Published Jun 03, 2009Now that all the Dark Was the Night hubbub is dying down, Aaron and Bryce Dessner are setting their sights on yet another non-National project. This time it will be a new mixed-media piece done in collaboration with visual artist Matthew Ritchie, including guest vocal spots from the Breeders' Kim and Kelley Deal, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden and fellow National band-mate Matt Berninger.
The piece is being dubbed The Long Count and is commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, who are also giving the Dessners a 12-piece chamber orchestra to play with. Apparently, The Long Count involves an eclectic array of themes, including the 1976 World Series and a Mayan creation myth, of all things.
In the words of the press release: "Jointly conceived by the collaborators as a one-hour, immersive multimedia experience exploring ideas of symmetry and creation, The Long Count weaves together disparate themes ranging from the hero twins of the Popul Vuh (a Mayan creation myth) to the epic 1976 World Series victory of the Cincinnati Reds over the New York Yankees (which occurred in the year of the Cincinnati-born Dessners' birth).
"Ritchie's large-scale sculptural environment frames a one-hour animated film made from the artist's intricate, biomorphic drawings. An evocative, complex score and song cycle composed and performed by the Dessners and a 12-member chamber orchestra will be illuminated and sung by guest artists."
Also, if you're looking for some more details, Ritchie has given us this image to mull over, not that it will help all that much.
The piece will run as part of BAM's Next Wave festival in Brooklyn, and will be performed by the Dessners & Co. on October 28, 30 and 31. On the last night, there will be a Q & A session with the Dessners and Ritchie.
No word yet if The Long Count will take on album form, but the National are still reportedly working on that Boxer follow-up.