One of the bands that we were looking forward to most at this year’s Warped Tour was the highly acclaimed Gardening, Not Architecture. Angela got to sit down with Sarah, half of the genius that is GNA. If you don’t own their first record entitled The First LP make sure you head over to the official website and put it in your iTunes library, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Gardening, Not Architecture is an “electronic-tinged ethereal powerpop” collaboration between singer/songwriter Sarah Saturday and engineer/producer Beau Sorenson that started as a side project in 2004, with a few songs they recorded at Beau’s apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. In March of 2007, the duo recorded their first official release at Smart Studios in Madison: a four-song ep entitled “The First EP,” which Sarah self-released for free through the G,NA website, and for sale in online stores. The only physical copies of “The First EP” were 49 signed and numbered CDs with handmade paper sleeves and inserts — made by Sarah — as well as a limited run of handmade tour edition CDs, which included the music video for “If You Only Knew.”
The project was intended to be a studio-only collaboration, with no plans for touring. But as the music began to spread online, requests poured in from new fans all over the country for a Gardening, Not Architecture tour. In September 2008, Sarah booked two Los Angeles shows, experimenting ways of translating the recorded songs to a live show. Then, to re-establish herself as a working musician, Sarah (who been working in the music industry since her old band broke up in 2004) completed a three-week self-booked west coast tour in March 2009 (19 shows in 21 days). The live performance featured Sarah as the sole performer, singing and playing bass, with a laptop for backing tracks. The show revolved around a handmade LED “light wall” — built by Sarah — that was programmed with choreographed lights for each song. The response was overwhelming, and the duo began making plans to take the project to the next level.
By Angela Davis