Bryce Dessner is best known as the guitarist with the much-loved art-rock band The National, but …..

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First published November 2013

Bryce Dessner is best known as the guitarist with the much-loved art-rock band The National, but over the last few years he has steadily been carving out another branch to his career in modern composition and contemporary classical music – and the various other terms that are used to describe such sounds.

He has performed on record and in concert with his experimental group, Clogs, and with classical great Steve Reich, and has had his compositions performed in halls around the world. About two years ago I saw the renowned Kronos Quartet perform one of his pieces – “Tenebre” – in London: it was a gorgeous piece of restrained post-minimalist music for strings and voices, and it features on Dessner's first release of compositions made with the Kronos Quartet (pictured, Dessner centre). With four pieces, Aheym, out on Monday, is rather beautiful. It has been streaming all week here ......

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