Entries tagged with: Rob Moose
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Fiona & Blake @ LPR - 10/1/14
Frequent Fiona Apple collaborator/guitarist/opener Blake Mills is currently on a headlining tour that Fiona has been showing up at for a few songs a night. She joined him once again when the tour hit NYC last night (10/1) for its first of two shows here. Last night's was at Le Poisson Rouge and had Blake and his band -- which includes Bon Iver/The National collaborator Rob Moose, Stuart Johnson, Tyler Chester and Sebastian Steinberg -- playing off Blake's recently-released Heigh Ho album, plus some of his 2010 debut Break Mirrors and a couple covers too. Full setlist below. Rob Moose's group yMusic opened. Pictures of the show are in this post.
Blake & co. and yMusic do it again at Rough Trade NYC on October 8 (also sold out). More pictures from LPR below...
"I don't know who you are @BreakMirrors but this 'Heigh Ho' album is some astounding stuff. #deeproots" - Marc Maron
Fiona Apple w/ Blake Mills & band - 2 days ago (via tangoalphatango)
Fiona Apple frequent-collaborator/guitarist/opener Blake Mills is currently out on his own headlining tour in support of his latest solo album Heigh Ho (Fiona also sings on two tracks). A press release describes his band for the tour as, "Rob Moose on violin, Stuart Johnson on drums, Tyler Chester on keys and Sebastian Steinberg on bass, among other frequent Mills collaborators." And they weren't lying. Frequent Mills collaborator Fiona Apple has been performing at the gigs. It happened in Seattle, in Portland, and in Fiona and Blake's home state of California (in multiple cities).
The tour continues in St. Paul on Friday before hitting IL, MA, PA, DC and NYC for two sold out shows (at Le Poisson Rouge and Rough Trade). Will Fiona venture this far east? A "special guest" is confirmed for both nights.
Remaining tour dates are listed with some videos below...
Blake Mills at the Cap in 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Blake Mills, a frequent tourmate and collaborator of Fiona Apple, will release his new album, Heigh Ho, on September 16 via Verve/Record Collection. The album's single, "Don't Tell Our Friends About Me," features Fiona, along with Jon Brion (who's produced multiple Fiona Apple albums, Kanye's Late Registration, and more, and scored Magnolia, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and more), Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony and the Johnsons, Sufjan Stevens) and Gabriel Kahane. Stream that song, with another track from the LP, below. Another song on the album, "Seven," will feature Fiona as well.
Blake is going on a tour following the album's release which hits NYC for shows on October 1 at Le Poisson Rouge and October 8 at Rough Trade. The Rough Trade show is with National/Bon Iver/Dirty Projectors/etc collaborators yMusic. Tickets for LPR and Rough Trade go on sale Friday at 10 AM and noon, respectively.
All dates are listed, with the new song stream, below...
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
Beth Orton @ Town Hall, 10/4/2012
Beth Orton played Town Hall last night supporting her just-released Sugaring Season , her first LP in six years. She started her set solo, switching between acoustic guitar and piano, but was joined after a few songs by opener Sam Amidon, as well as Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett and violinist Rob Moose who accompanyed her for the rest of the set. Orton's also quite the storyteller, entertaining the crowd between numbers -- with a thicker South London accent than you might expect given the delicate nature of her songs.
As mentioned, Sam Amidon opened the show and Doveman and Moose accompanied him as well on his set of Irish and traditional folk songs. Doveman, Sam and Beth will join forces again at Beacon Theater on October 30. Meanwhile you can catch Doveman next Friday (10/12) at LPR with, as previously mentioned, guests Owen Pallett and Dawn Landes, as well as the just-added Steve Salett.
More photos from last night's Town Hall show are below.
photos by Tim Griffin
Glen Hansard @ Hotel Vegan (BV-SXSW 2012)
Over 20 years in the making, singer songwriter Glen Hansard will release his first ever solo album, Rhythm and Repose, on Anti- Records June 19. Best known for his work with The Frames, The Swell Season and in the feature film Once, for which he won an Academy Award, Rhythm and Repose is Hansard's debut solo album and first album of new material since his 2009 release Strict Joy with The Swell Season. The album will be available for presale at http://www.anti.com/storeGlen Hansard previewed some of those new songs at SXSW where one of the shows he played was the BrooklynVegan day party at 'Hotel Vegan' on Thursday, March 15th. Some pictures and videos from his 12:45pm set are in this post.
