Electric Scent

Sophya Polevaya


On Ravello Records, London composer and saxophonist Sophya Polevaya offers ELECTRIC SCENT, a series of 19 instrumental meditations on the mythic power of flowers and perfumery.


Polevaya’s mastery of both composition and performance shines from the outset of ELECTRIC SCENT. Polevaya performs on more than a half dozen instruments throughout, including saxophone, cello, and harpsichord, yet her music is anything but traditional. Rather, she liberates these instruments from some of the frowsty confines of the Western canon and pushes them to their physical limits. The album opens with the throaty drone of a cello announcing a singular tone as harpsichord, saxophones, and a collection of found objects flutter and spark around it. In one fleeting miniature after another, Polevaya explores the tension between piercing tones and rasping cries, inviting the listener to consider more deeply every instrument’s distinctive timbre and the additional sonic layers created by effect pedals and loop stations. Each track jolts the listener into new appreciation, from the spritely, arrhythmic saxophone line of Tiger Lily to the surreal, electroacoustic manipulation of “Chypre.”


Like a perfumer concocting rich, mystifying aromas from potent botanical fragrances, Polevaya stirs together an extraordinary collection of sensory delights in ELECTRIC SCENT. The album is a not-to-be-missed work, speaking directly to the compelling artistic prowess of Polevaya.



Release Date: November 15, 2019

Catalog #: RR8024

Format: Physical & Digital



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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.



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