Jonny Greenwood - stepping far outside Radiohead.
Jonny Greenwood – stepping far outside Radiohead.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Jonny Greenwood and The London Contemporary Orchestra – Live at Albert Hall, Manchester – Dec. 17, 2014 – LCO

Most people hear the name Jonny Greenwood and they think co-founder/writer and guitarist for Radiohead. That’s one part. There’s another part – a whole other part; an almost completely different person, other than the one associated with one of the legendary Alternative bands in the world today. The other Jonny Greenwood is a contemporary composer, who writes film scores, symphonic pieces and intricate experimental works – and has become over the last few years, one of Britain’s more highly regarded Contemporary Classical Composers.

Working with The London Contemporary Orchestra, a group of top-flight musicians formed in 2008 with the credo “to explore and promote new music to an increasingly wide audience”, Greenwood has struck creative pay-dirt here – an artist/composer with a lot more to say than can fit in a rock context and an group of musicians whose job it is to get the message across and to make contemporary Classical music accessible.

The operative word here is accessible – a lot of people who are Radiohead fans may blanche when they hear what Greenwood is doing. Contemporary Classical Music isn’t for all tastes – it is however, meant to be greeted with an open mind and open ears. Much of it is challenging and can sound disorienting. But believe me, this is music worked on, struggled over and painstakingly cared for – and the LCO are seasoned veterans and are committed and the collaboration is a perfect fit.

This is an adventuresome concert, but it has a lot of balance to it. In addition to Greenwood’s own pieces – Greenwood and the group play music by Olivier Messiaen, Eugéne Ysaÿe, Steve Reich and others. Below is a program of what they played:

Jonny Greenwood – Prospectors Arrive (‘There Will Be Blood’)
Jonny Greenwood – There Will Be Blood (‘There Will Be Blood’)
Messiaen – Vocalise-Étude
Michael Gordon – Industry
Jonny Greenwood – Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers
Steve Reich – Electric Counterpoint
Jonny Greenwood – Application 45 Version 1 (‘The Master’)
Jonny Greenwood – Miniature
Edmund Finnis – Brother
Jonny Greenwood – Sweetness of Freddie (‘The Master’)
Ysaÿe – Sonata No.2: I. Obsession
Jonny Greenwood – Loop

The concert was performed at The Albert Hall in Manchester on December 17th of this last year. Greenwood and The LCO just finished a gig at Best Kept Secret last night (which I hope to run soon). Word is getting around and audiences are getting turned on to new things.

As long as everyone keeps their minds and ears open, we’ll be okay.


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