Steve Reich's Radiohead-Inspired Radio Rewrite: Listen to the World Premiere Now


Steve Reich
  • Steve Reich

In this week's print edition, RFT Music writer Ryan Wasoba discussed new-music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, performing at the Sheldon Concert Hall on March 20. The group will be performing a piece by American composer Steve Reich called Radio Rewrite, which contains elements inspired by British rock band Radiohead.

From the feature:

The significance of Radio Rewrite cannot be overstated. The greatest living composer structured the piece on the music of the greatest living rock band, and the greatest active new-music ensemble will perform it for only the third time ever at the Sheldon Concert Hall on March 20 -- a mere fifteen days after its world debut.

The aforementioned "greatest living composer" is Steve Reich, who celebrated his 75th birthday in 2010 with a three-day festival in Krakow featuring myriad musicians performing his life's works. One such musician was Jonny Greenwood of the "greatest living rock band," Radiohead. Reich had never heard Radiohead, but he dug into the band's music after witnessing Greenwood's performance of the all-guitar composition Electric Counterpoint. A few months later Reich began to compose Radio Rewrite, which features elements of the Radiohead songs "Everything in Its Right Place" and "Jigsaw Falling into Place."

The world debut of em> Radio Rewrite took place in London on March 5. It was performed by the London Sinfonietta and conducted by Brad Lubman. Below is an audio recording of the performance.

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