Phish frontman Trey Anastasio is ready to premiere his new Petrichor, a new suite for orchestra and guitar, nearly two years after he began work on it. Composed by Anastasio, orchestrated by frequent collaborator Don Hart and conducted by Scott Dunn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the project reportedly “celebrates the process of rebirth and transformation that a storm sets in motion.”
“I love the concept that beautiful gifts come often wrapped in not-so-beautiful packages,” Anastasio said in a statement. “The idea of a storm coming through – it’s a little scary and it’s a little dark, but after it’s over, it leaves this beautiful scent of renewal. Sometimes a big storm is exactly what you need.”
Petrichor will be premiered by the Oregon Symphony at Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert on September 9th. Two days later and 173 miles farther north, the Seattle Symphony will perform the piece at Benaroya Hall, and, on September 26, the Los Angeles Philharmonic play the third and final show at the Hollywood Bowl. Anastasio will sit in on guitar for all three.
This is not the first time that the Phish guitarist has experimented with classic music. In March of 2012, he joined Hart and the L.A. Phil for a performance of orchestrated Phish and Anastasio solo material at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. “This wasn’t just a case of a rock star who wanted a string section to augment his slow songs or horns to punctuate his anthems,” Rolling Stone reported at the time. “The rearrangements actually transformed popular Phish standards like ‘First Tube’ and ‘Water in the Sky’ into entirely new entities.”
Referring to the new series of performance, Anastasio added, “I try to bring pieces that are going to be challenging and fun to play – pieces that spotlight the level of musical elegance that’s capable with an orchestra, that’s only capable with an orchestra.”