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The Sick Room

by Tadzio

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Little Joys 05:31
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.
Cythera 05:00
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.
Defiance 05:07
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.
The Cripple 06:58
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.
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.
Lily 05:21
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…
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
Luminous, stuck in my dreams of the massacre- A moon fixed in glass, Excruciating thoughts revolve in my head Glowing but barely visible Cacophony, 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.


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.
... more

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