Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christopher O'Riley @ Kennedy Center Sunday Night

[Photo Credit]

Thanks to friend, patriot, and Metro-challenged VH for the head's up.
The Kennedy Center
"Modern rock collides with the beauty and intricacy of classical music in Christopher O'Riley's acclaimed, unforgettable transcriptions. This piano master reinterprets music by the innovative rock group Radiohead and the late singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, bridging the gap between pop and classical genres."
[Terrace Theater | 8:00 PM | $30 |Tickets]

"O'Riley claims his renditions have introduced the music of Radiohead to an ignorant classical audience as well as introducing classical music to a wider or younger audience, as he sometimes performs both standard concert repertoire, such as Shostakovich or Mozart, and Radiohead, Elliott Smith or Nick Drake interpretations at the same concert. O'Riley describes himself as an obsessed Radiohead fan in interviews, and says he was attracted to the multilayered nature of the band's music, leading him to listen and transcribe lesser known album tracks, live bootleg recordings of performances, b-sides, and even songs never officially released, as well as some of their hit singles. In his liner notes for Home to Oblivion, he calls Elliott Smith 'the most important songwriter since Cole Porter,' although admitting he was unaware of Smith's music until his apparent suicide in 2003. When asked to explain his unusual choice of material for a classical pianist, O'Riley has often quoted Duke Ellington's statement that 'there are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.'

"O'Riley does not sing, but his pop interpretations usually stick to the original song's structure and incorporate the vocal melody. He compares them to the work of classical composers who sought material in popular songs and dances, although O'Riley notes he is not a composer. His intricate Romantic-style performances have met with praise from many Radiohead fans, especially on the Internet, while some would have preferred more improvisatory arrangements (such as those of jazz pianist Brad Mehldau), or feel he is unfairly profiting from the band's name, or from the untimely deaths of cult icons like Smith and Drake (his next project)." [Wikit]

Christopher O'Riley's Official Site

MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Karma Police"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "No Surprises"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "True Love Waits"

Elliot Smith
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Roman Candle"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Not Half Right"


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