“Some artists traverse boundaries. Sarah Lipstate’s work seems to come from a world where they never existed. Her color-rich visual art has a mournful literary quality to it; her short films trigger collisions of emotional crosscurrents; and her instrumental music, which she makes under the name Noveller (emphasis on the middle syllable), seems to call to attention all senses at once, to the point where even the word music seems somehow limiting.” – Time Out NY
“…simultaneously soothing and mind-wrecking noise, along with a compositional depth that most loud-for-the-hell-of-it guitar droners never reach.” – NY Press
“…hypnotic, rich-textured electric guitar works.” – New York Times
“Sarah Lipstate creates miniature musical worlds, places that you feel like you’ll never leave long as the record is playing.” - Pitchfork
Noveller is the solo electric guitar project of Brooklyn/Austin-based composer and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Handling the guitar as her muse, Lipstate summons a sonic palette so rich as to challenge the listener to conceive of how it’s housed in a single instrument manipulated by a solitary performer. Her one-woman guitar soundscapes have captured the attention of NPR, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, and The Wall Street Journal.
She released her first two full-length albums on Brooklyn noise label No Fun Productions in 2009. In 2010, Lipstate started her own imprint, Saffron Recordings, as a vehicle for releasing the Noveller full-length ‘Desert Fires’ and a split LP between Noveller and unFact (David Wm. Sims of the Jesus Lizard) titled ‘Bleached Valentine’. In May 2011, she released the critically acclaimed ‘Glacial Glow’ jointly through Saffron Recordings and Weird Forest. She teamed up with Important Records and Taiga Records in 2013 to release the highly anticipated followup album ‘No Dreams’. In July 2014, Shelter Press released a vinyl pressing of a collaborative effort between Noveller and thisquietarmy. Lipstate's newest full-length, 'Fantastic Planet', arrives on January 27th, 2015, on Fire Records.
Noveller has toured the U.S. and internationally, at times supporting acts such as St. Vincent, Xiu Xiu, the Jesus Lizard, U.S. Girls, Aidan Baker, and Emeralds. Lipstate has collaborated with several renowned musicians, including live improvised duo performances with Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers), David Wm. Sims (the Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), and JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia). She has previously performed as a member of Cold Cave, Parts & Labor, and One Umbrella. Lipstate has also participated in Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, Ben Frost’s “Music for 6 Guitars” Ensemble, and Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble. Lipstate joined the hit podcast Radiolab on a nationwide tour of their live show, Apocalyptical, performing a live cinematic score for their show along with fellow musicians Glenn Kotche (of Wilco) on percussion and Darin Gray on upright bass.
FILM SCORING + COMPOSITION
Sarah Lipstate began composing for film in 2012 in collaboration with renowned composer Nathan Larson (Boys Don’t Cry, Margin Call). Lipstate has composed original music for the following features and short films:
Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible (animated short film, dir. Sharon Shattuck & Flora Lichtman) - 2014
The Skeleton Twins (dir. Craig Johnson) - 2014
Happy Baby (dir. Stephen Elliott) - 2014
The Truth About Emanuel (dir. Francesca Gregorini) - 2014
Flushing Flesh (short film, dir. Taylor Cohan) – 2014
The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace (animated short film, dir. Sharon Shattuck & Flora Lichtman) – 2013
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (dir. Sam Fleischner) – 2013
The Moment (dir. Jane Weinstock) - 2013
Plus One (dir. Dennis Illiadis) - 2013
The Supreme Price (dir. Joanna Lipper) – 2013
TRAITORS (dir. Sean Gullette) – 2013
Grand Street (dir. Lex Sidon) – 2013
The D.C. based ensemble, Low End String Quartet, approached Lipstate in late 2010 to compose a commissioned work for their 2012 season. The quartet premiered her piece, “Into the Midnight Sun,” at the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA in April 2012. The instrumentation featured electric guitar, electric violin, cello, and double bass.
FILMS + INSTALLATIONS
Lipstate’s short films screened at the SXSW film festival in 2006 and 2007, and earned Lipstate the “Diamond in the Rough Cut” award for exceptional emerging filmmaker at Cinematexas 2006. She debuted a new film, ‘Interior Variations’, at the New Museum as part of No Fun: Infinite Sound and Image in May 2009. The film also screened at the 12th Kyoto International Film & Video Festival in Japan, and as part of the ‘New York Avant Cinema Series’ at the 23rd Singapore International Film Festival. Lipstate’s film works were showcased in the Women of NY Cinema screening as part of the 2009 NY Eye + Ear Festival in Tribeca.
In March 2011, Lipstate showed ARTIFACT, a multimedia installation exploring process, rescission, and artifact in film and sound, at Splatterpool Artspace in Brooklyn. She collaborated with Chris Habib to create an interactive personal echo chamber fitted with a cassette player running one pre-recorded tape loop. Each time a participant engages the echo chamber, a switch activates an erase head atop the structure deleting a portion of the audio randomly from the loop. As more people visit the chamber, more silence is restored to the tape.
Lipstate received a BS in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin in December 2006.