As a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi’s compositional projects are primarily concerned with disclosing the antiquated instruments and forgotten sonics of a bygone era in analog synthesis, with concurrent treatment of acoustic sources – particularly organ, piano, strings, and woodwinds – often involving de-familiarization through processing. Her work considers the experience of enveloped sonic dwelling, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize variations in overtone complexity and psychoacoustic artifacts.
Her research concerns aspects of experimentalism, organology and archival study, and phenomenology, and has been published and presented within North America and Europe. She is currently a doctoral student in musicology, and is based in Los Angeles, California.
MiLLENNiAL caught up with Sarah to learn more about her analog based electronacoutsic performance at MUTEK this year.
1. What is signature about your music?
I perform and record with a lot of analog electronic gear, which lends the output sound a more primitive feel on account of the instabilities of the equipment. I also often incorporate acoustic sources, such as organs, strings, and woodwinds, alongside electronics, which varies the sustained textures.
2. What is your relationship to Montreal? (i.e. do you live here, have you moved here, did you used to live here, etc.)
I’ve been visiting Montreal fairly regularly for about ten years, and I lived there for a chunk of time in 2016, so I feel I know it reasonably well and have witnessed some interesting developments in the music scene over time. I’ve always found it to be a really unique city. I still visit from time to time, either to visit friends, to play shows, or to record, the latter of which I usually do at the Hotel2Tango.
3. Name your three favorite sounds.
Heavy rain on a flat roof; an orchestra tuning; silence.
4. Which genre of electronic music do you most identify with and how do you see it changing over the next few years?
I’m not really sure I identify with a particular genre of electronic music, but I suppose most people would say that I fall into the ‘ambient’ category. It’s hard to say how it might change, I’m not sure I can answer that. How would I like it to change? I’d like to see audiences feel less awkward about listening intently.
5. What excites you about performing at MUTEK and what can we expect from your set?
I’m really excited to be performing at Metropolis for MUTEK this year. I’ve never been to the venue, but I do know that it’s a fairly large space with a top notch PA, so I’m really looking forward to reveling in that live experience for a while. I’m also excited about the night in general, which focuses on slowed down presentations and will feature a unique set from Anthony Child; it’s an honor to share a bill with him. The whole festival looks really exciting this year.