Published Nov 05, 2013AHEYM is the fruit of yet another close working relationship between the Kronos Quartet and a composer of new music. This time they've joined forces with Bryce Dessner, whose work as both an academic composer (he holds a degree from the Yale School of Music) and as an art rocker with the National combine seamlessly to create musical textures that draw the ear in before exploding into larger sonic territories and revealing surprising moments of beauty lurking within the internal logic of his music.
Many of the Kronos Quartet's best recordings have been a result of exactly this same kind of organic collaboration with composers in the midst of their creative process, but even by Kronos standards, this one is exceptional.
The music on AHEYM unfolds as a natural progression from pieces written specifically for the Kronos Quartet to works that build outward from there. The commissioned "Little Blue" is followed by two ambitious pieces: "Tenebre" begins as a string quartet composition before transforming into a sound of multi-tracked quartets with vocals by Sufjan Stevens, while "Tour Eiffel" closes out the disc with a tour de force that adds in the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, percussion, piano and trombone for a breathlessly orchestrated statement of Dessner's vision. (Anti)