She is a graduate of the University of Calgary and holds a master's degree in electronic music and recording media from Mills College in Oakland, California. She has resided in Vancouver and Montreal, before relocating to Los Angeles in 2017 to pursue a PhD in Musicology at UCLA.
Davachi's compositional practice combines an interest in vintage analog synthesizers with contemporary treatment of acoustic instruments. She is also described as a drone artist. "Part of her success," wrote Resident Advisor, “comes from her musicality: she approaches drone with a fetching, but never facile, sense of melody.” According to The Stranger, "currently, Davachi is the closest thing we have to a hybrid of Éliane Radigue and Terry Riley." According to the Getty Museum, where she was invited to create experiential soundtracks to Robert Irwin's Central Garden, "Davachi is among the preeminent emerging composers and performers of electroacoustic music."
Her first full-length LP release, Barons Court, was released in 2015. The album presented an unusual combination of sonic synthesis and live performance, featuring vintage synths, cello, viola and other instruments, aiming for a novel approach to beat frequencies and drones.
In 2016, she played the Mutek Montréal Festival. “Though she doesn't dumb it down,” wrote Resident Advisor, “this was experimental ambient music that almost anyone could enjoy.” That same year, her album Vergers was released by Important Records, featuring only one electronic instrument (an EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer), plus violin and Davachi's voice. In 2016 Davachi also released the album Dominions.
All My Circles Run, recorded entirely without synthesizers, was released in early 2017 by Students of Decay. "Like Brian Eno at his solo best," Pitchfork wrote, "it's the sort of ambience that doesn't flood, that hovers precariously somewhere between the conscious and the unconscious, barely-there and indisputably present." In 2017 Davachi played the Mutek festivals in Montreal and Mexico.
The music on her 2018 album Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, was described by the Chicago Reader as "mediative" and "hypnotic."
Gave in Rest was issued in mid-2018. It was described by Tiny Mix Tapes as “cathedral-sized meditations,” recorded away from Vancouver during a trip through European churches and lapidariums. The album's first single, “Evensong,” was released in July 2018. Jon Pareles of The New York Times described "Evensong" as "an arc of mourning and mysticism, a patient crescendo dissolving into a haunted memory." "Since 2013," wrote Noisey, "she's made music that tends toward slow-moving melodic gestures out of both synthetic and recorded instruments, often treated and edited with electroacoustic processes that emphasize their own stillness, but this new record is the first where she's been able to explicitly engage with these feelings.”
Davachi also works as a music researcher, exploring experimentalism and archival studies. Her work has been published and presented in Canada, the US and the UK. Since 2007, Davachi has worked at Calgary's National Music Centre as interpreter, content developer, and archivist. She has also lectured at Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Film School, and held artist residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Canada), STEIM (Amsterdam, Netherlands), WORM (Rotterdam, Netherlands), EMS (Stockholm, Sweden), and OBORO (Montréal, Canada).
- The Untuning of the Sky (2013, cassette)
- August Harp (2014, cassette)
- Qualities of Bodies Permanent (2015)
- Barons Court (2015)
- Vergers (2016)
- Dominions (2016)
- All My Circles Run (2017)
- Untitled Work (2017, cassette)
- For Harpsichord/For Pipe Organ and String Trio (2018)
- Let Night Come On Bells End the Day (2018)
- Gave In Rest (2018)
- Pale Bloom (2019)
- Fischer, Tobias. "15 questions | Interview | Sarah Davachi | All about Space". www.15questions.net. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Sarah Davachi, Lori Goldston". The Stranger. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Advisor, Resident. "Sarah Davachi 'Barons Court' Release Party with Kensington Gore & Richard Smith". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Advisor, Resident. "Review: MUTEK 2016: Five key performances". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Two Sarah Davachi albums on the way". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Margasak, Peter. "Canadian sound artist Sarah Davachi uses electronics and site-specific acoustics to transform various instruments into something mesmerizing". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "Sarah Davachi's 'Gloaming' Soundtracks The Growing Dark". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "Sarah Davachi announces new album Gave In Rest". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Sarah Davachi very, very softly and quietly returns with new album Gave In Rest, shares new track "Evensong"". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "The Playlist: Blood Orange's Fragile Pop, and 11 More New Songs". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- "You Need Some Rest. Sarah Davachi's New Ambient Music Can Help". Noisey. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "SIGNALS: Sarah Davachi". Soundtoys. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Eede, Christian (2019-03-28). "Sarah Davachi Announces New Album". The Quietus. Retrieved 2019-03-29.