Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is a musician who ceaselessly surprises us with his versatility. Last year, he created an incredible installation based on some of his tour photos for our event series (did you know Zinner is also an accomplished photographer?). This past May, he blew us away again when he led an orchestral ensemble of 41 strings in an originally composed performance celebrating the 41st anniversary of Earth Day.
Organic clothing company Loomstate put on the event, where Zinner conducted and played with an impressive lineup of violins, violas, cellos, electric and acoustic guitars, upright bass, electric bass (and some drums and synths thrown in for good measure).
“Writing this piece has been different than anything I’ve ever done,” Zinner says in the behind-the scenes-video (above), “I just want to make something that’s good and has some sort of emotional resonance, something that’s easy to connect with.”
The music undoubtedly invokes this emotional experience, chronicling the ups and downs of the four seasons—at times dark and moody and joyfully elated at others. The composition, called 41 Strings, was created in collaboration with Hisham Akira Bharoocha and Ben Vida of Soft Circle, and seems to honor the classical tradition of concertos (see The Four Seasons by Vivaldi), but with a more modern, rock ‘n’ roll feel that one would expect out of Zinner.
Visuals by Yoshi Sodeoka, E*Rock and Dawn of Man complemented the untraditional musical performance, as well as an interactive sculpture in an adjoining room by Ernesto Klar, who exhibited at our Paris event.
The video above chronicles the creation of the piece from its initial conception and composition, to its final performance.