Dr Dee, a new studio album by Gorillaz/Blur mastermind Damon Albarn, will be released May 8 by Virgin Records.
Dr Dee is an 18-track body of work inspired by the life of John Dee (1527–1608), mathematician, alchemist, philosopher and advisor to Elizabeth I. Dee is a singular enigma: an Englishman so influential that he defined how we measure years, so quintessential that he lives on in Shakespeare’s words; yet so shrouded in mystery that he’s fallen from the very pages of history itself.
Described by Albarn as “strange pastoral folk,” the music of Dr Dee is a fitting companion to the end of another Elizabethan age. The album combines Albarn’s voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds. Dr Dee was recorded late last year in Albarn’s West London studio and also in Salford with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The album was mixed by Valgeir Sigursson in Reykjavik.
View the album's trailer below:
Damon Albarn will perform songs from the album Dr Dee at OneFest in the UK on April 14th alongside singers and musicians featured on the album, including Madou Diabate.
The full track listing is:
1. The Golden Dawn
2. Apple Carts
3. Oh Spirit Animate Us
4. The Moon Exalted
5. A Man of England
8. The Marvelous Dream
9. A Prayer
10. Edward Kelley
12. 9 Point Star
13. Temptation Comes In The Afternoon
14. Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away
15. Moon (Interlude)
17. Tree Of Life
18. The Dancing King
A stage production created by Albarn and Rufus Norris, depicting Dee’s fall from prominence to poverty and isolation, which showcased to critical acclaim at the Manchester International Festival last year, will play at English National Opera this summer as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Performance dates for Dr Dee at the London Coliseum are: 25th, 26th, 28th and 29thJune and 4th, 6th and 7th July 2012.
In other Albarn news, check out the excellent new Bobby Womack song with Albarn on production.