Domino is to release Mount Wittenberg Orca, the collaborative album from Dirty Projectors andBjörk, on LP and CD for the first time on October 24th/25th.
The hand numbered, limited edition LP version will feature a deluxe three-dimensional lenticular sleeve, 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and a deluxe 12 page large-format full color booklet. A very limited number of the LPs will come with an exclusive Dirty Projectors signed photo print of the album cover when purchased from Domino.
Mount Wittenberg Orca was inspired by events on Mt. Wittenberg in Nor Cal. It pushes Longstreth’s obsession with vocal harmony that figured huge on Bitte Orca. This seven-song, twenty-one minute collection is the first music the band recorded after Bitte Orca, and it feels more like a small album than an EP. It is also their most staggering collaboration yet — with the Icelandic artist Björk.
Longstreth wrote the music in 5 days in May 2009, following a conversation with Björk about the small theaters in Italy where opera was born in the 1500s. The suite was originally performed unamplified in Manhattan bookstore Housing Works the following month.
The studio recording of Mount Wittenberg Orca, made a year later in Brooklyn, (everybody’s schedulez was crazy!) was informed by overall spirit of quick, first-thought-best-thought performance: the band and Björk rehearsed for 3 days at the Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, and then recorded the songs quickly and live as possible, overdubbing only lead vocals.
The result feels like part children’s story, part choral music from some odd future. It’s unlike anything else in the Projectors’ body of work: Nat Baldwin’s bass is massive and lumbering, the silhouette of some undersea creature. Drums and guitars are all but absent. It’s all about voices here — and the voices are astonishing. Longstreth, sharing lead vocal duties with Björk, intones his trademark croon. The Projectors women Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian and Haley Dekle somehow bring the sexy back to 3-part melismatic contrapuntal organum. Björk sounds seismic and elemental, singing lead on half the songs.
News of Mount Wittenberg Orca initially spread through a series of online trailers, which featured music and imagery from an unknown album. On June 30th, 2010, a week after being announced and only two months after being recorded, Dirty Projectors and Bjork self-released Mount Wittenberg Orca, selling downloads from the website mountwittenbergorca.com to benefit the National Geographic Society.
The album raised over $40,000 to promote sustainable ocean programs. That website continues to exist, with all monies contributing to the study and preservation of the world’s oceans, while this present release will be the first time this music is available in a physical format in the world’s record stores.
The deluxe LP of Mount Wittenberg Orca features 180-gram heavyweight virgin vinyl pressed at 45RPM for maximum hi-fidelity resolution. The sleeve is comprised of a 12×12″ three-dimensional lenticular cover of Mount Wittenberg, so realistic that you can almost smell the junipers. Inside is a gorgeous 12-page large-format full-color booklet with stills from the original YouTube films of the Mount Wittenberg environs by director Matthew Lessner (“Stillness Is the Move”), a full-text libretto of the suite and complete liner notes.
All LPs are hand-numbered, limited to only one pressing worldwide. The CD version also features an extensive full color booklet with video stills, libretto and liner notes.