The pert mouth, a scar that speaks a secret word.
The knife not for pressing.
but for drawing apart
A sea of blood washing up against the rocks.

There, they will never find you.
Until the wound blooms,
With strange flowers
You are the Sabbath bride.
Sacred heart and sacred breath.
I would do anything to quell your indifference.
I touch your skin; I wear your skin
Keeps me warm.
A knife like a pencil
Written into extinction
Poised before striking
…but then the ground descends.
Sacred heart and sacred breath.

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