Critically acclaimed concert pianist, Christopher O’Riley broke ground with his top-selling solo piano transcriptions of Radiohead that garnered a 4-stars review in Rolling Stone magazine. Now O’Riley delivers a collection of innovative interpretations of the music of R.E.M., Nirvana, Bad Plus, The Smiths, Tori Amos and others with genre-bending renditions of Us & Them, Heart Shaped Box, The Rip, Blue Bell Knoll and Asleep.
He captures the infectious energy of these hits and transforms them into a classical vernacular making this a defining recording in the Alternative Classical genre.
Out of My Hands features the single Heart Shaped Box, originally composed by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. The recording techniques employed exemplify Christopher O’Riley’s unique straddling of the Classical and rock music worlds: O’Riley performed on a Hamburg Steinway Model D piano with five microphones placed inside, as well as a 360 degree surround system known as the “Death Star,” comprising seven additional microphones. This dual system delivers the intensity and rich harmonic layering of O’Riley’s piano arrangements, inspired by the sound of guitars, basses and drums, and captures the concert hall acoustic.
In his fascinating booklet notes, Christopher O’Riley describes the songs on this release through a Classical lens, noting the Debussian fifths in All I Need, the Glassian arpeggiations on Blue Bell Knoll, the Schubertian focus on Asleep and the operatic duet in Woman in Chains, along with making musical comparisons to Sibelius, Chopin, Messiaen and Scriabin – all providing enlightening insight into his inimitable craft.
“As a huge fan of O’Riley’s work with the Radiohead and Nick Drake catalogs, I am very impressed and honored that he chose to interpret this song [World Leader Pretend].”
- Michael Stipe — R.E.M.
Complete Track Listing
tori amos – mother
radiohead – all i need
elliott smith – new disaster
nirvana – heart-shaped box
portishead – the rip
pink floyd – us & them
cocteau twins – blue bell knoll
r.e.m. – world leader pretend
radiohead – videotape
the smiths – asleep
reid anderson (of The Bad Plus) – lost of love