In recent months Hansard has been seen in the documentary The Swell Season which has toured the film festival circuit this year, contributed two songs to the blockbuster soundtrack, The Hunger Games, and been active in the promotion of Once, The Musical which successfully opened on Broadway on March 18 to rave reviews, including the New York Times who explains, "what was always wonderful about 'Once,' its songs and its staging, has been magnified." Hansard will support the new record on a U.S. tour.
Rhythm and Repose is a result of Hansard's last year and a half of living in New York City. The album was recorded by Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Arto Lindsay, Laurie Anderson) and produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The National, Antony and the Johnsons). The record features the musical talents of Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright) on bass, Ray Rizzo on drums, Nico Muhly and Rob Moose on strings (Bon Iver, Y Music), David Mansfield on slide guitar (Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour), Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen touring band) and half of Bruce Springsteen's current horn section. Assisting on vocals are Cristin Milioti (Once, The Musical), Sam Amidon, Marketa Irglova and Aida Shahghasemi (Marketa Irglova touring band).
As the above blurb points out, the Once musical is running NOW in NYC, though Glen does not personally act or sing in it.
Glen, who meanwhile is hitting the road with Eddie Vedder, will headline four select shows in June including one on June 29 at Beacon Theater. Tickets for the NYC show went on presale today, and will become available to all as of 9am on Thursday (4/5).
All tour dates, the new solo album tracklist, and a Once musical video, below...
A thick cloak of darkness draped the stage of Radio City when Antony Hegarty began to sing. My eyes trained on his white floor-length robe, the only thing that shone through the fog and shadows.
With its piano melodies and strings arrangements, the Antony and the Johnsons discography is far from sonically lacking. But after hearing the opening measures of "Rapture," the aptly named first song of the evening, it quickly became clear that Hegarty's music was destined to be bigger. And tonight it got that chance, thanks to the addition of a talented sixty-member orchestra. Under the guidance of conductor Rob Moose, Hegarty's music unfurled and exploded into a host of symphonic crescendos. And soon, the darkness on stage subsided as one-by-one, the screens that blanketed the stage began to lift to reveal a dream-like installation of hanging 3D geometric shapes. A restrained laser show only added to the mystique, at times blanketing Antony in a twinkling world of colorful light.
It was that rare kind of performance that breaks your heart only to have the pieces lovingly reassembled, down to the tiniest, most tender bloody shard. Hegarty's lyrics may reveal inner turmoil, but filtered through his sprawling multi-octave voice and unflinching poise, the painful material becomes mesmerizing, life-affirming, and wildly triumphant.
Combining songs from all four Antony and the Johnsons albums and at least one EP, the set revealed the evolution of the band's music, as well as Heggarty's emotions. He even threw in a surprisingly moving rendition of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" (slowed down and fleshed out to make it nearly unrecognizable). Hegarty powered through the majority of the set, playing some fourteen songs without speaking. But following the dramatic unveiling of the orchestra during "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground," Hegarty broke his spell of silence to introduce and sincerely thank everyone who helped make the MoMA-commissioned one-night event possible, including Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) on piano and Nico Muhly who - along with Maxim Moston and Rob Moose- arranged much of the music. "Well that's quite the bulk of the show," said Hegarty. "I'm so fucking glad. It was so ambitious, this production! It was really insane."
After the applause and laughter died down, Hegarty and his 60+ band mates signed off with two additional songs before the golden velvet curtain slowly made its descent, prompting the audience to collectively exhale before erupting into an elated standing ovation that resonated beautifully throughout the cavernous hall.
More pictures and the setlist from the 1/26 show, below...
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
The guest-filled six-night run of National shows came to an end on Saturday night (12/17), complete with an opening set by Bristol, England-based group This is the Kit who the National discovered on their recent tour of Europe. Maybe you watched the whole show livestreaming online.
