Bryce Dessner of The National on moving classical music forwards

24 February 2014, 13:47

The National's guitarist talks to Classic FM's Lucy Coward ahead of the release of his new classical work, St Carolyn by the Sea.

Bryce Dessner is a composer, but he also happens to be a guitarist with the hugely popular indie band The National. Though he's becoming increasingly known for his more formal composition work, it will still no doubt come as a surprise to many fans of The National that Dessner has been so heavily entrenched in the contemporary classical world for so long.

But, as he reveals to Classic FM's Lucy Coward, it's not a case of keeping those two worlds separate: "I have always been someone who has had a foot in two worlds, but it's not that I've divided my personality - I'm the same person no matter what I'm doing."

He also reveals more about his relationship with twin brother Aaron, also a songwriter in The National and how that musical bond has informed his solo work, as well as his place alongside composers like Nico Muhly and Richard Reed Parry in the modern pantheon.

Dessner's forthcoming release on Deutsche Grammophon sees a selection of his works, including the title track 'St Carolyn by the Sea', on the same disc as the suite from fellow rock guitarist/composer Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack to There Will Be Blood.