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About the Grant

$25,000 to support The Long Count, a new performance work conceived and created by musicians Bryce and Aaron Dessner and visual artist Matthew Ritchie, commissioned and presented by Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Long Count is an expansive, condensed epic, articulated through music and images.

About the Project

An ambitious creative collaboration between musicians—and twin brothers—Aaron and Bryce Dessner (best known as bassist and guitarist, respectively, for acclaimed indie rock band The National) and world-renowned visual artist Matthew Ritchie, The Long Count delivers an immersive multimedia experience. Loosely informed by disparate yet connected themes ranging from a Mayan creation myth featuring twin brothers, to the epic 1976 World Series victory of the Cincinnati Reds over the New York Yankees, (which occurred in the year of the Cincinnati-born Dessners’ birth), The Long Count features an evocative score and interwoven song cycle composed and performed by Aaron and Bryce Dessner, a twelve-member chamber orchestra, and guest artists including Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) and twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal, of seminal indie band The Breeders, among others. Large-scale sculptures by Ritchie anchor the stage, and animated films made from the artist’s intricate, biomorphic drawings are projected throughout the performance. A cutting-edge creation myth for the 21st century, The Long Count constitutes a debut for all three lead collaborators in BAM’s 2009 Next Wave Festival.

Related Websites

Brooklyn Academy of Music

The National

Matthew Ritchie




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