Jessica Pavone in a blue studded smock surrounded by tree branches
Credit: Logan White

About a decade ago, back trouble forced Jessica Pavone to stop playing viola for nearly two years. Since her return, the impact of music upon the health and well-being of both performers and listeners has been one of the New York-based artist’s essential concerns. When she was composing the material for her most recent ensemble album, Lull (Chaikin), she asked her soloists about their favorite notes to play, then worked those notes into the score. In her solo practice, Pavone likewise makes sure that music physically feels good to perform. Recently she’s studied with sound healers and learned about cymatics, which attempts to describe the effects of sound waves on the human body using observations taken from physics. On the four unaccompanied pieces that comprise When No One Around You Is There but Nowhere to Be Found (Relative Pitch), Pavone lets the music develop patiently, exploring the grain and movement of one zone of sound before moving to the next. But as she proceeds between passages of bright, bowed harmonics, folk-song-like melody, and electronically filtered resonance, the density of event in each moment is highly concentrated and vividly compelling.

Jessica Pavone’s When No One Around You Is There but Nowhere to Be Found drops on Relative Pitch Records on 1/28.