The new album from Sarah Davachi on her own Late Music imprint is a collection of nine extended compositions for chamber ensemble and solo pipe organ. The expanded instrumentation on this album includes carillon (a keyboard instrument comprised of very large cast-iron bells), choir, string quartet, low woodwinds, and trombone quartet, alongside sine tones and electronic drones.
Among the pipe organs featured on the album is an extremely rare Italian tracker organ from 1742, housed now in the Southwest desert region of the United States. Davachi is accompanied in these recordings by a formidable group of musicians and interpreters, including the Apartment House ensemble. The carillon that sounds on the piece ‘Hall of Mirrors’ is the third largest in the world, with its heaviest bell weighing approximately twelve Imperial tons.
Conceptually, there is a loose thread that runs through the compositional methods of Two Sisters, influenced by the allegory of ‘temperance’ in a minimalist aesthetic sense: “one foot on land, one foot in the water”, as it were, caught in the perpetual balance of restraint as delight and necessity. There are mirrored sonic and structural images throughout the album, also reflected in the iconography of the cover: the satyr and the subject, the shared gaze between head and body, the dialogue between cerebral and physical response, as above so below. It’s like there’s two sisters of faith and chance.
All compositions by Sarah Davachi. Recorded between January and November 2021. Mixed by Sarah Davachi at Alms Vert in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Mastered by Sean McCann.