NME Festival blog: Thom Yorke announces debut broadcast of his first ever classical composition

It’s premiering on BBC Radio 3

This weekend will see Thom Yorke debut the recording of his first ever classical composition, ‘Don’t Fear The Light’.

The Radiohead frontman will premiere his new three-part work written for two pianos, electronics and modular synthesizer at 11pm on Sunday April 28 on BBC Radio 3’s new show Unclassified, hosted by Elizabeth Alker.

The recording was made at the recent Minimalist Dream House show in Paris, with The National’s Bryce Dessner in a performance devised by sisters Katia and Marielle Labeque.

“Katia and Marielle suggested for a few years that I write some music for them,” Yorke told Unclassified. “Usually I would laugh and explain that I couldn’t read music, but in truth I was intrigued by the idea.

“I realised writing for score or on a sequencer and modular gear are really not so far apart but the best part for me was watching the basics of what I’d written being brought to life by the sisters and their interpretation, making the notes theirs.”

Thom Yorke / Bryce Dessner

The show will also premiere the live recording of Yorke’s new solo track ‘Gawpers‘, as well as new works by Bryce Dessner, French composer and producer David Chalmin.

After its premiere on Sunday, the recording will then be available exclusively via the BBC Sounds app and Radio 3 website.

The programme is as follows:

David Chalmin: Particule no 5 – Particule no 6 – (feat Thom Yorke vocals)
Bryce Dessner: Haven
Thom Yorke: Don’t Fear the Light
Thom Yorke: Gawpers
Thom Yorke: Suspirium
Thom Yorke (vocals, electronics and modular synthesiser)
Katia & Marielle Labeque (piano)
Bryce Dessner (guitar)
David Chalmin (guitar)

In 2018, Yorke debuted his first ever film score for Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake.

Meanwhile, The National’s new album, ‘I Am Easy To Find’, is released on May 17.


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