Bryce Dessner and Jonny Greenwood are going classical. Actually, to be accurate, the two notable indie-rock guitarists (The National and Radiohead, respectively) are returning to their classical roots with a split album featuring their own orchestral works. Most intriguing.
After a collaboration with the Kronos String Quartet and having a composition debuted at Carnegie Hall , it should be little surprise that Dessner has interests beyond the typically electric genres. The National’s guitarist is actually a student of classical music (that ever-so-sweeping term) with a master’s degree from Yale. He said of this latest project:
For any classical musician who’s been born since 1960, the music of the era around them is popular music. You find that in many variations: former rock musicians who end up going the classical route, or very academic composers who are perhaps re-setting a text by Bob Dylan. You find all kinds of various strands of this. Someone like myself or Jonny Greenwood, we’re actually part of a new generation of composers where our education, our background, our interests are so diverse that you can’t really say ‘oh, that’s a guy from a rock band who writes classical music.’ You should say the opposite: Jonny Greenwood was a classical violist who became a guitarist with Radiohead. But the music he’s interested in is still Penderecki and Ligeti.
The works on this collaboration will be performed by the Copenhagen Phil and conducted by Andre de Ridder who happens to be fond of both composer’s work. Dessner’s portion of the album will be three unreleased works while Greenwood will be contributing his suite from the film There Will Be Blood. The grand sum of the parts is due March 3, with accompanying performances by Dessner of pieces from St. Carolyn By The Sea in both New York and Cincinnati.
Bryce Dessner (*1976)
01. St. Carolyn by the Sea 13:06 (Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner electric guitars)
02. Lachrimae 13:25
03. Raphael 17:10 ?(Bryce Dessner electric guitars)
Jonny Greenwood (*1971)
Suite from There Will Be Blood
04. Open Spaces 4:02
05. Future Markets 2:57
06. HW/Hope of New Fields 3:06
07. Henry Plainview 4:45
08. Proven Lands 2:00
09. Oil 3:42
Bryce Dessner Performances
Mar 07: New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge (Andre de Ridder conducts the Wordless Music Orchestra, featuring Lachrimae)
Mar 21: Cincinnati, OH – Music Hall (Pieces from St. Carolyn By The Sea performed by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)