Bryce Dessner is a talented artist who produced the original score for Netflix’s new film The Two Popes. The short video teaser which has just been released for the track, “Walls 2” is one minute and 27 seconds which consists of a light guitar strumming with a Spanish sound. “Walls 2” was composed and performed by Dessner for The Two Popes, a film by Fernando Meirelles. Dessner also performed music for the ground-breaking film, The Revenant which starred Leonardo DiCaprio. His song, “Imagining Buffalo” and “Looking for Glass” as well as “12 Church Dream” are songs that are nothing short of transcendent and beautiful.
Dessner worked on The National album, I Am Easy to Find, as well as El Chan, a collection of classical music. He also put out When We are Inhuman, a collaborative record with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. The soundtrack for The Two Popes features a total of 21 arrangements.
The Two Popes shows how Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) is frustrated with the church and requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world. Produced by Dan Lin, Jonathan Eirich, and Tracey Seaward, the film is inspired by true events.
For The Revenant score, Dessner teamed up with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto to create a genius musical ensemble. The film was released by 20th Century Fox in New York and Los Angeles on December 25, 2015 with a wide release on January 8, 2016. The soundtrack was released December 25, 2015 on Milan Records. The music received a nomination for Best Original Score in the 2016 Golden Globes. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won Best Director for The Revenant at the 2016 Academy Awards.
Dessner was born in 1976 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After early training on the flute, he switched to classical guitar in his teens. He comments “As a teenager I was playing classical guitar recitals, and people said, ‘You know, you can’t really do both things,’” recalls Dessner. “My intuition told me they were wrong, someday that diversity of experience would be more enriching or rewarding than just going down one path.” He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Yale University, and now lives in Paris.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna