Davia Spain is a prism. The light and dark of a life buoyed by triumph and marred by tragedy is refracted through her work, the lilt of existence as recognizable as her lithe contralto. Her art is a melange of mediums, a stew of classical and jazz training, electronic experimentation, theater, intrepid filmmaking and sinuous dance. Her latest work, ‘Dawning,’ is an exhalation, a diaphramatic release in which her experiences are explored, absorbed and released through a sci-fi concept album about a woman sent from underwater to save earth.

It’s also fully gorgeous. The project is at once spacious and furious, the electronic storm of ‘Surrender’ closely followed by the peace of standout track ‘Hello,’ a lush contemplation on suicide and resilience.

Through multi-disciplinary, multi-medium live performances, she creates experiences that are ever-changing, as tempestuous as our capricious hearts. Supported by some of Los Angeles’ finest talent - the braggadocios beats of Bapari, the sumptuous scoring of Amanda Yamate, the luxurious work of guitarist Mx.Matias - her sets use minimalist staging and instrumentation to create an experience as soothing as it is inspiring.

Spain’s artistic journey started in church at a very young age, her present-day afrofuturistic explorations girded by music of our past. She cites luminaries from Erykah Badu to Octavia Butler as influences, both uncanny sooth-sayers. Spain can seemingly see our future, too, a time where our perilous, blistering present congeals into a wiser future.

‘Light is inspiration, light is energy, light is love. But I also think that darkness is all those things, too. Because if you look into outer space, there’s more darkness than there is light.’

No matter how long the night, Spain reminds us there will always be a dawn.

words by Tolliver