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Observer reviews Ether Festival

In today’s Observer you can find another review of the Ether Festival, where Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke performed at the Royal Festival last weekend.

Greenwood, still feeling his way in this genre, seems to have found the knack of producing bright, jewel-like sounds from an orchestra, and here his music closed with a lush and pleasing coda.

A brilliant lustre shone again at the close of Smear, his piece for strings, harp, horn, clarinet and two ondes Martenots. But despite Mes siaen’s birdsong influences chirping through the clarinet writing and the ondes Martenots weaving a beguiling counterpoint, this was less successful than Piano for Children.

Wild-haired Thom Yorke brought the evening to a triumphant close, singing in his inimitable style – all shakes and jitters – in adaptations of Radiohead’s Arpeggi (premiered here) and ‘Where Bluebirds Fly’. Here was an attempt to fuse all the evening’s elements – the Sinfonietta, the Nazareth Orchestra and the ondes Martenot players (Greenwood among them); all, as one, breaking down those barriers that divide pop and classical cultures.

[Read it in full, thanks Mandy]

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