Dessner twins' hit and myth show
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Friday 03 February 2012
Aaron and Bryce Dessner, identical twin brothers and twin guitarists for their band The National, are so in synch that their dialogue can, apparently, be difficult for outsiders to understand. Their bandmates call this secret dialect "pillow talk". The same shared understanding is evident in the Dessners' compositions, which are melancholic, euphoric, haunting, beautiful.
"I can stare at Bryce's hands while he plays," says Aaron, "and immediately play something that's intertwined, and vice versa. It makes playing music together really exciting, because we never have to teach each other anything."
When the brothers were commissioned to produce a collaborative work for the Brooklyn Academy of Music's genre-busting Next Wave festival last year, they naturally gravitated towards the subject of twins. "We definitely wanted a piece grounded in our own relationship," Aaron continues, "and our musical relationship is inseparable from our personal one." Working with visual artist Matthew Ritchie, they created a multi-media performance based on a Mayan creation myth, the protagonists of which are a pair of hero twins. The Long Count – a combination of concert, dance and a 70-minute film – is now screening at The Barbican.
It's certainly a family affair; the twins' older sister, Jessica Dessner, choroegraphed it. Also, Matt Berninger, lead singer for The National, contributed his vocal chords to one song.
'The Long Count', Barbican, London EC4 (www.barbican.org.uk), tonight and Saturday
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Jay Z fights lawsuit over use of oh in 'Run This Town'
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God