Sarah Davachi’s New Album is “Like Half-Speed Progressive Rock, But Just the Keyboard”

Photo: Sean McCann

Sarah Davachi will release Antiphonals, her new album, in September.

Antiphonals sees the Canadian minimalist composer returning to the sound palette of Mellotron, electric organ, piano, and synthesizer that she developed on 2018’s Let Night Come On Bells End The Day. In many ways, you can consider the two releases “sister albums for a subdued moment.”

The release also leans heavily on English horn, bass flute, clarinet, recorder, oboe, French horn, chamber organ, and nylon-string guitar tape samples. Davachi recorded it in a “restricted manner,” using only an RE-501 Chorus Echo and a TEAC A-2340 four-track reel-to-reel. She describes it as like “listening to a half-speed progressive rock album, except it’s just the keyboard parts.”

Whereas in the past Davachi has separated studio practice and live performance, on Antiphonals she wanted to merge the former with the tonal characteristics and sound-on-sound tape delay processes that have informed her approach to the latter. She produced two demo EPs in the early stages of this album, Five Cadences and Gathers, both of which she released in 2020.

The release comes on Davachi’s own label, Late Music, which she developed for the release of Cantus, Descant, an 80-minute, 17-track album meditation on impermanence and endings.

As a composer of both acoustic and electronic music, Davachi is concerned with the close intricacies of intimate aural space, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize subtle variations in texture. You can read more about her work in her EDMjunkies Influences podcast here.

Tracklisting

01. Chorus Scene
02. Magdalena
03. First Cadence
04. Gradual of Image
05. Border of Mind
06. Abeyant
07. Rushes Recede
08. Doubled Flutes

Antiphonals LP is scheduled for September 10. Meanwhile, you can stream “Rushes Recede” below and pre-order here.

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