The National’s Bryce Dessner Releasing Orchestral Album

Bryce Dessner is readying to release a three song orchestral album called St. Carolyn by the Sea on March 3rd. Although the musician is certainly most well-known for his part in The National on guitar, Dessner is also an incredibly talented arranger and composer. Dessner traverses genres quite beautifully between classical orchestra and full-fledged rock. He combines mellowed electric guitars with whirring violins and fiercely cooing choirs to craft his very own brand of classical music.

The title track off of St. Carolyn by the Sea was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, while the latter two songs – “Lapherme” and “Raphael” – are meditations on the works of earlier musicians including the sixteenth century John Dowland. Although the album is rumored to be less than fourteen minutes in total, The Kronos Quartet, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, The Copenhagen Philharmonic, Bryce’s twin brother (and The National guitarist / keyboardist) Aaron, and many others play on the album.

St. Carolyn by the Sea follows Dessner and The Kronos Quartet’s 2013 acclaimed progressive-classical collaboration, Ayhem. In addition to studio albums, the artist has curated countless installations, benefit concerts, and awareness festivals across the world.

By Maggie Ambrose

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