Dulcitone 1804

Adam Martin (Composer), Mark Slater (Composer), Matthew Bourne (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


Dulcitone 1804 is the fourth collaborative album by musician-producers Adam Martin and Mark Slater to be released on The Leaf Label, following a trilogy of albums with Matthew Bourne (2018), The Comet Is Coming’s drummer Betamax (2020) and double bassist Tom Herbert (2022). Nightports are reunited with pianist and composer Matthew Bourne, this time exploring a rare 19th century keyboard instrument called a dulcitone.

The dulcitone produces sound when felt-covered hammers hit a series of tuning forks, causing them to vibrate - a precursor to the now iconic Fender Rhodes, which took the same concept but was designed for electric amplification. It was invented by Thomas Machell in Glasgow in around 1860 and produced in small quantities for about 40 years. Dulcitone 1804 was produced on instrument number 1804, and is believed to be the first album made entirely on the dulcitone.

The album came about almost by accident, when Martin and Slater were at Bourne’s studio working on another project and spotted a small, unassuming instrument against the wall. “As Matthew does with all instruments he plays, the first sounds he made with the dulcitone were immediately beautiful,” Martin explains. “Somewhere between a celeste and a piano, it has a clear, bell-like quality that’s evocative of a strange other world. Something old and distant.”
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputCD
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024

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