Radiohead guitarist and keyboard player Jonny Greenwood as spent the past year writing classical music
Say you’ve missed Radiohead over the past year? As it turns out, guitarist and keyboard player Jonny Greenwood says the band officially took a year off, which explains why the guys have been missing in action.
During the downtime, Greenwood has kept busy writing classical music. “In a year off from Radiohead, I’ve been writing scored music for small string groups – first a residency with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (who really do practice all day and surf all evening) and, more recently, the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO),” he said in a blog for The Guardian chronicling his time away from Radiohead.
When it comes to studio recording, Greenwood said it’s difficult to pin down what makes a good recording. “This whole idea of roughness in recording is interesting,” he said. “The studio notes for (Sex Pistols album) ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ betray enormous care in how it was done – so many microphones on the drums, all so carefully placed and balanced. All the care that went into making that glorious vitriol and sparkle reach the final record.”
He added that you can’t shortcut a great recording. “Bands today try to replicate that recording in the belief that its rough sound can be emulated with a rough recording – one bad mic, and all in one room,” he said. “That it can’t be replicated only makes that album even more of an achievement for Chris Thomas and Bill Price, and the notion of what makes a good recording even harder to pin down. That’s why I still enjoy recording studios and why I am so often seduced by electronic music, which stands above all this and thrives on the airlessness of its recordings.”
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