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Christopher O'Riley: piano covers of Nick Drake

Christopher O'Riley: piano covers of Nick Drake

Several years ago, classical music virtuoso Christopher O'Riley translated the music of Radiohead for piano to amazing effect. He followed up two Radiohead cover albums, "True Love Waits" and "Hold Me To This," with a piano tribute to the late Elliott Smith, "Home to Oblivion." Now, O'Riley, has put his hands on the catalog of influential English singer/songwriter Nick Drake who died of an overdose of antidpressants in 1974 at age 26. Slated for release tomorrow, "Second Grace: The Music of Nick Drake," is absolutely magnificent. (This is a big week for O'Riley. Not only is this album coming out, but his NPR classical music program, From The Top, premiered as a TV show on PBS last night.) Drawing from Drake's studio albums and home recordings, O'Riley's transcriptions of Drake's performances are floating, evocative, sometimes minimalist, and always haunting. Second Grace is perfect for a dark and stormy night or a calm and dreamy afternoon. From a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article:
 Images P B000N6U1Cs.01. Sclzzzzzzz V42014599 Aa240 Asked if he sees a connection between the artists he's devoted full-length albums to interpreting, O'Riley says, "It's the same thing that draws me to Dmitri Shostakovich, a sense of dichotomy, a sense of irony, a sense of surface versus substance. For instance, with Radiohead, you have a song like 'No Surprises,' where a very pretty texture and harmony are propping up rather desperate if not suicidal lyrics. So the dichotomy between the surface beauty and the undersurface turbulence and despair -- those qualities are rife, I think, throughout the works of all three artists."
Link (Thanks, Howard Wuelfing!) 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000N6U1CS/boingboing0e-20

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