News that American composer Steve Reich's latest composition has been inspired by the work of Radiohead makes a fitting tribute to a band that has done more than any other current rock outfit to bring down the boundaries between their genre and classical music.
Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood had played over the backing tracks to Reich's Electric Counterpoint at a festival in Poland in 2010. He had also composed soundtrack works for the films There Will Be Blood and We Need to Talk About Kevin, so after a meeting between the two, Reich was intrigued enough to check out Radiohead's back catalogue.
Reich's piece references two tracks by the Oxford band, the dissonant, guitar-free "Everything In Its Right Place" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place". "It was not my intention to make anything like variations on these songs, rather to draw on the harmonies and some melodic fragments and work them into my piece," he said.
Steve Reich's 'Radio Rewrite' world premiere, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (www.southbankcentre.co.uk), 5 March; then touring