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Published: 2011/09/21

New Orchestral Works from Members of The National and Radiohead

MusicNOW 2009 Impromptu Jam - Bryce & Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry from Jesse King on Vimeo.

The National’s Bryce and Aaron Dessner are the guitar soloists in a new orchestral piece, St. Carolyn by the Sea, slated to debut Saturday, October 22. The free performance will take place at New York’s World Financial Center Winter Garden as part of the SONiC festival, a celebration of 21st century classical and avant-garde music. Composed by Bryce Dessner, St. Carolyn by the Sea is based on Beat poet Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur and will be performed by American Composers Orchestra (ACO).

“The proposed work represents the culmination of a series of works I have composed for my brother, Aaron Dessner, and I to perform,” Bryce Dessner said. “In 2007, I presented electric guitar quintets with string quartets, and an electric guitar quartet with small orchestra. For these, I used the electric guitar as a coloristic/timbral addition to traditional orchestration. The guitar writing avoided the idiomatic vocabulary of rock guitar solos, and instead sought to integrate within and expand upon the orchestral instruments”

SONiC will also host the U.S. premiere of a classical work by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. The piece, smear , was composed in 2004 during Greenwood’s composer residency with the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, but has never been performed in the United States. Greenwood wrote smear for two Ondes Martenot (early electronic musical instruments) and a chamber ensemble. The premiere will take place at New York’s Miller Theatre on Monday, October 17 at 7:30pm.

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