Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Aug 10th 2009 3:00PM by Justin Jacobs
Kim Deal, of Pixies and Breeders fame, gave Spinner a rundown of the project, an audio-visual performance called 'The Long Count' created by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National and featuring Deal and her sister, fellow Breeder Kelley Deal, on vocals. My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden and the National's Matt Berninger will also sing. "['The Long Count'] is based on this Mayan creation myth about twins," Deal told Spinner after a powerful set with the Breeders in Indianapolis. "There are quite a few of those -- it's similar to the Roman story of Romulus and Remus."
The invitation to join the project's creation came when the Dessners e-mailed Kim about collaborating, soon leading to the quartet working and rehearsing in the basement of Deal's Dayton, Ohio house in early 2009. And, according to Deal, the invitation couldn't have come at a better time. "This past winter was the worst. Kelley's dog was getting castrated and her husband was leaving. We were so depressed," she said. Once the Dessners, came along, things started to look up.
The performance, which will be staged October 28, 30 and 31, was written and developed by the Dessners and abstract visual artist Matthew Ritchie. Lasting about an hour, 'The Long Count' combines original and fully orchestrated music with visual elements -- not quite a concert, but not quite theater either.
"You'll sit down and look at it, but it's not theater. Bryce said that if you clap after the songs, it's not going right," Deal said. "[Ritchie] has created dual visual projections that he mirrors on the floor. He's trying to play off of that symmetry to reflect twins. Everything is doubled. Just the fact that we're there -- he plays off of that."
The piece, said Deal, doesn't have a narrative plot, but develops loosely around the Mayan myth of twin boys courted to the underworld and forced to play a ballgame, the winner of which inherits the earth. Happy Halloween indeed.
If you're too far from Brooklyn to make it, you might still be in luck: though no other dates have been announced, Deal said that 'The Long Count' will be rehearsing at the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts early this fall.