Sarah Ruth is a diverse musician and artist – a multi-instrumentalist, she employs hammered dulcimer, harmonium, electroacoustic sound art, and extended vocal techniques. She performs frequently both solo and with multiple bands and improvisational ensembles in the North Texas area. She is a University of North Texas graduate where she focused on vocal studies and electroacoustic composition. She has also studied with Meredith Monk and members of her vocal ensemble. She enjoys varied collaborations and has worked as a sound artist for art and photography installations and an accompanist for modern dance. She tours nationally and her recent albums have been released on Pour le Corps Music and Tofu Carnage Records.
I perform and record with a variety of other performers and settings.
The album, titled Far From the Silvery Light is the best new thing to come across my turntable in the past couple of years, and although we’re only halfway through 2016, I’m going out on a limb and declaring it my “album of the year.” I can’t gush hard enough about this avant-folk-operatic exercise in utter despair … Sarah Ruth Alexander plays hammered dulcimer, harmonium, recorder, bells, and effects and sings like the unholy stepchild of Jarboe and Yma Sumac. … Ruth’s operatic moans and wails evoke a bleak desolate landscape, not unlike the album’s cover art, in the same way that the aforementioned Sumac’s evoked exotic pagan isles.
Through spare, classical-informed arrangements recalling the ambiance of Erik Satie, Nick Cave, Swans, or Julianna Barwick, Sarah Ruth harnesses the power and stark beauty of the natural world around her to weave a distinctive sound and narrative at turns haunting, poetic, and autobiographical. (Much of the record is inspired by her upbringing on a rural West Texas farm that’s been in her family since 1864, as well as being raised by survivors of the Dust Bowl.) Embracing an austere, unwavering focus, these aren’t songs; they’re experimental, neo-noir meditations, evoking a distinctly Southern gothic landscape. Sarah Ruth’s ruminations on everything from betrayal, to the blood in her veins, to the fading traditions of her ancestors capture the state of Texas as cinematic state of mind, conjuring the desolation of the wide-open planes, the pulverizing wind of a dust storm, the charmingly homespun, dirt-flecked narration of a Terrence Malick film. Despite all this, it’s her voice that never ceases to command the spotlight. Operatic in its trenchant emotional pull-pristine, crystalline, penetrating, soaring-Sarah Ruth’s vocal gymnastics are mesmerizing.
I have several years of teaching experience in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with all ages, skill ranges, and musical backgrounds. If you’re interested in working with me, please use the contact form below!