A few weeks ago, a “room” full of people saw one of the greatest performances ever. I should clarify, it was an old grain elevator at Silo City, not a room. Though at times it felt like a small intimate room and not a 100 foot tall cement silo. That is what made Noveller‘s performance so amazing.
Silent | Sound was a free event on a Friday night that was presented by Squeaky Wheel at Silo City. The first of two performers of the night was arc (it’s supposed to be lowercase), a visual artist from Oakland with a very impressive resume spanning the globe. They created a series of guttural sounds that sounded like a dying cello which echoed inside of the silo beautifully. Accompanying the music was a series of 16mm film of rapidly changing and distorted images of everything from waves to abstract art. arc gave an epilepsy warning before the set and it was much needed. Sadly the set was cut short due to continuing power issues with running three projectors.
As Noveller started to tune her guitar and check that all her pedals were working, I had a feeling I was about to witness something incredible. Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based guitarist and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Using her electric guitar, pedals, and sometimes a bow, she creates amazing layered ambient soundscapes, in the vein of Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky. The layers of sounds filled the silo beautifully as if she had designed the space specifically to perform her music in. At times the notes would drone seemingly forever, but would never lose it’s beautiful intensity.
Given Noveller’s impressive resume, it was incredible to be able to see her perform in such a unique space. Noveller has toured with Iggy Pop, St. Vincent, Radiolab, Xiu Xiu, the Jesus Lizard, U.S. Girls, & Aidan Baker. Lipstate has collaborated with several renowned musicians, including JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia), Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers), David Wm. Sims (the Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth).
She has also previously performed as a member of Cold Cave, Parts & Labor, and One Umbrella. Lipstate has also participated in Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, Ben Frost’s “Music for 6 Guitars” Ensemble, and Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble.
Do yourself a favor and give her music a listen: https://noveller.bandcamp.com/. She has been performing under the name Noveller for over 10 years and has a wide range of different sounding albums to choose from. She got a very warm welcome from the crowd so we can only hope she comes back to Buffalo soon to play again.