Bryce Dessner, the guitarist for The National and composer in his own right, has released an album in stark remembrance of the devastating wildfires that ripped throughout Australia in the late part of the year 2019 and onto 2020. The album, Impermanence/Disintegration is a collaboration with the Australian String Quartet and Sydney Dance Company. Along with the release of the album, Dessner collaborated with artist ANOHNI (formerly of Antony and the Johnsons) to rearrange their song “Another World”.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the string quartet in this version. ANOHNI’s vocals are just as good as it ever was and the piano in the background is perfect. The lyrics still resonate with today because climate change is something that is happening now and will continue to do so unless we change our ways. Perhaps, it’s fitting that these lyrics challenge us by asking us if we are ready to say goodbye to our favorite trees, animals, parks, birds, oceans, and so forth.
Accompanied throughout the music video are dancers from the Sydney Dance Company. It begins with a group of dancers until one lone dancer is left on their own, perfectly encapsulating the sadness of the song and climate change. All the while the Australian String Quartet sits quietly in the background, in shadows performing. The composition of the whole performance is beautiful.
Earlier this year, The National’s Matt Berninger teamed up with Australian singer Julia Stone and released a new song, “We All Have.”
Photo credit Sharon Alagna.