Sarah Davachi :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

You might not pick up on it by listening to the serene, enveloping sounds of composer Sarah Davachi's Gave In Rest, but the record was born out of unsettled times. Written mostly during the nine months she spent uprooted between Vancouver and Los Angeles, where she's since settled, the album's odes to "secular mysticism" nod toward Davachi's classical training and background in medieval and Renaissance music, but reflect the openness of a life in flux. "I put everything I had into storage," Davachi says. "Everything was completely in limbo. I was living out of a suitcase for nine months."

She figured that if she wasn't going to be any one place, she might as well be all over. Embarking on a tour of Europe, Davachi found herself visiting churches and cathedrals, seeking in them a sense of peace and calm. Not only did she find what she was looking for, but with Gave In Rest, she's able to offer it to others. She's not eager to categorize the records gentle drones and slowly unfolding melodies as "new age" music, but still, songs like the hovering "Third Hour" and "Gilded" (featuring Echoplex treated piano) nonetheless possess distinctly healing qualities. It's a beautiful record, which makes it a timely one, and we rang Davachi up to discuss its unlikely genesis.

Gave In Rest by Sarah Davachi

AD: You weren't situated anywhere while making Gave In Rest. Did that sense of uprootedness inform the tone of the music? Did you find yourself using the music as a retreat from the hectic life you were living?

Sarah Davachi: Yeah. I think that's what it's about. When I was traveling, I kept trying to find these rituals to slow things down. When I travel, I always like to check out local cathedrals, because I think they're beautiful buildings and the acoustics are nice. But this trip, I noticed more the feeling of sitting there, being in this very different space from the outside world, being able to sit and not do anything. That became important and influenced the way I was thinking about the music. It made me want to tap into that feeling. When I got to Los Angeles, I'd replace sitting in a church with sitting in a chair and looking out the window for an hour. Those moments, of ritualistic quietude — the music became an extension of that.

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