Most of the guests on Saturday were the same as Friday, though no Trey. Saturday guests were Thomas Bartlett, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, Conrad Doucette and yMusic. Ben Lanz, who also played Thursday and Friday, was on trombone again after leaving the band earlier this year to join Beirut full time.
photos by David Andrako
National week at Beacon Theater continued on Friday night, 12/16, for the fifth night in a row. Shara Worden's project My Brightest Diamond opened the show and she later joined The National on stage as did Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman, Richard Reed Parry of the Arcade Fire, Conrad Doucette, Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota and string quartet yMusic... and Phish's Trey Anastasio who members of the National are working with right now. As Jambands.com points out:
"The Phish guitarist emerged partway through the group's set for "Blood Buzz Ohio," "Squalor Victoria" and "Murder Me Rachel." While onstage, the members of The National described the guitarist as "a hero of ours." Anastasio reemerged alongside Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry the evening's opening act My Brightest Diamond to play guitar on "Terrible Love." All of the night's guests then joined the members of The National for an acoustic sing-along based around "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks." National frontman Matt Berninger was particularly chatty throughout the show, jokingly describing Parry as a member of Kings of Leon and declaring "that's the sound of faces melting" after Anastasio's performance."You can watch a video with Trey in it below.
Antony w/ an orchestra in 2010 (more by Richard Termine)
This is awesome:
The Museum of Modern Art has commissioned artist/musician Antony to conceive, produce, and perform a large-scale concert and performance event, Swanlights, with Antony and the Johnsons, on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall. Featuring a 60-piece orchestra, the performance piece is conceived as a new commission especially developed for the January 26 performance, and an evolution of the highly acclaimed The Crying Light, which was presented at the Manchester Opera House for the 2009 Manchester International Festival. Envisioned as a meditation on light, nature, and femininity, Swanlights includes songs from all four of Antony and the Johnsons' albums (self-titled, I am a Bird Now, The Crying Light, and Swanlights), set to symphonic arrangements by Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, and Maxim Moston. It is produced in collaboration with light artist Chris Levine, lighting designer Paul Normandale, and set designer Carl Robertshaw. Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large of The Museum of Modern Art and Director of MoMA PS1, with the assistance of Eliza Ryan, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.Tickets go on sale Saturday, 11/12 at at 10am.
This month also sees a work-in-progress screening of TURNING, a film by Charles Atlas and Antony on November 11th at Copenhagen's Documentary Film Festival CPH:DOX.
Justin Vernon @ MHOW in 2010 (more by Paul Birman)
According to a press release, Bon Iver's August 10th 'Celebrate Brooklyn' show at the Prospect Park Bandshell will be his biggest NYC show yet, and...
"For the shows Justin Vernon will perform with a 9-piece band that includes many musicians who contributed to the forthcoming album 'Bon Iver,' out June 21 on Jagjaguwar. The touring band will consist of regular Bon Iver contributors Sean Carey (drums, piano), Mike Noyce (guitar) and Matt McCaughan (drums), Rob Moose on violin and guitar (Antony and the Johnsons, The National), Mike Lewis on bass (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and a horn section including Reginald Pace, Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens).Tickets go on "Celebrate Brooklyn" presale today (4/28) at noon. I believe the password is "celebratebklyn". Bon Iver's only other scheduled date at the moment is in Wisconsin.
Speaking of Andrew Bird, you don't need tickets at all to see him play the same venue this summer.
photos by Vincent Cornelli
Doveman played another guest-filled show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Saturday night. The backing band was comprised of Brad Albetta (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums), Rob Moose (guitar, violin), and Doug Wieselman (clarinet, bass clarinet). Thomas Bartlett was joined by guests Martha wainwright, Justin Bond, Hannah Cohen (whose record Thomas is producing), Jennifer Charles of Elysian fields, Norah Jones (as advertised), Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara), Nico Muhly, and Frames/Swell Season singer Glen Hansard. Pictures from the party are in this post.
No guests have been announced for Doveman's next shows yet, but this pats show's lineup has been the norm (read about past shows HERE and HERE), so get your tickets in advance if you want to go on May 26th or June 24th.
Meanwhile, Thomas/Doveman and Doug Wieselman will be two of the special guests at Jesse Harris's final residency show at the same venue this Tuesday night (4/26), as will the recently-added Kaki King. Tickets are still on sale.
You can also catch Martha on May 12 and 13 at the two shows honoring her late mother at Town Hall.
More pictures from Saturday's LPR show, below....
