Sarah Davachi / Matchess | Ars Nova Workshop
Menu Close Donate

October 3, 2019

Please join us for this very special deep listening double-header featuring Sarah Davachi and Matchess.

As a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi‘s work is primarily concerned with disclosing the delicate psychoacoustics of intimate aural spaces, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize subtle variations in overtone complexity, temperament and intonation, and natural resonances.  The instrumentation she employs is varied, including piano, electric organ, pipe and reed organ, voice, tape-replay samplers, analog synthesizers, early western strings and keyboards, orchestral strings, brass, and woodwinds. Informed by minimalist tenets of the 1960s and 1970s, Baroque leanings toward slow-moving chordal suspensions, and experimental production practices of the studio environment, her sound manifests an experience that lessens apprehension of consonance and dissonance in lieu of the familiar and distant. Davachi has toured extensively across the globe, sharing the stage with artists such as Grouper, the London Contemporary Orchestra, Arnold Dreyblatt, Donald Buchla, Aki Onda, ​ Oren Ambarchi, Loren Connors, and filmmaker Paul Clipson.

Matchess / Photo by Maria Tzeka

Whitney Johnson is a musician, composer, and writer based in Chicago. She performs, improvises, and collaborates through the viola, as well as vocalization, organ, and electronics. In her solo work, Matchess, she considers the reproduction of sound and meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling, and field recording. With the limited palette of a 1960s Ace Tone organ, viola, an analog drum machine, and voice, she crafts a sound collage of transient songs on a bed of droning ambient noise. She has recently collaborated in improvised and composed settings with Circuit des Yeux, TALsounds (as Damiana), Gel Set (as Simulation), Couteau Sang (as Surfactant), Lia Kohl, Macie Stewart, Brett Naucke, Ryley Walker, Bitchin Bajas, Lea Bertucci, and Sarah Davachi. In tandem with her music practice, she received her doctorate in the sociology of sound from the University of Chicago, writing a dissertation on the cultural value of embodied sensory perception, particularly in the discipline of sound art.

Cover: Sarah Davachi / Photo by Alex Waber
Thursday, October 3


  • Performance

Program Info

$15 General Admission
21 & Over


  • Sarah Davachi – Nord Electro D6 + electronics
  • Matchess – viola, Ace Tone, Arp Odyssey, tuning forks, electronics


Pageant: Soloveev
Philadelphia, PA

  • Festival

The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music

Ars Nova Workshop presents The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music, a multi-venue experimental music festival Oct 1-31, 2019.