BRYCE DESSNER AND KRONOS QUARTET’S
“TOUR EIFFEL” MUSIC VIDEO
NEW ALBUM AHEYM OUT TODAY ON ANTI- RECORDS
FEATURING BROOKLYN YOUTH CHORUS
“It’s a beautiful album from start to finish.”—NPR
“Gorgeous and compulsively listenable.”—Rolling Stone
Pitchfork is premiering “Passages,” the short film directed by Poppy de Villeneuve and Alex Braverman that serves as the visual accompaniment to Bryce Dessner and Kronos Quartet’s “Tour Eiffel” at http://bit.ly/17Ddmtl. The track is from the musicians’ new collaboration Aheym, out today on Anti-Records and available on iTunes at http://bit.ly/16xNGLn. “Tour Eiffel” was composed for the 40-plus voices of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and is a setting of a poem by early 20th-century Chilean Poet Vicente Huidobro, writing about the Eiffel Tower shortly after it was built. The track includes Dessner on guitar as well as Kronos Quartet and the chorus.
“Upon hearing ‘Tour Eiffel’ we imagined ourselves hurtling at great speeds towards an unknown destination,” the directors explain. “Inspired by the line within the song from Vicente Huidobro’s original text, ‘My little boy to climb the Eiffel tower,” we wanted to tell a story of fathers and sons. We traveled with Kim Sanders a retired Dallas Homicide detective, as he took a quiet solo road trip from his home in Texas to the Grand Canyon; a trip he had wanted to take with his son
Skipper before his untimely death six years earlier. The resulting film is a rumination on motion, connectivity and loss—a linear journey through space, feelings, and the passage between spiritual realms.”
Aheym features four original compositions by Dessner—who has previously collaborated with Steve Reich, Philip Glass, David Lang, Sufjan Stevens and many others—and performed by Kronos as well as includes an appearance by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Dessner and the quartet first crossed paths when Kronos founder David Harrington approached Dessner about writing a piece for the quartet’s performance at the Celebrate Brooklyn! festival at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in 2009. The ensuing piece, “Aheym” (meaning “homeward” in Yiddish), was informed by the stories of Dessner’s Jewish immigrant grandparents who settled near the park and, as the pair’s collaboration grew, became the album’s title track.
Aheym also includes a performance dedicated to Laurence Neff, Kronos Quartet’s lighting designer of 25 years (“Tenebre”); a composition influenced by obscure Czech viola da gamba performers Irena and Vojtěch Havel (“Little Blue Something”); and (“Tour Eiffel”) a setting of a poem by Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro that was originally commissioned by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (which perform the track on Aheym alongside Kronos Quartet) at the suggestion of Dessner’s close friend, composer Nico Muhly.
Best known for his work with Brooklyn-based rock group The National, Bryce Dessner is also a founding member of the group Clogs and founder/curator of Cincinnati’s acclaimed MusicNOW Festival. Graduating from Yale University with a master’s degree in music, Dessner serves as a composer-in-residence at Muziekgebouw Frits Philips in Eindhoven, Netherlands, produced the Red Hot AIDS charity compilation Dark Was the Night with his brother and The National bandmate Aaron, curated the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music festival for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (also with Aaron), and has performed alongside Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and many others.
The San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet has made a name for themselves across multiple genres, performing alongside artists such as Tom Waits, Asha Bhosle, Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, David Bowie and Wu Man. They have also collaborated with a long list of composers including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, John Adams, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk and Terry Riley. The group is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with coast-to-coast birthday concerts, a host of premieres, a Nonesuch CD boxed set and performances around the globe. The non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home-season performances and education programs.
BRYCE DESSNER/KRONOS QUARTET, AHEYM
2. Little Blue Something
4. Tour Eiffel