Sarah Davachi with Whitney Johnson & Philip Serna

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Canadian composer Sarah Davachi returns to Lampo and presents work for reed organ, violin, viola da gamba and electronics that was first premiered in Los Angeles at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in October 2017. Based upon variously displaced melodic movements that were originally developed through a series of improvisations for pipe organ, this piece attempts to balance instances of consonance and dissonance, both in frequency content and physical gesture between its three players.

The open strings of the violin and viola da gamba—a Renaissance-Baroque instrument with seven strings tuned in a manner similar to the lute and modern guitar—are often isolated in order to fully emphasize the natural harmonics of the resonating body. The electronic component, originally derived from an EMS Synthi synthesizer, reinforces many of these pitches but occupies a subtle and unstable presence in the mix, slightly blurring the source of the effect.

Joining Davachi in this performance are Chicagoans Whitney Johnson on violin and Phillip Serna on viola da gamba.

Sarah Davachi (b.1987, Calgary, Canada) is a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music. Trained at Mills College, she is engaged in practices of analog synthesis, psychoacoustic manipulations, multi-channel sound diffusion, and studio composition. Her compositional projects are primarily concerned with disclosing the antiquated instruments and forgotten sonics of a bygone era in synthesis, with concurrent treatment of acoustic sources—particularly organs, strings and woodwinds. Since 2007, she also has worked for the National Music Centre in Canada as a researcher and archivist of their collection of acoustic and electronic keyboard instruments. She has held artist residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts; EMS, Stockholm; OBORO, Montreal; and STEIM, Amsterdam. Davachi lives in Los Angeles, where she is a doctoral student in musicology.

Sarah Davachi made her Chicago debut at Lampo in January 2017, with a new composition for vintage synthesizers, harmonium and two cellos.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation