Keyboardist Sarah Davachi brings her church space-inspired compositions to Rockefeller Chapel | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Keyboardist Sarah Davachi brings her church space-inspired compositions to Rockefeller Chapel 

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click to enlarge Sarah Davachi

Sarah Davachi

Dicky Bahto

Rockefeller Chapel has hosted some remarkable concerts in recent years. The organization Ambient Church, which presents atmospheric music in visually and sonically exalted spaces, chose the 91-year-old structure as the site for the concert it staged in Chicago last December. Rockefeller has also hosted minimalist composer-performer Charlemagne Palestine, drone-metal group Sunn O))), and local sound artist Olivia Block. This month, Sarah Davachi can add her name to that list. When the Calgary-born, Los Angeles-based composer and keyboardist toured Europe in 2017, she spent hours at a time in churches, finding not only respite from the blur of life on the road but also an inspiration for her marvelous 2018 LP, Gave in Rest (Ba Da Bing). The album uses stately piano cadences, organ drones, and drifting choral vocals to tap into the meditative and restorative qualities of liturgical music. At this show Davachi will perform La Brume Jaune (“The Yellow Mist”), a concert-length piece for church organ and two amplified French horns. She hasn’t yet released a recording of the composition, but “If It Pleased Me to Appear to You Wrapped in This Drapery,” which takes up the entire second side of her latest album, Pale Bloom (W. 25th), offers a pretty good idea of what to expect. Davachi’s reed-organ melodies advance at a glacial pace while violin and viola da gamba arc in slow-motion counterpoint, combining the structural cohesion of baroque music with the hypnotic qualities of minimalism. For this concert, her accompanists will be Matthew Oliphant and Liz Deitemyer.   v

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