Posts Tagged ‘side project’

Matt Berninger and Aaron and Bryce Dessner have contributed to a new children’s iPad story app called Dragon Brush.

The story, which is based on a traditional Chinese folktale, was narrated by Matt. The music was done by Aaron & Bryce. The illustrations were done by John Solimine of Spike Press, who has done the artwork for many of The National’s posters.

Matt Berninger said in a press release: “The story has all my favorite things: waterfalls, magical dragons, and the sound of my own voice.”

preview it below




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There is no question the Dessner brothers have a musical reach well beyond the saturated rock songs of their day job.

Read the entire review HERE

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I was watching a video interview with him about The Long Count which was interesting – he said that for him, it also extended to ideas of games and combat, conflict and play in every day life. Was that of significance to you too?

AD: Yeah, definitely. I remember… early on, it was very much about games and play and tests, and we tried to affect that in the music. A lot of the music involves these chases, or mirroring – my brother and I can play guitar in really unique ways together because of how we grew up. Literally I can look at his hand and play the exact same thing or the exact opposite thing, or a key off. What usually happens is that I’m playing something and he plays a mirror or echo of it, and a lot of music is like that, and it’s extended into the ensemble also, so it’s like twins also. That extends into the film as well – you see the film, the two diamond shape films, and then they reflect down off of this mirror floor, so everything is doubled or quadrupled, so this has this interesting effect where it’s all very playful.

You must both be acutely aware of the ways in which you and Bryce work together and apart.

AD: I think we have this instinctive feeling that if we hit a wall at some point, that the other will be able to break through it. We have different tendencies: he’s much more academic about music than I am, and I’m more visceral or spontaneous. It’s probably easier for me to generate lots of new ideas, a constant stream, and in a way it’s easier for him to finish those ideas, and maybe elevate them beyond a simple idea. But then he’ll do some work and I’ll take it further. There are very few times where either of us is working on something where the either isn’t in some way part of it. Bryce is writing more orchestral work now, and some of that I’m not involved in it, some of that I am, and in some ways that’s a different exercise when you’re writing in a more traditional way, as opposed to collaborating. We’re always finishing each other’s ideas, and it works really well in The National, and in some ways it works even better in these more expansive, experimental ways. There aren’t these restraints. With The Long Count, there are a lot more musicians to bounce things out of and draw on, different voices and things. It’s liberating.

read the rest HERE

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Aaron gives a nice overview over his collaborative musical project about mythological “hero twin brothers”; the origins; his relationship with Bryce (and how they sync up on stage) and much more. He calls it “our personal mythology” and says that each time they perform The Long Count, they interpret it differently.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.

more information can be found at Barbican’s website

watch the trailer below:

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About their new album, Matt Berninger said:

“We’ve barely begun. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We try not to have any plan at all and just see what stuff gets us excited. We’re really thankful and lucky to have gotten where we are but we realise how easy it is for a band to disappear and for people not to care so we don’t take it for granted… I don’t know what the next record is going to be like but we’re not going to phone it in, I can promise that…

“We’ve tried for years to make poppy songs and I think some of them are but we desperately want to shake off that miserabilist personality or image that we have. I don’t know if it’s possible though, maybe it’s in our DNA.”

listen to Bryce Dessner’s new brassy, instrumental song, “Rose of Lincoln”, below:

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The Dessner twins  have given more details about their multi-media side project: “The Long Count.”

The brothers collaborated with visual artist Matthew Ritchie to create a show is based on the 1976 World Series in Cincinnati (the year they were born). The project also draws inspiration from the first two books of Mayan myth Popol Vah.

The music will be performed by a twelve-piece orchestra,  accompanied by visuals from Ritchie, as well as text from The Dessners,  Matt Berninger and others. The project was originally commissioned for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival. It will take place on February 2nd-4th at the Barbican in London.

Buy tickets HERE starting tomorrow

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Bryce has written an orchestral piece entitled “St Carolyn by the Sea”. The music was inspired by Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

The brothers will play it alongside the American Composers Orchestra on Saturday October 22nd at 7PM at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in NYC

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