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Display Artist
Sarah Davachi
Two Sisters
Late Music
Catalogue Number
Release Date
September 9, 2022

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Far from a concept album in the traditional sense, Two Sisters is instead another demarcation of Sarah Davachi’s continued mastery of composition, albeit one intertwined with a movie that speaks a kindred language. Throughout her career, Sarah Davachi has worked with an exciting range of instruments both as performer and composer. That range has never been so joyously pronounced as on Two Sisters. In a collection of extended compositions for chamber ensemble and solo pipe organ, Davachi explores carillon (a keyboard instrument comprised of large cast-iron bells), vocals, string quartet, low woodwinds, and trombone, alongside sine tones, electronic drones, and many organs. All that is to say: it’s a total banquet of instruments and sounds, with over an hour’s worth of material to feast on.

The Canadian-born and Los Angeles-based composer has prowess in both analog and digital mediums, and has centred her practice around the push and play between the two. A dazzling performer and arranger whether behind a pipe organ or a pared down synth setup, Davachi has written wondrous music diligently edited down from hours of home recordings. Her records are largely about the art of making; whatever instruments at her disposal often inform the intent before she shapes them into tangible statements of purpose. They also are largely about Davachi as a musician: recurring motifs and approaches appear across her vast body of work. While some of that comes naturally to modern classical music, it's clear that there is intention behind these moves. Her latest LP Two Sisters continues this practice to great effect.

Sarah Davachi is an artist that understands the power of conceptual thinking. The title is borrowed from dialogue in the 1981 film Possession (directed by Andrzej Żuławski) in which Isabelle Adjani’s character describes her psychological state as being a battle between “two sisters of faith and chance.” The events and themes of Possession are governed by a similar binary. While not directly inspired by the content of the film itself, Davachi applies a like-minded intention in twofold with the instrumentation and sequencing. The album starts and ends with nearly identical bell phrasing, from spatially distant notes highlighting the oscillating air in between them to the scattered clashes and clangs of the album's last hurrah, while the tracks between the bookends deal with mirrored organ, string and chamber pieces. Though undoubtedly meant to be referential to the film, these sonic ideals are also a reflection of Sarah Davachi’s natural and intensive progression as a musician.

The titular two sisters make themselves known in the resolute rock of faithful drones and the hocketing harmonies and melodies of chance, perhaps like those other twins order and chaos, but both rendered in Davachi’s slow and patient stylings. Notes are sustained for long periods of time, slowly joined by each other as their changing textures fill the room. The solemnity of ‘Icon Studies I’ grows in intensity, strings and synths tracing the shape of ocean waves as they ebb and flow. Similarly, the muted tones of ‘Harmonies In Bronze’ are held in stasis before leading to a chord sequence overflowing in emotion.

Digital Tracklist

Sarah Davachi

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Sarah Davachi

Late Music

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