Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood Launches Classical Music Label - Rolling Stone
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Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood Launches Classical Music Label, Octatonic Records

“20-something carrying a cello case will always be more impressive than someone with a guitar,” musician says

Radiohead - Jonny GreenwoodRadiohead in concert at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA - 11 Jul 2018

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has launched a contemporary classical music label, Octatonic Records.

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Radiohead guitarist and acclaimed film composer Jonny Greenwood unveiled his new contemporary classical label, Octatonic Records, Tuesday.

In an announcement on the label’s site, Greenwood wrote, “Since doing my first soundtrack [2003’s Bodysong], I’ve become friends with lots of these remarkable musicians, as well as more familiar with the music they play. It’s a whole world out there.”

Greenwood will only record soloists or small groups of musicians for Octatonic. “And as it’s my party, including in the releases some of my own small ideas that have never been recorded, like 88 (for solo piano), and Miniatures from Water for piano, violin, string drone and tanpura.”

Already released on the label is Bach’s Volume: 1: Partita No.2 in D Minor on vinyl and digital, as well as Volume 2: Industry, Water, which consists of Greenwood’s “Three Miniatures From Water” on one side and composer Michael Gordon’s “Industry” on the other.

“I stand in awe of classically trained UK musicians: a 20-something carrying a cello case will always be more impressive than someone with a guitar,” Greenwood wrote. “It’s just harder to do. It takes more commitment, and the sounds they make are so limitless — for all that the instruments they play are ‘traditional.'”

He continued: “I hope these recordings encourage more people to see live classical music, and to take an interest in the featured artists. And, whilst a recording can only ever be an approximation of the real thing, I’m going to work hard to produce recordings that encourage you to see this music as something vital and passionate.”

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Earlier this summer, Radiohead released Minidiscs [Hacked], which consists of 18 hours of material from OK Computer that had leaked on Bandcamp. Their last LP was 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, which they toured extensively for over two years and concluded at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on August 1st, 2018.

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