2021 was some year for Los Angeles-based artist, Sarah Davachi. In truth, every year seems that way for the Canadian composer, such as her sheer determination to keep creating.
While her latest solo album, Antiphonals continues to evoke a wave of thoughts (more on that later this month), Davachi rounded off 2021 in collaboration with her house mate and fellow artist, Sean McCann, with Mother of Pearl.
No stranger to collaboration, alongside McCann, Davachi continues to carry the baton for Fluxus and deep listening giants, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley and La Monte Young. Pioneers of late ’50s/ ’60s experimentation whereby the landscapes were borderless and fertile for endless possibilities.
On Mother of Pearl, Davachi and McCann add their own subtle inflections; Davachi in particular carving out compositions more heartfelt which radiate with a new warmth.
Nestled within the fault-lines of classical and drone, with Mother of Pearl, Davachi and McCann produce something striking, standing firmly on its own feet.
It begins with L.A. in the Rain; a thrumming orchestral drone with a boundless emotional weight. At each attempt, it seems that Davachi finds new depth.
While The Caretaker-inspired Or Something poses as a dusty interlude, it leads into Mother of Pearl’s optimum moments.
With simmering bass and tape hisses, Lamplighter is a beautiful abstract piano piece that ascends in majestic fashion, as fragments of ambience and soft distortion travel beyond the night skies. It’s followed by Keep Outside the Night.
With an ambient glow that softly lights up the room like flickering candle, Keep Outside the Night is a tear-jerking meditative composition that doesn’t just tug at the heart strings: it severs them. It’s a bewitching one-two that rounds off a year where experimentation was arguably at the forefront of new music.
Mother of Pearl is surrealism captured in slow-motion. Where ghosts confer, providing the comfort blanket for those dearly departed. Everything Davachi touches turns to gold and with McCann, on Mother of Pearl things are no different.
Mother of Pearl is out now via Recital Program. Purchase from Bandcamp.