Sarah Neufeld is a violinist and composer based in Montréal, Canada. Best known as a member of
Arcade Fire, she is also a founding member of the acclaimed contemporary instrumental ensemble Bell
Orchestre, and most recently as half of an exciting new duo with renowned saxophonist Colin Stetson.
Neufeld began developing pieces for solo violin in a formal sense in 2011, though she has made
improvisation and solo composition part of her process and practice since first picking up the instrument
at a young age. Neufeld counts Bela Bartok, Steve Reich, Iva Bittova and Arthur Russell among the
formative influences for her solo work, in tandem with an ear for the textures and sensibilities of
contemporary electro-acoustic, avant-folk and indie rock music.
Neufeld's debut solo album Hero Brother, released August 20/2013 on Constellation Records, indeed
channels all of the above, flowing through shifting atmospheres and oscillating between restrained,
stately ambience, emotive études, and raw kinetic energy. Small touches of wordless vocalisation,
harmonium and piano supplant the violin in a few places. The album was recorded in Berlin by pianist
and producer Nils Frahm, with Neufeld's performances captured in a number of locations with sitespecific
acoustics, including an abandoned geodesic dome.
Neufeld has recently finished a second full length album, to be released in early 2016. It is a body of
work that sees Neufeld moving away from Hero Brother's classical minimalism and sepulchral ambience,
and into the world of rhythmic pop minimalism. The new album employs more emphasis on
vocalizations than Neufeld's previous works; the interplay between Neufeld’s voice and violin has
become strongly integrated and narrative. The album also features Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara on drums,
adding greater layers to the compositions, creating an intense, dynamic atmosphere, and a captivating
listen from start to finish.
In addition to touring as a duo with Colin Stetson throughout 2015, Neufeld will be touring extensively
as a soloist, in support her upcoming sophomore release in 2016.
More information on the website
of the event.