Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Jonny Greenwood touring new composition with Australian Chamber Orchestra

By | Published on Monday 4 August 2014

Jonny Greenwood

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, poster boy for reconciling the pop and classical kingdoms, is teaming with the Australian Chamber Orchestra on ‘Water’, a new composition for strings, piano and tambura (a kind of South Asian ‘long-necked lute’).

The piece will have its international premiere on 2 Oct at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, thereafter travelling to London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (4 Oct) and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (5 Oct). And as well as ‘Water’, each show will feature the ACO playing works from Mozart, Haydn and Tchaikovsky. Details and tickets are available here.

Speaking via press release robot, Jonny has said of his time so far with the orchestra: “I loved every second of being around these players. They were enthusiastic, patient, energetic and enormously musical. Just overhearing them rehearse a Shostakovich string quartet really floored me: nothing beats being in a small room with a bunch of players like this. And they really do go surfing afterwards!”

He adds of ‘Water’ in particular: “I wrote and rehearsed about twice as much music as there is in the final piece. It’s a great feeling being able to edit things down like that. And as often as the workshops showed up ideas as not working, they also rescued promising half-ideas. The whole experience was very inspiring”.

ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti says of Greenwood: “He obviously loves music so much. I believe he’s the first celebrated pop musician who has been able to straddle the world of classical music. In terms of the cross-fertilisation of ideas, it’s a great time to be a musician”.

Watch a clip in which Tognetti says a bit more of his collaboration with JG (from 2.00 onwards) now: