Tristan Allen

Tin Iso and the Dawn

— Limited artist edition of 50 black vinyl featuring alternate design on a hand stamped and numbered jacket containing five 11.75″ x 11.75″ prints, available exclusively from RVNG  [SOLD OUT]
— Japanese import CD officially licensed and pressed in Japan by Plancha
— Each purchase includes a multi-format download redeemable via Bandcamp


Release date: October 20, 2023

Across the arc of Tristan Allen’s epiphanic, four-part journey, Tin Iso and the Dawn, the New York based composer and puppeteer brings sonic life to a fantastical realm of characters whose universal longings mirror our own. In the first release of this mythic trilogy, intricate sound design and spellbinding leitmotifs make sense of loss and what’s beyond.

Formative exposures by way of travel through Asia, studies in Gamelan, a paper mache Christmas angel, and their dad’s Bread and Puppet Theater artifacts formed a web of inspiration from which Tristan’s desire to combine puppetry and their fascination for the narrative power of instrumental music emerged. Years of synchronistic inspirational encounters with “guardian angels” in the form of music mentors and puppeteer masters incentivized Tristan to pursue a project where they could focus on sound and diverse instrumentation.

Through this impulse, Tristan ceremoniously constructed the imaginary world of Tin Iso and the Dawn, loosely based on Wagner’s three act opera Tristan und Isolde. Composed and recorded between 2015 and 2022 across apartments from Boston to Brooklyn, with field recordings from locations of vivid sentiment: Upstate New York—where Tristan grew up, Quebec—where most of their close family lives, and Japan—where they lived briefly as a child, each moment of Tin Iso glimmers with nostalgic immediacy and the prescience of new voyages unfolding.

By composing for acoustic instruments, arranging and processing electronically, and performing the music through puppetry, Tin Iso emerged as the project that could finally satisfy Tristan’s desire to consolidate and cohere wide-ranging musical interests and an unyielding fascination for fantasy and myth. Combining music and puppetry allowed Tristan to build an imaginary world from scratch. Channeling their awe of folklore through a love of storytelling and the liberatory potential of musical composition, Tin Iso quickly took shape as a creation myth, a fable of how things came to be for a world Tristan hopes to traverse for years to come.

Motivated by an intentional focus to compose sound beyond the familiar, Tristan’s four-part terrain opens with isolated piano, in contrast with the electronic interiority to come, as a portal through which to crawl towards fantastical adventure—then closes in piano again; such that the one way out of the album is the way one too must enter. The four-part symphonic structure invites total immersion into the shimmering splendor of Tin Iso’s mythic landscape. Moving swiftly through melodic fluctuations and buoyant sound design, each moment is an invitation to walk alongside the characters, deep in the woods, through a world of illuminated shadows, all culminating to a sunrise and life that begins anew—then stretches beyond. Tin Iso is Tristan’s attempt to make sense of everything in the dark once luminescence descends.

As a live performance, Tin Iso and the Dawn is a transfixing display of mythical production. The album transmits every bit of this visual splendor through Tristan’s effortless compositional agility and surprising sound design. Tin Iso offers a chance to explore and conjure and project one’s own inner story onto fantastical realms-in-the-making. The many desolate and mesmerizing terrains of Tin and Iso’s world provide the listener the chance to be the protagonist of their own yet-untraversed worlds. Deified by a desire to discover their own journey and perceive what lies within and before them, characters Tin and  Iso, carried by evocative melodies and brilliant tonal structures, journey through a land of shadowed instrumentation. A mini electronic homemade orchestra provides pathways of audial reverie, guiding the way through four acts of aberrant territories and ethereal arrivals.

Tristan’s experimental mode of storytelling renders each act a rich expression of tonal possibilities and ritualistic splendor. “Puppeteers tell true lies, developing that craft feels like magic and is well worth the difficulty. It’s primal, raw, direct and makes people want to believe.” In the desolation of “Act III: Land and Growth,” sound is the light that illuminates and textures the narrative depths. Chiming distortion takes the shape of trees enshrouding every path, foresight is obscured by disharmonic haze as the journey continues onto “Act IV: Death and The Dawn” where life ends, then begins anew. Belief begins anew, populating the melodic spectrum once more.

Encompassing the breadth of a complex odyssey, each act delivers unparalleled, emotional singularity, careening as effortlessly as candle light gradients in flicker, radiating between iridescent symbologies of light and dark. In Tin Iso and the Dawn, each moment delivers a world, newly revealed to itself and its inhabitants, ever-transmuting.

Tristan Allen’s Tin Iso and the Dawn will be released in LP, Japanese import CD, and digital editions. A portion of the proceeds from this release will benefit Forest Peoples Programme, a human rights organization working with forest peoples across the globe to secure their rights to their lands and their livelihoods.


Side A (33 RPM) – (21:53)
A1. Opening
A2. Act I: Stars and Moon
A3. Act II: Sea and Sky

Side B (33 RPM) – (21:02)
B1. Act III: Land and Growth
B2. Act IV: Death and the Dawn
B3. Closing


01. Opening
02. Act I: Stars and Moon
03. Act II: Sea and Sky
04. Act III: Land and Growth
05. Act IV: Death and the Dawn
06. Closing