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Classical - Released March 24, 2021 | 37d03d


Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | 37d03d

Bryce Dessner is known as one of the members of the Cincinnatti, Ohio-based indie rock band The National. Formed in 1999, The National were impressive from their very first performances, releasing albums to immediate critical acclaim while gradually gaining commercial success and numerous awards. The album High Violet reached number three on the US Billboard 200 in 2010. But Dessner has another career as a classical musician (orchestra, chamber music and vocal compositions) and has done for about fifteen years. He has worked with many institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet and the Barbican Centre, among others. He has also collaborated with the leading names in contemporary music, whether Philip Glass, Steve Reich or Ryuichi Sakamoto (on the soundtrack of the film The Revenant ). For this classical project, Bryce Dessner responded to a proposal from Australian institutions, with the Sydney Dance Company and, performing the music, the Australian String Quartet. This is how this new work, Impermanence / Disintegration was born. The title, the theme and the dramatic tone of this play all refer in a strange way to the situation of an entire planet at a standstill and in the grip of an exceptional pandemic. The nine tracks that make up this album thus chime with the fragility, the struggle and the incessant rhythm of the impermanence that constitutes life itself. The influence of the mentors of repetitive music, Glass and Reich, can of course be felt here - how can one not think of them on the very beautiful Pulsing? But it falls to Dessner to weave together the links, and to develop the material while appropriating it. From the introduction, on Alarms, he shows a real talent and great mastery, handling a tenuous rhythm, a strict tempo that accommodates occasional ruptures and flights of fancy. Through these nine pieces, we feel all the urgency and beauty of the disaster. The Australian String Quartet, with Dale Barltrop on first violin, Francesca Hiew on second violin, Stephen King on viola and Rachael Tobin on cello, perform his compositions with great virtuosity. Note on the last track, Another World, the presence of singer Anohni, formerly known as Antony Hegarty (now a woman), the former leader of Antony & the Johnsons, who also writes the lyrics. Combining music with performance, a premiere of Impermanence took place, after a cancellation, in February 2021 in Sydney. To give an idea, a video just over three minutes long, for the song Impermanence, was shot and is available on YouTube, featuring dancers Mia Thompson and Riley Fitzgerald from the Sydney Dance Company, choreographed by Rafael Bonachela. The bodies embrace and disengage. A piece of graphic originality thought up by the director, Clemens Habicht, the two bodies are seen against a grey background, and in certain shots their arms disappear into the background, echoing amputated antique statues such as the Venus de Milo. This gives the project its drama, the fragility of these cut-out bodies combining perfectly with the sinuous melody of the violins. The nine-track, forty-minute album was released on the 37do3d label, created by the Dessner brothers and Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver. © Yan Céh/Qobuz


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