Sarah Lipstate has become something of a modern guitar superstar. Between opening for major acts, demoing the coolest products at NAMM, and her raft of distinctive ambient records as Noveller, she has proved a master (mistress?) of the looper. Her records reveal a serious composer, and through her Instagram page has proved she can geek out about gear with the best of them. Here she talks about how she made the excellent Arrow, which you should pick up immediately at Bandcamp.
Sarah Lipstate has been a unique voice in modern guitar ever since she went solo as Noveller and began her distinctive looping performances. You can get the back story in my first Guitar Moderne interview, as well as in the one I did for Guitar Player . Much has happened in Noveller-land since then, so on the occasion of the release, A Pink Sunset for No One, it seemed time to sit down with her and find out how she has taken the one-time niche of guitar looping to the big stage with the likes of St. Vincent and Iggy Pop. An admitted gear-junkie, we delve into the goodies she is using, (spoiler alert: like Eno she eschews the comfort of the familiar for the excitement of experimentation.) But Sarah was also candid about her artist’s journey: how she came to these extraordinary opportunities, and why she decided to forsake Brooklyn for Los Angeles.
Sarah Lipstate A/K/A Noveller is sharing her experiences touring as the opening act for St Vincent. She was kind enough to expand a little on her setup to Guitar Moderne.
“On my newest album No Dreams, I incorporated synth textures for the first time in my work as Noveller,” she explains. “I’d been working a lot with synth and other midi sound libraries for my film score work and felt inspired to try supplementing my guitar sound with tasteful synth tracks. When I started figuring out live versions of the new songs, I discovered that my iPad (coupled with the Alesis iPad dock/interface) would allow me to trigger the synth sounds using a footswitch. I use an app called BeatMaker 2 which is footswitch compatible and allows you to import high quality audio samples for playback. It’s worked great until the first show of this tour with St. Vincent. I freed up some of the memory on my iPad and that has seemed to fix the problem. Fingers crossed that it continues to work!”
“Cinematic” is an overused word when describing ambient music, but in the case of Sarah Lipstate, who records and performs as Noveller, it is thoroughly appropriate. Lipstate is a filmmaker who has been known to hand-stitch thread into celluloid to create visual experiences as unique and abstract as her recordings. Whether it induces external or internal images, her evocative record No Dreams is sure to take you on some sort of journey.