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Baker's Dozen

Early Music: Sarah Davachi's Favourite Albums
Christian Eede , November 4th, 2020 13:15

Following the release in September of double album 'Cantus, Descant', as well as an impending live album, Sarah Davachi shares a selection of formative records from her teenage years and studies


Yusef Lateef - The Gentle Giant

I could probably take or leave the 'Hey Jude' cover on this album; it's not why I like the album. Yusef Lateef is really interesting as a composer though and I'm always drawn to woodwind instruments and woodwind players, especially when they cross over into a pop-oriented sound. The way he works with different, not dynamics, but space and sound is really special. Things go from being really sparse to just flowing more normally in terms of how you would think of the way that music is supposed to be paced.

Again, I don't feel like I've really heard other composers, at least of instrumental music who do that like he did. There's just so much in a lot of the more sparse tracks on the record. There's so much negative space that he uses that I think is really interesting. It's something that I think a lot of people consider when they're making more minimalist or more sparse-sounding music, but he actually constructs it into the sound in a really interesting way. That use of space is something that I actively work towards, and early on, I was thinking about it, but I wasn't that good at doing it. I feel like I'm getting better at it though, or at least I hope I am. But it's elements like that, where I hear it on this record and I'm like, 'Wow!' There's so little, and yet, it works so well. I wish I could do that. Knowing when certain elements need to come in and when they need to be phased out, being able to leave space and not be uncomfortable with it, is a skill that I'm still learning.