The new double album from artist Sarah Davachi is an 80 minute, 17 track meditation on impermanence and endings, framed by minimalistic organ études and careful harmonic layering, with two tracks featuring the artist’s own vocals for the first time.
I spent a lot of time while working on this album thinking about impermanence and endings, which led me to change my understanding of “vanitas” and “memento mori.” These concepts arise allegorically across classical antiquity and Buddhist thought, among many other sources, but they were most obsessively expressed during the Renaissance in still lives and miniatures that contrasted the simultaneous passing and stillness of time. My interpretation is completely secular, softer, and more benign, but the awareness of a moment’s feeling remains. There’s a lot of symbolist imagery in the work titles, references to place and nature; the “Stations” series in particular is a reconfiguring of the idea of states of being. The pervading affect on the album is one that gives reverence to the suspension, the epoché, a space where we welcome and attempt to reconcile impermanence. It is an opportunity to go inside—oneself, one’s sound—in order to simultaneously commune with our comforts and that which we mourn, perhaps not unlike the function of a hymn. - Sarah Davachi