Today, the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist Max ZT shares a new performance video for “Daybreak,” the title track from his virtuosic and enveloping new album of improvised hammered dulcimer music. ThroughoutDaybreak — his solo debut out April 8 on Six Degrees’ Records Soundbalm imprint — Max ZT harnesses the rich, global history of his handmade hammered dulcimer and creates aural spaces for contemplation and peace. Just watching Max perform helps listeners realize the transportative potential of this music, and the placid refuge it can provide from the hecticness of modern life.
Watch Max ZT’s performance of “Daybreak” here.
Daybreak traces its roots to the darkest days of early COVID lockdowns, when society’s future was uncertain and Max turned to music for healing and restoration. Max would send home recorded improvisations to friends and family as a symbol of solidarity and compassion. Recipients found these pieces to be extraordinary sources of solace and relief. “The reaction was shocking,” says Max, who ended up recording improvisations for dozens of people. “I know music has always been a balm for me, but to see the effect it had on others, on such a direct, one-to-one level, was honestly incredible.”
In celebration of the release Daybreak, Max ZT will perform at esteemed NYC venue Joe’s Pub on April 7, providing fans an opportunity to accompany him as he traverses wondrous soundworlds through his instrument. See ticket details here.
Lead single “In It” exemplifies Max’s unique ability to invite deep thought through his music: The track begins trepidatiously as his playing grows more intense, almost anxious as it searches for resolution. Eventually calm pierces through, as the coda settles into more optimistic tones. Listen to “In It” HERE.
Lauded as the “Jimi Hendrix of dulcimer” by NPR, Max ZT has scored an Emmy-winning ESPN documentary, co-wrote the music for his wife Prima Darshini’s GRAMMY-nominated debut Periphery, and has shared stages with Ravi Shankar, Tinariwen, Jimmy Cliff and so many more. His band House Of Waters — who release music on Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP Music — have been deemed “truly mesmerizing” (All About Jazz) and “a sight to behold” (Timeout NY). House Of Waters have toured throughout the world including Europe and India, and their latest release is their 2019 album Rising, produced by GRAMMY-winner Guy Eckstine (Herbie Hancock).
PRE-ORDER DAYBREAK HERE
Six Degrees Records’ new Soundbalm imprint is a new label focusing on the intersection of ambient music, new age & sound healing.
The label launched in 2021 with a series of immersive projects combining guided meditations with new, original music from some of the leading lights in the deep ambient music field.
Six Degrees co-founder Bob Duskis says: “From my days working at Windham Hill Records, to the 25 years that Six Degrees Records has existed, I’ve been particularly fascinated by music’s ability to heal, comfort & elevate us. The concept of “Music as Medicine” is very real to me and has become only more relevant during the Trump years and now the pandemic. I think we can all benefit from being transported by these immersive new sound journeys & I look forward to presenting new ways in which spoken word and beautiful music can be combined.