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Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood Readies Indian-Inspired Composition for 2014

jonny greenwood, australian chamber orchestra

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has written a new composition for the Australian Chamber Orchestra that will debut next year. As Consequence of Sound points out (via Noise 11), the as-yet-unheard piece is titled “Water” and dates back to 2012. After Radiohead completed their tour of Australia that year, Greenwood bunkered down with the ACO in their Sydney studio.

“I’m so used to closely recorded sounds,” the 42-year-old guitarist told Noise 11. “It’s always a jolt to realize that the ‘in the room’ sound of an orchestra is a different animal from a recording.”

Following his Sydeney workshop sessions, Greenwood traveled to India, where he found an extra fount of inspiration for “Water.” He explained, “The space in Indian classical music and the textures were a big influence on the commission.”

The composition won’t be performed live until late 2014 (find dates below), but we’ve already seen Greenwood team with the ACO once before. Earlier this year, SPIN pointed to video of the Radiohead ax-man joining the electro-acoustic collective onstage for a surprise live collaboration at Down Under venue the Standard. The December 2012 set yielded a rendition of an excerpt from “Electric Counterpoint,” a late-’80s work by minimalist composer Steve Reich. Reich, of course, has also shown Greenwood some love with his Kid A– and In Rainbows-inspired piece “Radio Rewrite,” which had its New York premiere in November.

As for Greenwood’s chops as a composer, his catalog includes original scores for the Paul Thomas Anderson films There Will Be Blood and The Master, as well as a collaborative 2012 album with Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

The world premiere of “Water” will be featured as part of Tognetti’s Beethoven, which can be heard on the following dates:

October 26 – Melbourne, AU @ Melbourne Arts Centre
October 27 – Melbourne, AU @ Melbourne Arts Centre
October 29 – Perth, AU @ Venue TBD
November 1 – Canberra, AU @ Venue TBD
November 2 – Sydney, AU @ Sydney Opera House