I am going to start using Bee Sahatji as the name for this project, as it helps me put the distance I am looking for between my full name as I use it in the world and this somewhat vulnerable music. Yet, it still names me as a person in a way. B, or Bee, a nickname my sisters and I have used a lot over the years (our names all start with the letter B). Also, Sahatji in Armenian means watchmaker, and I like the idea of a bee who makes watches.
ALSO: I’m playing a house show with my buddies from Dogtooth and Nail along with some excellent touring folks artists at a house next Saturday night. Please join if you are near Portland!
Playing for the first time in a little while, with Natalie Boudoulis visiting from London, and my old friend and collaborator Christopher Buckingham of Eventuals! This will be a cozy Sunday night of tunes.
Thanks to Adobe and Teardrops for the review of the full album and featuring me on their podcast this week!
“Knotted Orbits is one of those albums that is breathtaking in its density. Brenna Sahatjian brilliantly weaves punk and folk together, adding tense chamber string arrangements to ratchet up the song’s emotional stakes.
This is not an easy album to listen to, but it’s worthwhile.
Sahatjian’s lyrics tumble across the page. As I read them, I’m impressed that she was able to corral them into a song with a recognizable melody — no small feat. Especially considering the universe of ideas she brings to each song. “First World Optimism” calls our attention to the dangers of climate change as well as the usual neo-liberal apologies for the age we live in:
He said the past was a horrid place and to be grateful
to be born in an era like this, less grim and hateful
Buried inside, there’s truth there to keep us faithful
to every lie that lets us sleep, but what will we wake to?
The endless wars we don’t know how to stop
No charges for another white cop
open your heart and mind, the anger’s rising, hope it don’t stop
we’re all gonna play a part whether we act or not
We live in a world that ranked itself first when it got wealthy
extracting death, yet they’re expecting a happy ending
What will you do with this one life you are granted?
If we only knew, is it delusion or enchantment?
The song serves as a kind of overture for the rest of the album. Sahatjian is as keen an observer of politics as she is of nature and individuals. Knotted Orbits is a huge accomplishment in a tiny package: one of those rare albums that encapsulates the totality of our existence without ever diluting or simplifying the strange chaos that makes us human.”
Knotted Orbits is hereby released, on Bandits Never Die and Broadwing Records!
Tapes coming soon.
Songs written in from 2015-2017.
Knotted Orbits-Inspired by irregular moons and their strange orbit patterns, unseen unless traced, revealing the knots.
Our movements through the world gravitate around what’s important to us, what illuminates our consciousness like the sun, the Jupiter-like giants we have gotten used to revolving around, or perhaps we just got scooped up by forces larger than ourselves on our way through the universe. Our paths cross with others, their gravity affects and can change our course, depending how close we get. At any one time, we are in relation to so many other bodies, and there are periods of retrograde (confusion, misunderstanding, conflict), and of resolution (understanding, clarity, love).
So may thanks to: Merlin Mackenzie, Chase Czolgosz, Resundra, Sina Yz, TJ Minich, Strangeweather, and Aradia. Thanks to Kris Peterson for the last minute album-saving software and enduring support, to “wind beneath my Broadwings” Shannon Murray and Adhamh Roland, Sahatjian//Anderson families, Louise Erdrich and Peter Fraser for inspirational writings, Nicole Sara Simpkins for the amazing artwork, all my friends (yes, you!), and everyone who comes out to shows and supports DIY music. XOXO
released March 15, 2018
Brenna Sahatjian: acoustic guitar, cello, singing, looping
TJ Minich: Bass Guitar, percussion
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Sina Youssefzadeh at Blackfire Audio
except for The Thistle, recorded by Brenna, mixed and mastered by Sina Youssefzadeh.
Artwork by Nicole Simpkins of Scylla and Circe Press
All songs written by Brenna Sahatjian
Attention early risers! I’ll be live on Rise as the Rooster Crows with Paul Roland this Thursday, March 15, spinning folk records that have influenced me as well as playing some of my new tunes. Please tune in online or on your dial if you are in Portland, Corvallis, or Hood River!
Click here for more information!
Click here to listen to Knotted Orbits on the Celtic and Folk music blog Folk Yourself!
Pre-Order Knotted Orbits
As an “early Aries,” I adore the early spring, a time when thawing is happening and all the potential energy is yearning to be released. It is somewhat fitting that my album I’ve been working on for a year naturally finished gestation at this time, and is ready to be born!
With this pre-order you will receive 2 new tracks now, and then the full download on March 15!
About the two tracks released now: Stitches is a reflection on grief and loss. I wrote it on tour in Vermont on Halloween 2016. I was staying across the street from a cemetery and was spending time there, and staying in houses built in the 1700s. I began having vivid dreams of dear departed (including my animal companion who had passed a year before), as well as others I’d cared for towards the end of their lives. Autumn, especially the end of October, is a time in several cultures when the spirits of those we’ve lost are thought to be closer within our psychic reach.
First World Optimism was the first song I wrote on this album. I wrote it in the beginning of 2016 when, among the migrant crisis, rampant police murdering of Black folks, and the growth of new right fascism, many people were offering me unsolicited advice that things “would end up okay,” without any acknowledgement that something might be required of us. For many people who have been lucky and/or systematically privileged with peace and relative freedom in their lives, I believe it is easy to slip into a bystander mentality where you have opinions about current events but never get engaged in working to shape the world or address injustice. That’s not optimism, it’s complacency. this song was included on two complications: Rhinoceritus: Voices in Dissent from Ladyz in Noyz, and Bandits Never Die Compilation 1.
Knotted Orbits cover design by Nicole Sara Simpkins
I am pleased to announce I will be visiting Bend, OR to present a workshop on Survivorship and Feminism with the Equal Rights Alliance of OSU-Cascades on October 27. I will also be performing music from my forthcoming album Knotted Orbits.
I’ve got a brand new track out on this compilation put together by Ladyz in Noyz and Corpus Collosum Distro. It’s a benefit for Border Angels and Forward Together, and there’s a sonic texture for everyone among it’s 46(!) tracks. A limited edition Rhinoceritis DISSENT benefit sticker can come with purchase or alone.
from Corpus Collosum:
“This multi-genre compilation was inspired by Ionesco’s play ‘Rhinoceros’ via Teju Cole’s New York Times piece ‘A Time for Refusal’ nyti.ms/2eorijG ). The digital compilation entitled, “RHINOCERITIS: Voices in Dissent”, received submissions from diverse artists of various backgrounds and sounds such as ambient, noise rock, sound art, harsh noise, folk, and crunkcollage, to name a few. Ladyz in Noyz and Corpus Callosum Distro made the call out to raise funds to counter this alarming global situation. We invited contributions from the Ladyz in Noyz network and each track indicates whether the track was submitted by an ally or LIN to support our initiative to promote women artists.”
You can now grab my 2015 album The Ruby on cassette tape from my bandcamp page. It is also available through Antiquated Future!