Bon Iver, the musical project of Justin Vernon that emerged to international acclaim in 2008 with 'For Emma, Forever Ago,' has confirmed the June 21 release of new album 'Bon Iver' on Jagjaguwar. Featuring 10 new songs penned by Vernon, the album expands the group's sonic palette beyond the rustic acoustics of the debut into a lush landscape of silky electric guitars, beautifully intricate keys, and subtle horn and string sections while keeping the ghost choirs and densely layered vocals intact that Bon Iver has become so known for.Justin's most recent accomplishments include playing with Gayngs, the National and Kanye West at Coachella over the weekend. That's the "Bon Iver" cover above. The tracklist is below...
Painstakingly crafted over three years, the album was recorded and mixed at April Base Studios, a former veterinarian's clinic in Fall Creek, WI, converted into a recording studio by Vernon and his brother. Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production; Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and strings; and Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek (who have previously collaborated with Vernon under the Volcano Choir moniker) provided processing. The album also features the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell) and a horn section including Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), Mike Lewis (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens)." [press release]
When you hear the word 'ecstatic,' chances are classical music isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Even Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), one of last night's featured musicians, admitted that his music was "kind of quiet" and snoozy." But a cursory glance at Nadia Sirota's frenzied delivery on the viola, and the classicaly-bent Ecstatic Music Festival's choice adjective doesn't seem like such a misnomer.
The evening was arranged in three parts, one for each of the featured musicians. Of course, the performances were also highly collaborative and often called for all five performers (including violinist Rob Moose and cellist Clarice Jensen) to be on stage. "We're all friends and drinking companions," Bartlett revealed.
As evidenced by the the recent stringof Burgundy Stain Sessions at Le Poisson Rouge, Bartlett is no stranger to performing with a wide range of talented musicians, but after nearly a month of touring solo in Australia, he averred that extra musicians were a welcome addition. "I think I'm hallucinating the quartet," joked the jet-lagged pianist early into the show. Bartlett and company played a selection of Doveman's melodious songs, including a brand new one about lost love that he wrote during his recent trip abroad.
Following Bartlett's portion, Nadia Sirota moved to the center of the stage, her viola tucked safely under her arm. With its measured, gentle introduction, her first piece, 'Drums and Viola' provided a smooth transition from Bartlett's music into her more frenetic contributions. But with each passing movement of the song, the tension rose. To keep up with the heightened pace, Sirota inhaled sharply every few beats, which made her performance even more physical and impassioned. Like Thomas Bartlett, Sirota was also thrilled to present a new piece - Missy Mazzoli's 'Tooth and Nail'.
The final leg of the show featured Owen Pallett's sprightly selections. Though he is best known for his elaborate violin-looping skills, Pallett (who used to be known as Final Fantasy) started on the keyboard, accompanied by Bartlett and the slightly truncated strings section. After a few songs however, he picked up the violin so as not to betray his fans or the event poster. The majority of Palett's songs came from his last album, Heartland, but he also played an older song or two, including "He Poos Clouds."
Besides one odd technical difficulty when the music halted temporarily during the "difficult" song ("Lewis Takes Off His Shirt"), the acoustics were excellent, thanks largely to the carefully-engineered wood paneling in Merkin Concert Hall.
After each musician had the chance to show off a selection of songs from his or her repertoire, the group united on stage once more to conclude the evening with Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart."
NY Times: You have a new CD out in March called "Justin Vivian Bond: Dendrophile." Explain.Dendrophile is Justin Bond (of Kiki & Herb fame)'s first solo record. It was produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and also features contributions by Sam Amidon, Rob Moose, Dawn Landes, Beth Orton (as mentioned above) and others.
Justin Vivian Bond: A dendrophile's a person who gets an erotic charge out of nature. I am one! This is a record for the tree-hugger community. I do Bambi Lake's "The Golden Age of Hustlers" on it, and also a duet of the Carpenters' "Superstar" with Beth Orton. As for Vivian, that's my self-given middle name. Justin is a very male-identified name, and I wanted something that would balance it. I had an uncle named Vivian Francis. He was a wonderful person, but he changed his name to Victor. He didn't like being Vivian. But it's fine with me.
