News ~ Bryce Dessner

May 4, 2016

Bryce's big year, MusicNOW is BBC 6Music's 'compilation of the week'

Think about label co-founder Bryce Dessner's achievements over the past 365 days and it's easy to see he's had what you call 'a banner year': music festivals built around his extended artistic family in Cork, Ireland and Minneapolis, Minnesota - new compositions premiering at the New York City Ballet and LA Philharmonic - his first major Hollywood film score for The Revenant - and, last but not least, the 10th anniversary of MusicNOW, the intimate festival he curates each year in The National's hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Speaking of which, we had a happy & unexpected bit of news this week when BBC Radio 6Music DJ Lauren Laverne picked our MusicNOW album as her "compilation of t...

May 27, 2015

Bryce Dessner, So Percussion, Aron Buke & Gase team-up

Of late, Brassland has had our most Dessner-heavy release schedule in quite some time. There is the wonderful (and still fresh) Aaron Dessner production-work on This Is The Kit’s new album Bashed Out — the Bryce-curated indie-all star compilation MusicNOW: 10 Years
— and, just last week, Bryce’s new solo album Music for Wood and Strings which, amazingly, was the Hot Shot Debut on this week's Billboard Classical chart!?!

(That chart debut is even more amazing if you consider the fact that most of the Billboard "classical" chart is stuff like Lindsey Stirling's dubstep violin jams and compilations with names like Classical Treasures: Classics For Relaxation.)

November 5, 2013

Bryce Dessner records with Kronos Quartet, plays Carnegie Hall

The National’s Bryce Dessner is a man of a million projects, constantly generating material for his various musical identities, the latest of which is a new record, entitled Aheym for the Anti- label. Here, we actually see him sidestepping the guitar in favor of a string quartet and when we say STRING QUARTET we mean for it to be in all caps. Bryce has "gone big" and composed these pieces for one of the most widely-acclaimed contemporary classical ensembles out there, Kronos Quartet.

Also a Brassland co-founder and member of Clogs, Bryce has been an indie rock star by day and contemporary classical composer by night for a long time now. Well, actually, maybe we should say that he&#...

May 14, 2012

A look back at Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

We hope everyone enjoyed the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music festival held earlier this month at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Maybe we enjoyed it a bit too much? Hence the delay in this event wrap-up.

As you probably know already, Bryce and Aaron Dessner curated the event, which featured St. Vincent, The Walkmen, Beirut, Atlas Sound, The Antlers, and many more of Brooklyn's best and brightest and up and comers. (We almost called them "acts" but then thought better of it. Whew, close call.) Brassland's roster was well-represented performances by Jherek Bischoff, People Get Ready, and Buke and Gase. In addition, Bryce sat in with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Aaron guested wit...

March 9, 2012

Tickets for Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival on sale!

That's right, we have more music festival news! Tickets are now on sale for the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music festival, which will take place in just two months. The festival is being curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner (not "The National," though yes, they do also happen to be in the band. Hey, they're people too!). It will be held from May 3 to 5 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

We also now have the full lineup now which sadly does not include To Be Confirmed. (We are still hoping to sign those guys.) It does, however, feature St. Vincent, Beirut, and The Walkmen. There will also be performances by The Antlers, Sharon Van Etten, Atlas Sound, My Brightest Diamond, yMusic an...

April 22, 2011

Clogs play London, Bryce Dessner interviewed by Barbican

Yo London! What's up? We're sometimes jealous of your fine city. You get this; we get this. Basically, your royalty wears funny, interesting hats; our royalty has terrible hairpieces.

It doesn't seem fair.

Anyhoo, sometimes your city gets jealous of our city too, and a perfect example of that is the first weekend of May when the Barbican is inviting over a ton of New Yorkers to celebrate awesome New York composer Steve Reich. That celebration includes two performances by Brassland's own Clogs. And it also includes this great interview with a bunch of America's new & composed music types. In particular we'd like to point you toward the contribution by...

January 25, 2010

MusicNOW Celebrates Fifth Year, Announces 2010 Lineup

In 2006, Brassland co-founder Bryce Dessner (also known for his work in The National and Clogs) created the MusicNOW Festival in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, in order to highlight the work of contemporary musicians and artists "that take risks and do not fit neatly into categories." Held at Memorial Hall, MusicNOW has stayed true to its mission, inviting artists as eclectic as Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, The Books, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Kronos Quartet.

