Sarah Davachi – Let Night Come On Bells End The Day (Recital, 2018)


Night arrives with little pomp and circumstance at the conclusion of every day; some evenings are perhaps notable for their beautiful skies or maybe their good company, but the darkness still arrives in a graceful slide with little fanfare each time, a slave to celestial mechanics. We don’t celebrate the return of the night really, as life finds it best to quieten down in the absence of the Sun’s warmth and energy.

But for most of us the evenings are a time that should be enjoyed, relished, to be embraced. Most days of the week the evenings are the time outside of work, the precious hours we get to spend our leftover waking time on things we need to do (and often enjoy doing a great deal more than work). The night that follows also offers a sweet release, a time to be still and comfortable, and rest before the next struggle.

Let Night Comes On Bells End The Day largely mirrors the understated affair that evening and nighttime are, from light anticipation to full immersion. “Buhrstone” trickles along with a sort of perfunctory atmosphere to it, piano strokes falling dustily through the mix in reflective suspensions, drifting out of a muted and hollow backfield of drone indistinction. It politely grinds and cycles to its namesake, its attitude worn out and pitted but presented with a strange calmness and acceptance.

Flowers are laid at the door of the day in brief opener “Garlands” as it introduces the record on distant strands of drone, the electronic organ carrying a fading light on its back in an appropriately conclusive first track. The organ does give it something of a mournful vibe, a soft respectfulness in the passing of the Sun, but the loss isn’t made to feel significant. The intimacy and reduction that night brings is welcomed really, as mid-album “At Hand” unravels in its gossamer notes and echoic shards. The darkness feels hallowed and suspenseful, thoughts can practically be heard aloud, vibrating off the now still walls as the general aural chaos of the day passes. It feels close, careful, sensitive; there’s room to breathe and speak openly now, the price being the nadir of the day’s energies.

But nothing tops the glorious 13 minutes of concluding “Hours In The Evening”, a timeless smear of drone excellence that bathes in the luxuriousness of time alone after-dark. It hums with freedom, an endless expanse of carefully metered and doled out drone sustenance that makes the most of its time; it feels untethered and carefree, and yet retains a somewhat calculated feeling, as though its warm and swaddled passages of homely grace have been honed into efficiency. Relaxation and temporal disconnection become all important, but have a dispensary notion, squeezing languidly into the daily allotted time slot.

Night doesn’t need celebration, it doesn’t want it, doesn’t suit it. Dip into it quietly, gently submerge yourself in its inky depths; revel and marvel at its escapism if you must, but do so discreetly, just don’t forget how little of it there is to use.