The Australian Chamber Orchestra commissioned the piece, which Greenwood wrote after serving as the company’s composer in residence in 2012. The composition features strings, piano, flutes, keyboards and the Indian instrument, the tanpura. Per the ACO’s website, “Water” was inspired by the Philip Larkin poem of the same name, “which alludes to a glass of water ‘where any-angled light would congregate endlessly.'”
The ACO premiered “Water” in Dublin in 2014 and continued to perform it throughout their ensuing tour of the United Kingdom. The version of “Water” that will appear on the upcoming vinyl release was recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. Meanwhile, the B-side will feature the ACO’s take on Mozart’s famous composition, Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
“We have chosen an outrageous combination of works that you would never consider pairing unless it were on an LP,” said Richard Tognetti, leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. “So consider this a curated, deliberate juxtaposition… The notion of surprise is paramount in offering these wildly contrasting works. But ‘a little night music’ is exactly what Jonny’s piece is. It’s something I would suggest you play once the sun sets, for its hypnotic drone-like structure presents something that really works best as daylight fades away.”
Since Radiohead finished touring in support of their most recent album, A Shaped Pool, Greenwood has returned to his composition work. He recently scored Lynne Ramsay’s film You Were Never Really Here and has reunited with frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson for his upcoming movie, Phantom Thread, out December 25th.