★Nominated for Preis der Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Neue Musik★
Out on August 4, 2023 on Coviello Contemporary. Available on Bandcamp as well as the usual streaming and purchase places.
Spun is Saviet’s debut solo album, a collection of physical and risk-taking works for solo violin. From incessant gestural retunings to barely audible wind-born phrases, these works explore the extremes of the instrument through five timbrally rich soundworlds.
In Liza Lim’s The Su Song Star Map, scordatura and throaty bow utterances create a tactile and sensual environment, while Lisa Streich’s Falter instructs the performer to ‘be a lepidoptera’ (moth or butterfly) and barely graze the strings. Evan Johnson’s Wolke über Bäumen played with gut strings and baroque bow involves constant re-tuning of the instrument, giving rise to fascinating inconsistencies and artefacts. The most overtly virtuosic work on the album, Arne Geishoff’s spun features bursts of flourishing melodies and sparks of fragmented passages. Lawrence Dunn’s Habitual offers an introspective resolution to the album, and focuses on a private expression of an inner song.
This release showcases the development and realisation of five distinct solo pieces, and exemplifies a significant aspect of Saviet’s practice – the process of long-term collaborative relationships with composers through and beyond these solo works.
‘Music in one place.’ Lolavar’s description of how she thinks of this series of pieces at first seems counterintuitive. The musicians involved are based in different cities (Lolavar in London, violinist Sarah Saviet in Berlin) and their creative process draws together practices from Iran and Europe. Yet this is music about shared experience; of creating a particular sound-world together.
A Coiled Form (2020/2022) for solo violin was
commissioned for me by the Riot Ensemble, with funding provided by the
Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
I premiered the piece as a 15 minute version in Wigmore Hall in
September 2021. Bryn and I met to rehearse before the premiere and both
felt that the material was calling for expansion.
Over the following months I built a new route through
the piece, winding through circular forms of holding and releasing
through loops and slowly changing timbre. The construction of this path
was informed by the different physical states and perceptions of time I
experienced as it unfolded.
My recording of Liza Lim’s violin concerto ‘Speak, be Silent’ with the Riot Ensemble, released 2019 on HCR/NMC records. Available on most streaming services and as CD here.
This disc was on Alex Ross’ list of Notable Recordings of 2019 in the New Yorker.
Review by Hannah Reardon-Smith for TEMPO Magazine:
“Soloist Sarah Saviet’s performance embodies this assertion of agency, manifesting a resolute disquiet that comes to contribute meaning and character to the ensemble. Her tone is malleable and sonorous, leaping ecstatically from the guttural to the glassy and reflective.”
Sequenza 21 review: “Soloist Sarah Saviet plays impressively with nimble musicality and a silvery tone […] Speak, Be Silent is one of 2019’s best recordings and certainly one of its most culturally relevant ones as well.”
Review from I Care If You Listen: “The group’s latest album, Speak, Be Silent, is a collection of pieces that shows off the outstanding capabilities of the ensemble as well as the powerful voices of the composers they help to promote […] the solo violin is predominantly featured with long swaths of color, emerging intermittently from the rest of the ensemble. Saviet’s performance is fantastic–Lim’s writing demands extreme agility and precision, and Saviet delivers.”