Watch New Damon Albarn Album Trailer

Damon Albarn has spacious sleeves, and he keeps a gazillion |gəˈzɪljən| (see also kazillion) number of projects up there at any given time. Dr Dee (what!?) is just one of those creative ventures.

It’s a new studio album consisting of 18 tracks inspired by the life of mathematician, polymath and advisor to Elizabeth I, John Dee (oh, right), and will be released by Parlophone on May 7th. Pre-Order it here.

It’s also an opera…

But unlike Monkey: Journey To The West, here Albarn wrote and performs the music live on stage, which debuted last July at the Manchester International Festival.

The Blur boy called on his many pies whilst recording some of the tracks, including the BBC Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and has self-branded the sound “strange pastoral folk”. The majority was recorded late last year in his West London studio, and mixed by Valgeir Sigursson in Reykjavik.

If you’re up for some intimacy, Albarn will be performing the Dr Dee songs at OneFest in Wiltshire on April 14th. But if you catch yourself leaning more towards the big deal, the opera itself will be performed at the English National Opera at the London Coliseum during the Cultural Olympiad on June 25th-26th and 28th-29th and July 4th and 6th-7th.

-James Godwin, March 8th, 2012