Justin Bond, who seems to stick to the intimite confines of venues like Joe's Pub for headlining shows lately, will celebrate the new CD release with a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom on April 5th which is four days before the CD Release show in San Francisco. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale at noon today (2/24).
Opening the Bowery show will be Doveman who Justin (and pretty much everyone else mentioned in this post so far) recently joined for a show at Le Poisson Rouge. Maybe Justin will pop in again when Doveman and guests return to LPR on March 16th. Tickets are still on sale for that.
Justin, who was in attendance to see his Scissor Sisters and Lady Gaga play Madison Square Garden this week, also has a special show coming up at Joe's Pub on March 7th - a new musical he co-wrote with Sandra Bernhard and Scissor Sister Jake Shears. On March 9th Justin hosts a book reading in NYC.
Watch a recent video feature on Justin, Joe's Pub footage included, below...
photos by Richard Termine
DOWNLOAD: Antony - Thank You For Your Love (MP3)
"This is how it must feel to be an ovum," the singer Antony Hegarty said with a tone of gentle amusement as latecomers flooded down the aisles of Alice Tully Hall during the concert he presented there on Saturday night. It was the second time this singer, who goes by his first name, stopped to let stragglers find their seats. Earlier he had abruptly cut off a song just started -- "Ghost," from his rapturously lovely new album, "Swanlights" -- then tried to smooth over an awkward silence by whistling Satie's "Gymnopédie" No. 1...Reading that first paragraph of the Times review makes me feel a little better, since I was also late to the show, but I was so late I actually missed all of that starting and stopping happening.
...Here, performing as part of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival, Antony stood shrouded in shadow and sheathed in a flowing black gown. In place of his Johnsons, the Orchestra of St. Luke's accompanied him in songs largely drawn from "Swanlights" and its predecessor, "The Crying Light." Rob Moose, elsewhere a musically polyamorous violinist, conducted; at the piano was Thomas Bartlett, a sensitive chamber-pop singer otherwise known as Doveman. [NY Times]
I think there were at least two big issues that caused people to be late. One of them was the show's kind-of-unfortunate 7:30pm start time (7:30 sharp on a Saturday night with no opener). The other was that the 1/2/3 trains were all screwed up, and I personally spent the first 30 minutes of the show sitting underground in a train that wasn't going anywhere. At least there were people dressed up for Halloween adorning all the stations and cars. That made the situation feel slightly less tense. That said, by the time I got there, every seat in the house was full, so late or not, everyone eventually got there, and what I saw was unsuprisingly beautiful and worth finally making it there for.
Nico Muhly was responsible for many of the arrangements of the night, and behind Antony and the orchestra was the film "Mr. O's Book of the Dead", a 1973 film by Chiaki Nagano featuring the Butoh master Kazuo Ohno and his troupe. Kazuo is the one on the cover of Antony and the Johnsons' 2009 CD The Crying Light. And as the NY Times sums up nicely, it was "Projected overhead throughout the performance -- even during the awkward breaks -- it was both a potent visualization of gender ambiguity, vulnerability and pain, and a garish distraction from music's transfixing intensity and beauty."
It was Antony's only North American show this year. Hopefully he'll tour some more in support of his new album "Swanlights" which was released on October 12th via Secretly Canadian. Download "Thank You For Your Love" from that LP above, and watch Antony's performance of the same song from the October 8th episode of Letterman in the video, under the rest of the pictures from Lincoln Center, below...
DOWNLOAD: Antony - Thank You For Your Love (MP3)
Antony and the Johnsons will play their only North American live show of 2010 at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, October 30. They will be performing with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, which will be conducted by Rob Moose. Chiaki Nagano's film "Mr. O's Book of the Dead" starring Kazuo Ohno will be featured during the performance. The performance kicks off Lincoln Center's White Light Fest. Tickets can be purchased here.Antony and the Johnsons' new album, "Swanlights" will be out on October 12th (in the US) via Secretly Canadian. And a book:
Abrams Image will simultaneously release a special edition of "Swanlights" which will include the CD inside a 144-page hard cover book containing Antony's paintings, collages, photography and writing. The album only version of "Swanlights" on Secretly Canadian will also include the song "Flétta", a duet with Björk. The album and book are a continuation of Antony's work exploring his connection to the natural world.That's at least two new albums that Bjork appears on this year. She is on Olof Arnalds' new album too.
