Sarah Davachi Two Sisters Late Music
A scholar of organology, Sarah Davachi uses her compositions to investigate the unique qualities of the instruments she’s so bewitched by, whether they’re medieval organs or modern synthesisers. Two Sisters is her most complete selection to date; an album that’s as labyrinthine and organic as a fingerprint, yet also immediately welcoming.
Bookended by the sound of bells, the record is an attempt to reconcile a musical past and present, smudging early music, baroque and contemporary drone into an idiosyncratic sonic landscape. Assisted by a litany of talented players (including the Apartment House ensemble), Davachi blurs the boundaries between electronic and acoustic music, sculpting her sounds into a hypnotic thrum of harmony, echo and flutter.
On Alas, Departing, experimental singer Jessika Kenney’s voice is saturated into a ghostly memory, like church music dubbed to a decaying reel-to-reel tape. Davachi places the vocals under a microscope, revealing hidden depths far beyond the sterile perfection of Auto-Tune. Icon Studies I submerges Davachi’s synthesiser in a reflecting pool of instrumentation, losing electronics in a swell of acoustic bliss and swallowing her ensemble in skillful modern processing. This sleight of hand is Davachi’s greatest skill, and listening to her work is a reminder that art doesn’t have to be basic to be universal.