Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

BAM! Halloween w/The Deal Sisters and Dessner Brothers

Posted by xneverwherex on November 1, 2009

10/31/09

The Long Count – a multimedia piece by Aaron & Bryce Dessner (of The National) and artist Matthew Ritchie at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Oddly enough – a preview for the movie 2012 came up on my television. Ironic in the sense that its based on this premise that the Mayan calendar ends at 2012 and theres a lot of speculation what will happen at the end of the world.

And this is part of the idea behind The Long Count. The Long Count is based on a narrative poem titled the Popol Vuh about the hero twins and how the Long Count began. Its hard to explain, and I remember learning about this when studying Latin American Studies in college. It was long ago but this still makes sense in its own way.

This combines the World Series of baseball (1975/1976 – the year the Dessners were born) when the Reds vs Yankees were playing in the playoffs. Interestingly, the Yankees are playing again right now. The Mayan ball game was also a huge part of life although the losing team played a far higher price (beheadings were all too common). The beheading is also how the twins were born.

All of this leads to the idea of time and space and the way they believed in time and the power of the Sun/Moon and the earth and the way cycles work. And the idea of twins play heavily into this – they were very revered.

In this case, one set of twins, the Dessners, inspired another more famous set of twins (the Deals) to all come together and to work on this performance piece. What transpires has to be the most innovative show Ive seen in a long time. Easily my favorite show of this year. The art is massive and dark and invokes feelings of blood and earth and cycles. Things come, go, and move onward. Then you add the lovely Shara Worden whose voice was made for this and she invokes the goddess Venus as she sings about the sun and the moon. Her voice is powerful and strong and in the headdress youre moved into another world.

The Deal sisters add a whole nother pow to the show. Kim Deal’s voice is incredible and raw and add the violin pounding of Kelley and kabam! Its intense and the screeching of it hits you hard.

The real treat is the orchestra. Each person is beyond talented and if you read the bios have played with artists like the Arcade Fire. The violins are powerful, the saxophone is intense and the guy in front of me hitting the keys hard of the piano helps take you to this other world.

The music and lyrics are mostly written by the Dessners and its hard not to argue that they might be the most talented guys out there. I was fortunate to get to see them talking with Matthew Ritchie of the making of this art performance. It was interesting the way they came up with the idea and where it was going to go. They are talented guys who have transcended far beyond The National.

All I can really add – if this ever does a worldwide tour, it’d behoove you not to see it. The National are great to see (and Matt does perform one song – and his low voice might have been one of the best voices of the night) but this takes everything to a far greater place. Besides who wouldnt want to see the Deal sisters along with the Dessners together. It was insanely awesome!

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