Guitarist/singer-songwriter Sarah Rogo has built a career being unafraid to take the road less traveled. Her haunting and unique guitar work blurs the lines across an array of genres and her overall approach to the instrument redefines how it can be used in composition and songwriting. Sunfall, her new album, is a concept album structured as an ode to the woods at twilight.
Subtitled Blues Mantras and Instrumentals for the Evening Hours, she sets a range of moods that reflect a reverence for nature’s beauty and the cycles of life and death. Connected by obvious (and some not-so-obvious) threads, her songs are cinematic and sparse all at once, a head-on collision of the grand and the ambient executed to stunning effect. Subtle touches that become more apparent with repeat listening show her to be as much a composer as she is a songwriter. “All Of These Things Must Die,” the first video for and final song on Sunfall, perfectly completes the cyclical nature of the album.
“It’s a slightly older song” Rogo notes, “but it really fit in with the rest of the album. Its all about seasons; life, death, rebirth. You don’t have to look at death as a scary or bad thing, I’m singing about death in a sweet, kind of melancholy way. It’s kind of like a prayer or mantra; it’s a fact, just the cycle of life.”
In the video Rogo is illuminated by a single light, lending a haunting, almost campfire aura, while imagery builds and then disappears around her. “The simplicity of it is meditative; I wanted this video to allow the space for meditation to happen. When I watch videos online of people finishing something, like a painting, I wait around to see it finished. And in the video the picture finishes and then it unpaints itself.
“I work with what I had, and in this case it was just me and the camera. I’ve always loved watercolors because they’re very transparent; you can always see whats behind or beneath them. I saw the video as a blank canvas , and watercolored over it. Overlaying things on the video allowed me to take two different things and make them into a new, unified, living image.”