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Cantus, Descant

Davachi Sarah

Cantus, Descant

Label: Late Music

Genre: Electronica / Ambient / Experimental

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Sound artist and composer Sarah Davachi presents us with Cantus, Descant, a sprawling new double-album of organ drones and dreamy songs, that features vocals for the first time.Released through the artist's own label Late Music label. "I spent a lot of time while working on this album thinking about impermanence and endings, which led me to change my understanding of “vanitas” and “memento mori.” These concepts arise allegorically across classical antiquity and Buddhist thought, among many other sources, but they were most obsessively expressed during the Renaissance in still lives and miniatures that contrasted the simultaneous passing and stillness of time. My interpretation is completely secular, softer, and more benign, but the awareness of a moment’s feeling remains. There’s a lot of symbolist imagery in the work titles, references to place and nature; the “Stations” series in particular is a reconfiguring of the idea of states of being. The pervading affect 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."

Electric organ, piano, Mellotron, voice, synthesizer, and strings recorded October and November 2019 at Alms Vert in Los Angeles, California, USA

Van Straten pipe organ (1479), set to quarter-comma meantone; recorded August 2019 at Orgelpark in Amsterdam, Netherlands, bellows by Hans Fidom

E.M. Skinner pipe organ (1928); recorded June 2019 at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Casavant Frères pipe organ (1964); recorded August 2017 at Pacific Spirit United Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Poul-Gerhard Andersen pipe organ (1975); recorded March 2019 at Sankt Johannes Kirke in Copenhagen, Denmark

Story & Clark reed organ (ca 1890); recorded February 2019 at The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, California, USA