h.21 Auditorium San Fedele


Sarah Davachi
Antiphonals, Live

Andrew Quinn / Olivier Messiaen
Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà…

Live interactive visuals: Andrew Quinn
Sound composition: Massimo Colombo

Sound engineer and acousmatic interpretation: Massimo Colombo


Sarah Davachi returns to Milan to present her latest recently published work, Antiphonals. The
Canadian artist, born in 1987, in a few years she has conquered an absolute prominent place in the
international panorama of experimental music of minimalist ancestry, through the use of
synthesizers and ancient keyboard instruments. Antiphonal was the term to define the singing of
the psalms performed in two alternating choirs. In her work, however, Davachi aims to intertwine her experience as a live performer with her musical practice in the studio. The stylistic code of her
latest production is defined by a stoic research in the field of the complexity of the interior auditory
space, the central element of INNER_SPACES musical programming.

The first part of the evening, with the evocative title Éclairs sur l’au-delà…, includes an audiovisual show by the Australian Andrew Quinn, artist in residence in San Fedele since 2012. Through the unified succession of fragments of organ music by Olivier Messiaen, reworked in a process of growth by Massimo Colombo, we arrive at a compact sound fresco inspired by the theme dear to the French musician of the descent of the Celestial City contained in the last chapter of the book of the Apocalypse.

Sarah Davachi – Antiphonals

The work was born from the desire to merge my practice in the studio, characterized by delay
processes, with live instrumental performances. In fact, in the past few years I have tended to
separate these two approaches precisely to favor the two different types of listening experience
coming from the two modes of sound production. I produced two demo EPs in the early stages of
this album, Five Cadences and Gathers, both of which were released in Spring 2020. "Antiphonals"
is a return to the sound palette composed of Mellotron, electric organ, piano and synthesizer, which
had been experimented on my 2018 album Let Night Come On Bells End the Day. In fact the two
works have different points of contact: the Mellotron is used by giving up the typical sounds of
progressive rock in favor of English horn, bass flute, clarinet, recorder, oboe, horn, chamber organ,
together with the use of sampled nylon string guitar sounds. The violin, the voice, the harpsichord
with mesotonic tuning, pipe organ and acoustic guitar are added to the keyboard quartet. It is a
collection of sound studies on repetition, on musical modes within a harmonic space. The process is
borrowed from minimalism in the verticality of the sound texture, with the progressive extension of
the intervals in the horizontal-melodic line, which here is blurred and undone by the processing
processes of the continuum. In the course of listening, these somewhat generative articulations
offered me a significant expression of negative space and pervasive absence, a sensation of objects
that appear slowly and are highlighted. (Sarah Davachi)


Andrew Quinn / Olivier Messiaen – Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà…
24-minute experimental audiovisual work created by Andrew Quinn and Massimo Colombo, at the request of San Fedele Musica. It starts with an organ work by Olivier Messiaen, Les Corps glorieux, written in 1939, just before the Second World War. Through music, the French composer, taking up themes of the Christian mysteries, investigates the qualities of the bodies of the risen and glorified in the life of Paradise. The work marks an evolution in Messiaen’s language with the assimilation of Indian music and Gregorian melody. The pieces taken from the organ collection and reworked electronically are Les eaux de la grace, with an obstinate theme that from a distance slowly approaches, like a signal, an awakening from the sleep of those who are on their way to heavenly Jerusalem. This is followed by the central part of Combat de la mort and de la vie that leads to the last piece: Joie et clarté des Corps Glorieux, with exultation and joy, using rhythms of Indian music. The audiovisual interaction follows as a guiding thread, in strong link with the musical and spiritual intuition of O. Messiaen, some passages from the book of Revelation.