Davachi, Live

A new set in lieu of touring

Bandcamp’s occasional Friday fire sale — when the company passes its share of profits straight on to the musicians and labels that are its lifeblood — is about to come to an end. Its conclusion is, as I type this, about two hours away on a long day in what has been one of the longest and strangest weeks of a long and strange year. Stranger than strange. “Strange” suggests “interesting if perhaps from a distance,” whereas this is a year from which one wants to gain substantial distance. Until such times, music that takes advantage of long time periods, music suitable to the long present, is a valuable thing. Sarah Davachi is expert in such things. As a “supplement” to Cantus, Descant, her recent two-CD set of contemporary music for the organ, one dating back to 1479, she has announced another collection, Figures in Open Air, a half dozen — presumably lengthy, given the release is also on two CDs — live performances. One track is up as a preview, “Diaphonia Basilica,” recorded on the 1954 Casavant Frères pipe organ at the Église du Gesù in Montreal, Canada. The liner notes mention the presence, as well, of cellist Marianna Houle and French horn player Pietro Amato. Listen closely, and certainly that explains the sheer depth of the dense vertical tonalities that comprise the track. But you could also miss them entirely, so tightly do they align with the organ’s breathy embrace. I’m fairly certain I was at the March 2018 concert during which another of the tracks was recorded, at the Lab in San Francisco. Of course, there are in essence no live concerts right now, due to the pandemic. In fact, this live album was released, Davachi explained yesterday on Facebook, “in lieu of the touring” she had planned later this year. This year being the long year. The long year that necessitates music for the long present. Music like “Diaphonia Basilica.”

Album posted at sarahdavachi.bandcamp.com. More from Davachi at sarahdavachi.com.

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