Thursday, June 29

Christopher O'Riley plays Radiohead - Madison, GA, on Saturday night

On Saturday night, while just about every other local C&T reader is at The EARL, I'll be at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Georgia. Why, you ask? Well, the Madison Chamber Music Festival is going on. Specifically, on Saturday evening the festival features an evening with pianist Christopher O'Riley. Even more specifically, they're hosting a night of Christopher O'Riley playing nothing but Radiohead songs. Pretty nifty, eh?

O'Riley has to date released two albums of transcriptions of Radiohead songs, and another of compositions by Elliot Smith. He has been featured on NPR, and is considered on the forefront of the current underground orchestral movement. This ain't your grandma's classical music, to say the least. Here's O'Riley's cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android":

Christopher O'Riley - Paranoid Android

You can sample more of his Radiohead material here.

For more on the festival see the website of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. To order tix, call 706-342-4743 to charge by phone. They're $20 each, or $15 for students. I'm told Madison is an hour or so southeast of Atlanta. My understanding is that the show will also be live on NPR. Could I convince any of you to tape the FM feed?

An older NPR appearance can be heard here. You can browse his releases here.

Thanks to Ryan S. for the tip. I would have never known about this otherwise.


Blogger Robert said...

While I wait for his version of "Paranoid Android" to download, I offer up this fantastic cover of that song by the UMass Front Percussion Ensemble...

6:12 PM

Blogger Rich said...

Is it loading slowly? If so I can rehost it.

6:13 PM

Blogger Chad said...

His Elliott stuff is really good too...I did an interview with him on my site last week and I'd love to see a show of his (lucky you!).

2:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI- Madison is one hour east of Atlanta- take I-20 east to exit 114 and turn left.

1:59 PM

Blogger Rich said...

You can probably tell I'm not from Atlanta, huh? I'd never even heard of Madison until a couple days ago.

2:07 PM

Blogger robbie dee said...

wow, thanks for the tip. sounds like something i might end up doing tomorrow nite. can i really say "once in a lifetime" kinda deal?

11:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Writing in December 2008...

I was at this gig in Madison, Georgia a couple years ago.

I'm a Radiohead fan, not particularly into classical music (although William Shatner's celebrity playlist on iTunes includes some beautiful tunes... seriously!) and had never heard of Christpher O'Riley before going to this classical music gig.

To qualify this further, I have seen Radiohead play live in Reading, England (wish I could say "multiple times"!) and have their albums, t-shirts, etc.

This gig in Madison blew me away.

O'Riley's piano playing was electric. He chooses to interpret the Radiohead tunes that move and flow the most and when you listen to the O'Riley versions you realize, with great emphasis, how truly orchestral, flowing and graceful the original music is. Please do not think his interpretations are cheesy cover versions. They are delicate, powerful, clever compliments to the originals.

I subsequently bought O'Riley's Radiohead music on iTunes and I have listened to it A LOT. His music has greatly added to my enjoyment of listening to the original Radiohead material, not least because it adds another layer to the many already created by the band.

That hot night in July 06, I'm not sure that many of the classical music-loving older generation of Madison 'got it'. But I'd like to fantasize at least a couple of them went out and bought The Bends.

And I like to imagine that O'Riley's versions of 'High and Dry', "Street Spirit (Fade Out)' and 'Paranoid Anroid' are regularly played at elegant dinner parties behind the grecian columns and giant oak doors of some of those beautiful ante-bellum homes in downtown Madison.

Kudos to the organizers of the festival in taking a risk on a contemporary genius playing music that few at the festival were likely to know. Kudos to Christopher O'Riley and his talent. Kudos to Radiohead for everything else.

I never thought I'd see Radiohead in Madison! But it was VERY good.

10:48 PM


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