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SARAH DAVACHI

Sarah Davachi

Figures In Open Air

    A supplement to the new studio album Cantus, Descant, Davachi offers almost three hours of live recordings and variations. Featuring performances for pipe organ and solo electronics while on tour at Roter Salon in Berlin, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago, the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, Église du Gesù in Montreal, and the Lab in San Francisco, from 2018 - 19. Limited edition two-disc set on the artist’s own new label, Late Music.

    As a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi's work is concerned with the close intricacies of intimate aural space, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize subtle variations in texture, overtone complexity, psychoacoustic phenomena, and temperament and intonation. Similarly informed by minimalist tenets of the 1960s and 1970s, baroque leanings toward slow-moving chordal suspensions, and experimental production practices of the recording studio environment, in her sound is manifest an experience that lessens apprehension of consonance and dissonance in likeness of the familiar and the distant.Davachi is currently a doctoral candidate in musicology at UCLA – where she works on the aesthetic phenomenology of musical instruments and timbre in popular, experimental, and early music – and is based in Los Angeles, California


    Sarah Davachi

    Cantus, Descant

      The new Sarah Davachi record is an 80-minute, 17 track double album meditation on impermanence and endings, framed by minimalistic organ études and careful harmonic layering. On two tracks the artist’s own vocals are also heard for the first time. This is the first release on the artist’s own label, Late Music.

      The title of the record - ‘Cantus, Descant’ - has both literal and metaphorical meaning and is something of a concept album that addresses the relationship between the two. In medieval music, the Latin ‘cantus’ was used as a general term for unadorned singing or chant and by the end of the Middle Ages it came to represent the highest voice of a polyphonic choral texture, often improvised. ‘Descant’, at that time, was used in part to denote the structures of polyphony and counterpoint, the harmonious play of two or more voices against one another.

      The instrumentation is predominantly organ-based, a combination of electric organ, reed organ and a pipe organ based on a 15th Century design. These arrangements are embellished with tape-based technologies like the Mellotron and echo devices.

      Davachi comments: “The pervading effect on the album is one that gives reverence to the suspension, the epoché, a space where we welcome and attempt to reconcile impermanence. It is an opportunity to go inside - oneself, one’s sound - in order to simultaneously commune with our comforts and that which we mourn, perhaps not unlike the function of a hymn.”

      Sarah Davachi

      Pale Bloom

        Pale Bloom finds Sarah Davachi coming full circle. After abandoning the piano studies of her youth for a series of albums utilizing everything from pipe and reed organs to analog synthesizers, this prolific Los Angeles-based composer returns to her first instrument for a radiant work of quiet minimalism and poetic rumination. Recorded at Berkeley, California’s famed Fantasy Studios, Pale Bloom is comprised of two delicatelyarranged sides. The first—a three-part suite where Davachi’s piano acts as conjurer, beckoning Hammond organ and stirring countertenor into a patiently unfolding congress—recalls Eduard Artemiev’s majestic soundtrack for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris.

        “Perfumes I-III” employs the harmonically rich music of Bach as a springboard for abstract, solemn pieces that sound as haunted as they are dreamlike. While the first half of Pale Bloom showcases Davachi’s latent Romanticism, the sidelong “If It Pleased Me To Appear To You Wrapped In This Drapery” reveals the Mills College graduate’s affinity for the work of avantgarde composers La Monte Young and Eliane Radigue. Softly vibrating strings rise and fall like complementary exhalations of breath. As the fluctuating pitches create overtones that pitter and pulse, the piece slowly and subtly evolves—suggesting a well-tempered stillness, yet without stasis.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: It's properly beautiful stuff this, shining with modern classical delicacy but bolstered by a dark undercurrent of neo-gothic organs and infrequent echoic piano stabs. Tentative and minimalistic, but sonically moving, Davachi makes it clear she is here to stay. Thoroughly gorgeous stuff.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Indie stores exclusive of 400 copies on clear vinyl.


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