The National to release six-hour song as nine-LP box set.
Day-long collaboration between band and Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartnasson of A Lot of Sorrow for MoMA to be released 22 June.
The National are making their famous six-hour performance of A Lot of Sorrow available for fans to own. Released as a nine-LP vinyl box set, the recording captures the collaboration between Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and the band, who joined forces in 2013 to play the track Sorrow more than 100 times at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
“By stretching a single pop song into a day-long tour de force, the artist continues his explorations into the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound,” explained the official MoMA statement at the time.
A “quest to find the comic in the tragic and vice versa,” the venture aimed to explore “romantic suffering and contemporary Weltschmerz” through song – an approach that had much in common with Kjartansson’s previous work.
“He pitched it to MoMA, and MoMA approached us with it and we were kind of right away in favour of it,” the band’s lead singer Matt Berninger explained to the Guardian. “There was a hesitation about the thing being artsy-fartsy, and certainly some eyebrows were raised at the artsy-fartsiness of it, but we didn’t care because we kind of knew what we were doing.”
Available on 22 June on 4AD, the proceeds from the box set will be donated to the nonprofit healthcare organisation Partners in Health. The National’s last album, Trouble Will find Me, was released in 2013.