Published Apr 18, 2018Sarah Davachi, a rising star in avant-garde music circles, is a Canadian success story who deserves a great deal more attention than she's received. Her fifth album, Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, is a happy reminder that our home and native land continues to produce world-class composers and performers of serious music.
Recorded solo with electric organ and a Mellotron, these five new works are absorbing examples of her ongoing exploration of long notes and minimalist harmonic structures. Davachi is based in L.A. currently, working on a PhD in musicology at UCLA.
Her decision to incorporate a Mellotron was inspired. It is perfectly suited to her work with overtones and resonance. It also has a colourful history. Britain's Princess Margaret provided an early celebrity endorsement for the instrument that was first made famous by the Beatles. Later, it became a staple of progressive rock in the hands of acts like King Crimson, Moody Blues and Genesis. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark built their masterpiece, Architecture & Morality, around it in the early 1980s. More recently, Radiohead plugged one in for their recording of OK Computer.
The Mellotron player drags magnetic tape across the instrument's head. Different sections of the tape produce different sounds. So despite the fact that this album features slow-moving, sustained notes, there's plenty here to keep us engaged. The organ adds still more range.
There's a good chance this is unlike anything you've heard before. But this is no novelty act. Davachi has delivered another mesmerizing, gratifying work. (Recital)