The Antony show at Lincoln Center "is part of the Great Performers Chamber Orchestra series"
Antony's newest video, for "Thank You For Your Love" (MP3 above), can be watched below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DM Stith plays The Stone on X-Mas...
pictured @ 92YTribeca in October (more by Vincent Cornelli)
The Stone has a great lineup of innovative pop-based acts scheduled for this December. Curators Sam Kulik (multi-instrumentalist who plays trombone in Nervous Cabaret) and David Garland (singer & songwriter and host of WNYC's "Spinning On Air" and "Evening Music") are the month's guest curators at the space.
Let's get into some highlights.
Danielson will somehow pack his "family group" into the venue for a night of music on December 22nd. They just put out a new 7" single on his Sounds Familyre label. The video for its lead track "Moment Soakers" is below. Later that night, you can also see M6, a six-person vocal ensemble that performs the work of innovative composer Meredith Monk.
Diane Cluck is there on December 16th.
Larkin Grimm plays after David Garland on the 17th.
Rob Moose plays violin and other instruments with Antony and the Johnsons, My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens and others. He plays his first-ever solo show at the venue on December 18th.
Currituck County aka Kevin Barker is the late show on the 19th, and the one and only Dave Deporis will be there on the 27th.
And for those with an open Christmas Day, the venue presents an 8pm set from Asthmatic Kitty-signed songwriter DM Stith and a 10pm set that promises to be entertaining: David Garland (piano, clarinet), son Kenji Garland (some-input mixer) and guests present "Processing Xmas" which will features "Familiar seasonal songs processed and emancipated; family improvs; audience sing-alongs; a warm get-together on a winter night."
Then the month and year end with "JOHN ZORN'S ANNUAL END OF THE YEAR IMPROV" on Dec. 30th, and a TBA New Year's Eve event.
The Stone's full December schedule is below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Aaron Dessner - We Were Born (from the Long Count) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Long Count - Bull Run (feat. Kelley Deal) (MP3)
Twins! (the Dessners & the Deals)
The Long Count kicks off its three show engagement at BAM's Gilman Opera House tonight (10/28). Tickets are still available for the show, as well as for the Friday (10/30) and Saturday (10/31) performances.
The 70-minute music and multimedia piece, commissioned by BAM Next Wave Festival, is the work of Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National and visual artist Matthew Ritchie. But they haven't been working alone. At every step of composing and arranging the Long Count over the past year, the brothers have tapped into their crew of skilled collaborators. The 12-piece orchestra that will be joining them on stage counts talents like NYC violist Nadia Sirota (who played last month's Archipelago series show), sax/bass clarinet player Colin Stetson, and Antony & the Johnsons' guitarist/violinist/conductor Rob Moose (who in particular assisted with some of the arranging duties).
As previously mentioned, the Breeders' Kim and Kelley Deal (twins) collaborated with the Dessners (also twins) on much of the music - they sing for nearly half of the show. Other vocal turns will be taken by the Nationals' Matt Berninger and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden.
All four singers play roles in the narrative of the Long Count, which takes its story from the Mayan creation myth of Popol Vuh. In that, multiple sets of twins (in the story and on stage) experience repeated cycles of life and death until giving birth to the world as we know it. The original tale ties in strongly with a ballgame played by its main characters - an element which the Dessners have woven in with their love of baseball, particularly Cincinnati Reds and the Big Red Machine.
Musically, the Long Count sections posted above, both from the show's work-in-progress performance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on September 11th, showcase the piece's diversity. The first, "We Were Born," highlights the minimalist pedigree of the show, while "Bull Run" layers those elements with fearsome orchestral lines and extremely creepy vocals by Kelley Deal.
Paired with the spooky nature of Mathew Ritchie's animation (which you can preview here) the show looks to be a good Halloween night warm-up as any. In fact, the early Saturday night show has the most tickets available, and it follows a pre-show Q&A (ticketed separately) led by Brandon Stosuy (who's curating the Mount Eerie + metal show at Market Hotel later in the night).
Bryce generously answered some of our questions over the phone while in the last week of rehearsal (and in the hectic center of CMJ week). More photos from the production, and that interview, where he reveals the existence of an unreleased Christmas album he made with Sufjan, details on the new National record and more, below...