WXDU PRESENTS: Sarah Louise

WXDU PRESENTS: Sarah Louise

Skylar Gudasz

Wed, January 30, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Pinhook

Durham, NC

$10.00

This event is all ages

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Sarah Louise
Sarah Louise
Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars is Sarah Louise’s most fearless work to date. Louise broadens beyond folk forms on her latest, turning streams of raw electric guitar into entire oceans of aural texture. Her rich playing is warped beyond recognition through inventive synthesizing and digital manipulations. The innovative songs share warmth and compositional tendencies with Deeper Woods; however, remarkably, Sarah Louise’s stunning sophomore Thrill Jockey album breaks through the boundaries of solo guitar, bearing little resemblance to its predecessors.

The pieces on Nighttime Birds mine components of the Appalachian folk music Louise is steeped in, as well as spiritual jazz, contemporary classical, and new age, while drawing intensely personal inspiration from the natural world. “Ancient Intelligence” ruminates on the power of and connection to Mother Earth through wordless, almost alien skitters. For Louise, the natural and the psychedelic are indelibly linked through their ability to provide healing. Drawing inspiration from a profound healing experience she had, Sarah assembled the pieces in dedication to that healing. Compositions exude spiritual relief and exploration, as they are both explorative musically and soothing in their gentle, delicate details. Moments of surreal intensity bubble forth on tracks like “Chitin Flight” which stoke curiosity and provide flares of tension and relief. Pieces like this offer Louise’s unique take on what a guitar solo can be while whimsically playing with guitar tropes of the psychedelic era.

Technically she approached performance on the album in a patulous manner, improvising on electric guitar in standard tuning, rather than her signature 12-string acoustic guitar and song- specific tunings. This radically different approach for Sarah was in and of itself liberating as well as inspiring. Louise carried this intuitional mindset with her into recording new pieces. Like Deeper Woods, she engineered the album herself, but with a new focus on innovative use of her recording program. With her improvisations as the raw material, she carefully crafted deliberate compositions that are her most painterly and cosmic work to date. Sampling herself, Louise’s approach to composing with guitar magnifies single notes, short patterns and overtones to reveal microtonality and otherworldly timbres. Frayed rhythms flow freely atop and between lush waves of devotional drones. Variations in speed and tone transform the guitar across the album from brassy bellows to the sounds of rustling insects.

Louise’s daring blend of heartfelt stream of conscious playing and bold studio processing demonstrates her unique ability to craft poignant music regardless of what tools she uses. She finds harmony rather than dissonance in synthesizing raw and organic materials with the technological. Sections of electronic bursts swell and ebb with a lifelike pulse, collapsing distinction between the natural and artificial. Each piece inhabits its own biosphere and Louise’s guitar and voice act as the flora and fauna. With Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars, Sarah Louise has reimagined the limitations of guitar music to create a work of sublime resplendence.
Skylar Gudasz
Skylar Gudasz
"Sometimes a whisper can say more than all the shouting in the world.

Skylar Gudasz writes subtly evocative, quietly powerful songs, and she performs them with an understated authority that resonates deeply in the listener's soul. The 26-year-old Durham, NC-based artist's sublimely expressive voice and effortlessly enchanting compositions disarm cynicism and defy easy categorization, embodying a timeless blend of worldly insight and open-hearted innocence.

Although she's yet to release a solo record, Skylar has already won considerable international acclaim, thanks in part to her spellbinding performances as part of the all-star touring Big Star Third tribute concerts, with which she's appeared in such far-flung locales as New York, Chicago, London, Sydney and Barcelona, as well as at the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX. As an unsigned unknown sharing the stage with such notable artists as Ray Davies, Robyn Hitchcock, Sharon Van Etten and members of R.E.M. and Wilco, she commanded the attention of fans and critics, as well as her fellow performers. The Sydney Morning Herald called her "the most impressive figure of the night," while the shows' musical director Chris Stamey noted, "She'd sing 'Thirteen' or 'Dream Lover,' and time would stop." Indeed, the response she received from live crowds was so profound that it soon became known among her tourmates as "the Skylar effect."

Her breakout performances in the Big Star concerts convinced Stamey (known for his work as a solo artist and with the dB's, as well as his production for the likes of Ryan Adams and Alejandro Escovedo) to take Skylar into the recording studio, tapping the talents of noted avant-garde clarinetist Ken Vandermark, southern pop godfather Mitch Easter, Brad Cook of Megafaun, Michael Blair (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits), Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah), and several talented young musicians from the fertile Chapel Hill alt-pop scene. The resulting recordings mark Skylar Gudasz as both a unique talent and a major artist in the making." - Scott Schinder
Venue Information:
The Pinhook
117 W. Main St.
Durham, NC, 27701
http://thepinhook.com/