screenshot from "Clearing" MV directed by Devin Febbriello
C Y A N E
Cyane is the new moniker of American composer, performer and sound artist, Sage Elaine Fisher. Her work for harp + voice + electronics is exposed, ethereal, sensual and textural, drawing on pop, R&B, avant classical and early choral music influences. Hot takes, incantations and translucent songs about love and power, gravity, surrender and interdependence, delivered with arresting vulnerability and fierce grace.
Fishers' previous project, Dolphin Midwives, was known for abstracted harp, voice and percussion using electronics, extended techniques and ritualized processes and has since evolved into the lucid and fierce pop-leaning, vocal-driven Cyane, throughout the creation of Body of Water (Beacon Sound, 2021), the chrysalis of the COVID-19 pandemic, and stepping into the healing arts field..
Sage Elaine Fisher has spent the last seventeen years studying classical, pop and Indian classical voice, choir, music theory, composition, romantic, folk and classical harp, guitar, psychoacoustics, electronic production, experimental percussion, and ritual to arrive at her unique sound. Her first album, under the moniker Nadine Mooney, was released in 2008 by Tender Loving Empire. She then underwent a series of life-altering events that necessitated a six year hiatus from the public eye. She returned in 2012, playing harp in an electroacoustic experimental trio, Waver Clamor Bellow where she got her first taste of live electronic manipulations. She soon returned to solo performing, this time under the the Dolphin Midwives moniker. Dolphin Midwives' debut, Orchid Milk, was self-released on limited-edition tape in 2016 (re-released by Obsolete Media Objects). Fisher's installation, Naturaphones, shown in 2017 in Portland, OR at The Bison Building, was the culmination of a six month residency for PNCA+OCAC, and featured four large-scale acoustic sculptures, ambient performance, and several sculptural prototypes. She founded and directed Dröna Choir to perform her original choral work, invisibility ritual; exploring the vastness between silence and sound, and performed on the new moon in total darkness. Her sound art performance/installation, Break: preparations for the apocalypse, was shown at Variform in 2018. Liminal Garden, Fishers’ debut studio album, was released internationally in 2019 by Beacon Sound/Sounds et al to critical acclaim, earning the artist mentions in The New York Times, SPIN, and The Guardian, among other publications. In 2019, Dolphin Midwives joined the ranks of Portland's “Best New Bands” according to the Willamette Week. In 2020 she teamed up with Grammy-winning producer, Tucker Martine, to record Body of Water. The pop-leaning transitional album, released July 2021 by Beacon Sound, was awarded Bandcamp Album of the Day and Best Oregon-Made Album of 2021 (PDX Monthly) and was praised by musikexpress, AudioFemme, Brainwashed, Beats Per Minute, and Treble Zine, and more. Shedding the Dolphin Midwives moniker and coming out of the shadows, as lucid, transformed and unabashed Cyane, marks a healing journey and a climatic step into power for the artist.
Praise for Body of Water:
“if FKA twigs lived under the sea or Björk were more into whispering…washes over you, shepherding you through moments of dissonance and discomfort toward brushes with the sublime…don’t be surprised if you find yourself tearing up” -PDX Monthly
“[Sage’s] vocal harmonizing turn[s] back on itself in a never-ending cycle. Body of Water is a remarkable work of great depth, an intriguing album that casts a spell, drawing you into its mysterious realm” -AudioFemme
“a truly intoxicating, extraordinary, and even alien blend of future pop…emotional currents running wild in [an] aquatic world of loss and mental acrobatics… “mov[ing] in and out of the physical” …Body of Water …find[s] its creator being lost to its waters, becoming one with them…receives listeners with open arms” -Beats Per Minute
“Keeping the beauty of previous work but stepping in new directions no less lovely, Body of Water is one of this year’s almost criminally underheard records” -Treble Zine
“sensual and psychotropic strain of outsider R&B…an immersive swirl of delightful mindfuckery anchored by memorable hooks, simmering grooves, and a newly unveiled soulfulness” -Brainwashed
“Dolphin Midwives’ songs chitter and vibrate, layering altered voices on top of synthetic beats in piles of translucent sound…pop…viewed through a prism, its outlines broken up into shards and transmuted into colors…her voice like a burning filament through it all, her voice flickering with vibrato and electronic manipulation” -Dusted Magazine
“[Body of Water] flowers over repeated listens…a fully-formed, welcoming LP" -Graded on a Curve
Praise for Liminal Garden:
“…loops of harp and electronic sounds, and…her voice, to construct tracks that evolve from ambient Minimalism to something considerably more volatile”
-The New York Times
“…Portland composer Sage Fisher, tingles the upper registers of human hearing: she plays the highest notes of her harp, processing and fracturing the results in search of an effect that she likens to how it feels to experience trauma…One for fans of Holly Herndon and Mary Lattimore" -The Guardian
"Recursive, minimal harp melodies…intricate production, layers of electronic distortion mount a near-constant attack on the music’s more acoustic components. The result is starkly beautiful, with cracked electroacoustic reconfigurations of the harp at the center of it all” -SPIN