Earlier this month, MusicNOW announced their lineup for 2010. Running from Tuesday, March 30, through Thursday, April 1, the fifth incarnation of MusicNOW will feature Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Justin Vernon (of Bon...

October 9, 2009

Bryce & Sufjan & Shara Sitting in a Tree

Last week on Pitchfork, one could find a strange plethora of Brassland-related stories detailing the various doings of Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden. We thought we'd compile them below for your convenience.

The lead item was an announcement regarding Clogs' new song, titled "We Were Here," that features vocals from both Sufjan and Shara. Pitchfork's description was rather accurate: "an airy, delicately orchestrated affair with the voices of Stevens and Worden floating over a complicated bed of acoustic instruments." To listen to the previously unreleased jam, check out Asthmatic Kitty's AK Radio.

Later in the...

September 11, 2009

Tickets For Dessner Brothers' Composition, The Long Count, Now On-Sale

As we mentioned in June, Bryce and Aaron Dessner will be performing their new, 70-minute composition, The Long Count, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival on October 28th, 30th, and 31st at 8 pm.

The composition - which features a 14-piece ensemble as well as guest vocalists Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and Matt Berninger (The National) - combines music and visuals (courtesy of Matthew Ritchie) to, according to BAM, "create a song-filled myth about the beginning of time." The National's e-mail newsletter was more direct, mentioning that the piece is loosely based on Popol Vuh, a Mayan creation myth revolving aro...

July 20, 2009

Bryce Dessner Composes for Kronos, Interviewed by Pitchfork

It's been a slow July in Brassland, with nearly three weeks having passed since our last news post. But while we've kept our summer lazy, Bryce Dessner has stayed a busy boy. In addition to playing at the premiere of "2x5" by Steve Reich in Britain on July 2nd, there was the premiere of Bryce's own piece, "Aheym," for Kronos Quartet at Prospect Park this past Thursday for the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Following Kronos's performance, the paper of record wrote a nice little review that mentioned (in passing) both The National and Clogs. Some video from the event:

Also worthwhile is this Pitchfork interview with Bryce, asking him about his various en...

July 1, 2009

A General Bryce Dessner Update

In our previous update on The National, 15 year-old Scott G. wrote us an e-mail asking about the band's new album and its creative process. Seeing the value of digital communication, National and Clogs guitarist Bryce Dessner sat down and composed an electronic letter for us, as well, detailing the various projects that will be keeping him busy over the next few months. So without further ado...

An Update On My Music-Related Happenings, by Bryce Dessner

Hello everyone - happy rainy summer! There are a few big events for me coming up this summer and fall that I felt like I should share with you. They are happening in various locations both in NY and elsewhere so hop...

June 23, 2009

Dessner Brothers Composing New Piece for BAM's Next Wave Fest

Fresh off performing with fellow Brasslander Doveman at Le Poisson Rouge last Thursday, Bryce and Aaron Dessner are now finishing work on another project unrelated to their steady gig as guitarists for The National. As reported on Brooklyn Vegan, their new piece - titled The Long Count - will play October 28-31 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival and feature the work of visual artist Matthew Ritchie (who some may remember from his previous collaboration with Bryce). A description of the project, courtesy of BAM's website, follows below:

"In an inspired collision of creative worlds, three inexhaustibly original artists - brothers Bryce Dessner and Aaron De...

April 2, 2009

"The Lincoln Shuffle" Show Sold-Out

As we mentioned a few days ago, Bryce Dessner is appearing in Philadelphia on April 2nd (today, for those who have trouble keeping track of such things) to perform The Lincoln Shuffle, a series of short pieces Bryce wrote to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the dude's birth in a log cabin.

The show, which has officially sold-out, will be occurring at the Rosenbach Museum and Library at 6:30 pm. For directions to the museum, click here.

March 28, 2009

Dessner News: MusicNow Wrap-Up and "The Lincoln Shuffle" Show

Earlier this March, Bryce Dessner was back in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the 2009 MusicNow Festival. The festival, which ran on March 11th and 12th, featured a diverse lineup, including the Kronos Quartet, The Books, and Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre fame). Some pictures of the event (all taken by Keith Klenowski) can be seen below:

For more photos, feel free to visit MusicNow's Flickr Photostream. To watch Bryce and Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, and Tyondai Braxton (from Battles) perform an impromptu jam, click play below:

In other news, "The Lincoln Shuffle" -...

