Popcorn Superhet Receiver

Jonny Greenwood and Krzysztof Penderecki

You may recall news that Jonny Greenwood and Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki were working on an album together after they performed last September in Poland. NPR has that album now available for you to stream online.

That challenge lies at the very heart of this album, which brings together one of rock and electronic music’s superheroes, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, with one of his own idols: the septuagenarian Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The collection features two string pieces written by the elder composer, 1960’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and 1961’sPolymorphia for 48 strings, juxtaposed with two of Greenwood’s similarly set answers to Penderecki’s work: Popcorn Superhet Receiver (inspired by Threnody) and 48 Responses to Polymorphia. Here, they both choose to use a seemingly antiquated vehicle — orchestral strings — to convey the noise, chaos and energy of our time. The results are ear-tingling.

Listen to the album here.

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Greenwood News

by Jonathan on July 31, 2008

The brothers Greenwood are in the news today. First up, it was announced on music composer James Lavino’s MySpace blog that Colin Greenwood is contributing to the soundtrack of the Alex Karposvksy’s film Woodpecker. The soundtrack is apparently out now digitally and the film has been making the festival rounds since March.

In other news, Jonny Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver is making its West Coast debut on August 21 at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre. As you may know, Greenwood won the 2006 BBC British Composer Awards for this piece. As Pitchfork reports, Popcorn is billed as having “surprise guests” so it could be that Jonny may actually be part of the performance since the band will be in San Francisco the day after for the Outside Lands Festival. This is just a guess and not by any means official.

More about the performance:

JONNY GREENWOOD: POPCORN SUPERHET RECEIVER
THE MAGIK*MAGIK ORCHESTRA
BENJAMIN SHWARTZ, CONDUCTOR
JOAN JEANRENAUD, CELLO
WILLIAM WINANT, PERCUSSION

Our San Francisco debut and the surprise finale of the 2007-08 season. The night before Radiohead takes the stage at the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, Wordless Music will present the West Coast premiere of Jonny Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver for string orchestra. Conductor Benjamin Shwartz will lead the Magik*Magik Orchestra in a program of music by Arvo Part, a major influence on the music of Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, along with Bay Area composers Fred Frith, Mason Bates, and John Adams. Tickets on sale via cityboxoffice.com.

(thanks to Pitchfork and AtEase)

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On a diligent quest to marry the contemporary classical and indie rock worlds– or at least let them mingle for a few magical nights a season– the New York City-based Wordless Music Series returns this fall with another generous helping of eclectic aural delights, sure to enchant folks from the highbrow to the underground.

Set for the Series’ 2007/08 season are Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood– who’ll oversee a performance of his British Composer Award-winning composition Popcorn Superhet Receiver– along with Beirut, Final Fantasy, Do Make Say Think, and the U.S. debut of indie-friendly modern composer Max Richter.

Other series highlights include Icelandic dream-weavers Múm, ambient loop mistress Colleen, string savant and indie arranger of choice Nico Muhly, experimental electronic artist Jan Jelinek, and Australian avant-jazz trio Triosk. The complete schedule for the new season (with dates and venues) is still shaping up, but scope the events confirmed thus far below, and bookmark the Wordless website for updates.

From Pitchfork.

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Check out this link: http://www.wordlessmusic.org/Schedule.html. Read the fine print at the bottom.

It says that Jonny Greenwood will be taking part in the Wordless Music Series for 2007-08. What is this you say? From the website:

The Wordless Music Series is devoted to the idea that the sound worlds of classical and contemporary instrumental music—in genres such as indie rock, free jazz, and electronic music—share more in common than conventional thinking might suggest. To illustrate the continuity between these worlds, the series will pair rock and electronic musicians in an intimate concert setting with more traditionally understood classical and chamber music performers. In so doing, the series will bring together audiences and introduce listeners of both classical and contemporary music to composers that they might otherwise not encounter, for a completely new concert experience. It will also demonstrate that the various boundaries and genre distinctions segregating music today—“popular” and “classical”; “uptown” and “downtown”; “high” art and “low” —are an artificial construction in need of dismantling.

Now obviously we have to tell you that this is all we know and nothing has been announced or confirmed. While this appears like something Jonny may be interested in doing, until we hear it from him or management, this is being filed as a “rumor”.
(thanks to Jason)

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