Sarah Elise Thompson Performs ‘sanddollar’ Live at Enmore


For the first time ever, Live at Enmore has presented a purely instrumental performance. It comes courtesy of Sydney composer and pianist Sarah Elise Thompson, with a piece titled sanddollar. 

Written for vibraphone, Thompson arranged the piece for solo piano for her Live at Enmore session. Influenced by the American minimalist tradition, sanddollar is hypnotic, with cascading motifs that lull you into a state of meditative submission. It’s set to appear on her debut album, self centre, which will arrive on November 5.

Bubbling with repetitive rhythms, sanddollar is a study of dynamic transitions over time, with rare fragments of melody rising above the mix. The result is a piece that transports you.

sanddollar was Mixed and Recorded by Dan Shaw, Radi Safi, and Owen Penglis

Sarah Elise Thompson

Being an instrumental piece, the piano was opened up and allowed to breathe fully, enabling an uncompromised capture of the instrument — both visually and sonically — from a number of angles.

“I wrote this piece in 2020, just before all the craziness of last year,” Thompson said before the session. “[It was about] going and seeing the most incredible Californian sunsets.” 

Check out the performance below:

For more on Sarah Elise Thompson, follow her on Instagram. Pre-save her debut album self centre, here.

The Live at Enmore series is made possible with the help of our tech partner Audio-Technica. Here’s a list of the microphones that were used to capture this incredible performance:

Live at Enmore Gear List

The piano is a complex miking challenge. To capture all that top-end sparkle, we went with the AT4047.



Completing the picture for the piano were two mics on the rear. For this task, we opted for the robust, yet sensitive, AT4051b small-diaphragm cardioid condenser.