By Tom Baker
|Melissa Achten: Ritual Schizophonia|
Traces: Sarah is a work not so much about grief than it is grief itself: a moment of ritualized mourning suspended in sound. Against a backdrop of manipulated field recordings and interactive electronics, the harp is restrained, haunting the work as it lingers achingly in the aura of what remains. The blurry distinction between heard and perceived sound gives Traces: Sarah a ghost-like quality, a breathless sigh that is both question and answer. What begins as an incantation to give voice to the inaudible slowly becomes a trace, a remnant, a requiem for things lost.
Traces: Sarah was commissioned and premiered by Melissa Achten in February 2020 at Kerry Hall in Seattle, WA. It is performed in memory of Sarah Anne Clark.