The National may release six hour performance of one song

By | Published on Monday 13 May 2013

The National

Hey, are you excited about the prospect of a new album full of brand new songs from The National coming out next week? You should be, it’s very good. But how about an album featuring one song from their last album played over a hundred times?

As previously reported, the band recently performed their song ‘Sorrow’ from ‘High Violet’ continuously for six hours as part of an art piece conceived by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. And in a Reddit AMA last week, frontman Matt Berninger said that they are now in talks to release the full performance on vinyl to raise money for charity.

You might think that the band would rather forget about the whole ‘Sorrow-ful’ thing, but you would be wrong. Guitarist Aaron Dessner explained: “As the hours went on I think we all realised that this experience was something special for us – there was a weird hypnotic resonance and spirituality to repeating the song over and over. We almost didn’t want to stop and we learned something about our capacity for endurance, and the song opened up in surprising ways. By the end it didn’t feel like we were playing it any more. We know the idea seemed pretentious in some ways, but Ragnar’s has this mix of humor and sadness that feels quite similar to what are songs about…. we’re very glad to have done it”.

His brother and bandmate Bryce added: “I managed to get through it without taking a pee break! After a couple hours it was like being in some kind of suspended trance state. I came up with a lot of new ideas for the song – too bad its only a three minute 25 second song… We felt great that night, but the next day we were all completely wasted”.