February 16, 2009

Bryce Dessner Composes "The Lincoln Shuffle" for 21st Century Abe

Today, of course, is President's Day. And since Abraham Lincoln was once a President, it's rather fitting that this piece of Brassland news be shared with you on Monday, January 16th. So, here goes: Bryce Dessner has composed a new series of short pieces, collectively titled "The Lincoln Shuffle," to celebrate Honest Abe and the music of his era.

Now streaming at 21st Century Abe, the suite includes pieces titled Rose of Lincoln, Lincoln's Dixie, Uncle Bob Ledbetter, Uncle Bob's Union Guitars, and Lincoln's Triumph (A Funeral March). Included on each page, below the picture, is a quote from Bryce that reveals his inspiration, thoughts, or general ideas regar...

January 27, 2009

Bryce Dessner To Perform Darkness Visible

Over the next two nights, Bryce Dessner - guitarist for The National and Clogs - will perform Darkness Visible with visual artist Matthew Ritchie, Dessner's collaborator on the project.

The first night (1/28) will include a lecture and performance regarding Dessner and Ritchie's installation The Morning Line. The second night (1/29) will feature a performance of their multimedia project Raphael. Both events will be held at MIT's Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In other Dessner news, the Brassland Store is currently selling The Clogs Collection, which features the band's entire catalog. If you don't own any of Clogs' albums, now is t...

November 7, 2008

More Details on Dessner Red Hot Compilation, Other Curation News

As you might well know, The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner are helping The Red Hot Organization create a new compilation to raise funds and build awareness for HIV/AIDS. The compilation, titled Dark Was The Night, will be released in February 2009 by 4AD and will feature 32 exclusive songs by artists including The National with Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Feist with Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, David Byrne with Dirty Projectors, Spoon, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and Bright Eyes (among many, many others). It's a great project for a great cause, and you can lend your support by simply buying great music. Win-win, for sure.

In other Dessner news, Bryce recently helped curate...

May 28, 2008

Details on Dessner-Curated RedHot Compilation Emerge

As reported on Pitchfork, Aaron and Bryce Dessner are curating a compilation for the AIDS charity Red Hot. The album will be released by The Beggars Group with proceeds going to YouthAIDS. The lineup for the album will include songs by Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Feist, The National, The Decemberists, David Byrne with The Dirty Projectors, Spoon, Bright Eyes, The Books with Josè Gonzàlez, The New Pornographers, Antony (from Antony and The Johnsons) with Bryce Dessner, Stuart Murdoch (from Belle & Sebastian), Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, and My Brightest Diamond.

April 11, 2008

MusicNOW Festival Round Up

The MusicNOW Festival at Cincinnati's Memorial Hall has come and gone and, from all accounts, it was a major success.

The festival, curated by Brassland co-founder Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National), ran April 2nd-5th and featured such varied musicians as Andrew Bird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Dirty Projectors, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Grizzly Bear, Nico Muhly, Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National), Rachael Elliot (Clogs), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), Sufjan Stevens, and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman).

For more on the event, there's an interview with Bryce at the Cin Weekly and, if you're in the mood for some pictures, head over to Pitchfork and Spil...

April 3, 2008

Bryce Dessner DJs on WOXY.COM

In anticipation of Cincinnati's MusicNOW Festival, Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National) stopped by the studios to talk about the festival and guest DJ.

In the interview, Bryce revealed his enthusiasm for the festival's opening night (which is actually tonight) by name-dropping some musicians (Sufjan Stevens, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire/Bell Orchestre, Nico Muhly, Aaron Dessner of The National, Padma Newsome of Clogs) and films (by Robert Breer and Maya Deren) that will be featured in the night's festivities.

Give the interview a listen - it's both informative (Bryce really knows his stuff) and pretty interesting. And if you hear something you...

March 28, 2008

Bryce Dessner Curates MusicNOW Festival

Bryce Dessner, guitarist for Clogs and The National, does more than merely make music. Turns out, he (with the help of some other folks) can organize it, too.

On April 2-5 (Wednesday through Saturday), Bryce will curate as well as perform in the MusicNOW Festival at Memorial Hall in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The festival aims to feature artists "that take risks and do not fit neatly into categories," which this year includes Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre), Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Padma Newsome and Rachael Elliot (Clogs), and Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National). And that's only the first night. The festival will also featu...

March 14, 2008

One Down With One To Go: Bryce Dessner at The Kitchen Tonight

Bryce Dessner (Clogs, The National) will be appearing again tonight at The Kitchen with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche. The performances will consist of Dessner's original compositions for guitar and string quartet as well as works from Kotche's solo album Mobile and adaptations from Anomaly - his new composition for the Kronos Quartet. The show begins at 8 p.m.