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Sarah Davachi Unveils New Long-Form Release, 'Long Gradus'
Christian Eede , September 20th, 2023 11:21

The project was born from a residency that Davachi undertook with Montréal-based string quartet Quatuor Bozzini

Sarah Davachi has shared details of a new long-form, four-part release, called Long Gradus.

The product of a residency that Davachi was invited to take part in by Montréal-based string quartet Quatuor Bozzini, the composition featured on the release was written in its initial form for string quartet. It was produced, a press release said, amid an "ongoing preoccupation with chordal suspension and cadential structure" by Davachi.

In a statement about the release, Davachi said: "I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Quatuor Bozzini for the opportunity to go through this process together, which is exceedingly uncommon in the context of chamber music. Typically, when writing for an ensemble or orchestra, the composer is given very few, if any, occasions to actually adjust their work in a meaningful way outside of perhaps one or two brief rehearsals of an essentially final score.

"It is extremely rare and an enormous luxury to begin with simple sketches or ideas and to actually construct a piece over a period of several months or more from a place of sonic assurance – that is, being able to listen and to explore and to continually fine tune in response to the sound itself, in conjunction with the performers."

Long Gradus can be arranged in a quartet format for any instrumentation that can alter its intonation with some degree of accuracy, but the main release of the piece – which will be made available across digital, CD and 2xLP formats – appears in string form. The string version was recorded in March 2023 at the Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada. You can listen to the fourth and final part of the composition's string version just below.

Three other variations of Long Gradus – played with woodwinds; brass and organ; and choir and electronics – were recorded in Berlin and Los Angeles through 2022. They will be released, together with the string version, both digitally and as part of a 4xCD set called Long Gradus: Arrangements.

Late Music will release Long Gradus and Long Gradus: Arrangements on November 3, 2023.