|Photo courtesy the artists|
I recently wrote an article about the piece for the BAMbill program, and I interviewed both Muhly and Dessner. I didn't realize how much the composers had worked on each other's projects over the years, from Muhly's orchestrations to Stevens' stage appearances and Dessner's guitar in recordings. They also all have strong ties to BAM and that was the first place they thought of for this U.S. premiere. The first half of the performance features pieces by each contributor: Muhly's "Diacritical Marks 1 - 8," Stevens' "Enjoy Your Rabbit" arranged for strings, and a string quartet by Dessner. "Planetarium" brings the collaborators on stage for the second half with the string quartet, a drummer and trombone section. Stevens' fragile tenor hovers over the instruments, reflecting about the heavens as a 16-foot orb receives film projections by visual artist Deborah Johnson. Check out the performance video below or on YouTube here, and for further information about tickets visit bam.org.