Courtney Bryan (Part 2)

Behind the Beat | Episode 06

Courtney Bryan’s music is strongly informed by bridging the sacred and the secular, with influences ranging widely through jazz, gospel, and experimental music. From solo works to ensemble pieces to large orchestral scores, Bryan’s music is also concerned with social justice. Her work list includes a series of responses to police brutality, beginning with Saved in 2013. 

In Part 2 of their extended conversation, composer-pianist Bryan continues with her insights about spirituality in music, victims of police brutality, and the role of the artist in society.

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Watch part 1 of Courtney Bryan’s conversation with Tom Welsh.

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Watch Sharan Strange read from her works of poetry during the 25th anniversary event “Nothing Personal: The Dark Room Collective Reunion Tour” presented as part of the Lannan Literary series.

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Explore the score to Courtney Bryan’s work Shedding Skin, based on the poem by Harryette Mullen from her book Tree Tall Woman (1981).


Read poems by Harryette Mullen on

About the Series

Behind the Beat is a series featuring composers and performers in the time of isolation. While the twin pillars of performing arts—global travel and gathering together for a shared experience—are impossible, artists are reflecting on their work, both past and future. Of particular interest are those artists with direct connections to the Cleveland Museum of Art. This series celebrates the legacy of music at the museum and uniquely illuminates aspects of the museum’s collection.