Bon Iver members Justin Vernon and S. Carey have remade Bryce Dessner & So Percussion’s “Music for Wood and Strings” as a warm, emotionally evocative ballad featuring a new lyric by Carey and Vernon’s signature ghostly vocalizations, made famous on Bon Iver’s albums & Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. 2015’s “Music for Wood & Strings”—the Billboard classical “Hot Shot Debut” in its week of release—was performed by So Percussion and composed by newly-minted Grammy winner Bryce Dessner. The remake was first revealed as the lead-off song on a cassette mailed to ticket buyers for this summer’s second annual Eaux Claires festival, which takes place August 12-13 near Vernon’s spiritual home of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
As Vernon writes, the cassette was continuing in “our tradition of announcing the festival lineup in a way that embodies the oddness of what can happen when we splatter the palette with a multitude of colors, then frame it in curiosity.” Indeed you might consider this remake as a kind of theme song for Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s festival which unites the worlds of indie rock, R&B and folk music in a gathering of the tribes celebrating artistic collaboration & creativity. All the artists whose work culminated in this remake will appear at the festival: Bon Iver, So Percussion, Bryce Dessner and a final collaborator on the project Buke and Gase (they built the bespoke instruments Dessner designed with them to play the piece).
Pitchfork wrote of the original release “The resulting sound is complex. It’s thin and full, sharp and malleable, hazy and clear.” — and never more so on this creative re-imagining of Dessner's piece.
released February 19, 2016
all rights reserved