Sarah Buechi makes uniquely songful music for which the spoken and recited or sung word is central not only to the vocal aspects of her work, but also to the complex instrumental accompaniment. As a result performers – such as those on Contradiction of Happiness – often enter her flowing poetry of her music whilst playing their part in ensemble or soloing. Miss Buechi, of course, leads from the front as she recites the text or verse woven sometimes in whispered utterances which in turn create a tangle of poetic excursions which seem to offer a dream-like commentary on the music, just as they lure the listener into their sound-world; a mirror through which she, no doubt, sees life itself.
Definitions of “beauty” are also central to Miss Buechi’s aesthetic credo, which is argued musically, song after song on this extraordinary disc. And while these are driven by the unique purity and softness of her voice Miss Buechi seems to also make an important distinction between the overly perfumed audience-ingratiating beauty typical of commercial music – which she probably seems to regard as disturbingly manipulative. Instead hers is a kind of “authentic” beauty evoked by the German word Geräusch, which (although it) means noise, but in a sense natural noise; this as she evokes not only the sense of wind blowing or trees rustling but also the noise of shattering glass and even the noise of emotions crumbling as they reach the limit of pain; all this in her vocals as she whispers and sings her way through this music.
Meanwhile as her very own Dichterliebe unfolds in a song cycle we become drawn into her world of love and disillusionment as if it reflects a bittersweet love story. With her breathtaking vocal style she invariably takes each song to another seemingly celestial realm the evolution aided and abetted by the vivid strings, piano bass and drums. The superb accompaniment enhances the unique character of this music adding a myriad of layers of tone-colour, in turn liberating further the lyrical element and breathing into it naked emotion that enables Miss Buechi to plunge deeper into the lyricism and profoundly dramatic narratives of this utterly beautiful music.
Track list – 1: Child of Our Times; 2: Never Enough; 3: After We’ve Kissed; 4: Fahamore (Paradise); 5: Wheel of Temptation; 6: Here and Now; 7: The Word; 8: Snow Trail; 9: Schönschte Obigstärn
Personnel – Sarah Buechi: voice; Stefan Aeby: piano; André Pousaz: contrabass; Lionel Friedl: drums; Estelle Beiner: violin; Isabelle Gottraux: viola; Sara Oswald: cello
Released – 2018
Label – Intakt Records (Intakt CD 299 2018)
Runtime – 57:07