Performance Today

with host Fred Child

Bryce Dessner's 'St. Carolyn by the Sea'

Composer Bryce Dessner
Composer Bryce Dessner Anne Mie Dreves

For PT's weekly musical focus on 21st century music, Fred Child talked with composer Bryce Dessner. Dessner is also a member of indie-rock band The National.

When he's not touring the world to sold out shows, Dessner composes new music for ensembles such as the Copenhagen Philharmonic, The Kronos Quartet, and SO Percussion.

In March 2014, the classical record label Deutsche Grammophon released St. Carolyn by the Sea, an album of Dessner's music performed by the Copenhagen Philharmonic under conductor Andre de Ritter.

In the titular piece, St. Carolyn by the Sea, Bryce plays electric guitar alongside his twin brother (and fellow band member) Aaron Dessner.

The music is inspired by a harrowing scene in Jack Kerouac's novel "Big Sur" and the seascape music of Benjamin Britten.