Christopher O'Riley Tackles R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths on New Album | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Christopher O’Riley Tackles R.E.M., Portishead, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths on New Album

Classical Pianist Also Takes on Nirvana, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, and Others

Jun 30, 2009 Christopher O’Riley Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

Concert pianist Christopher O’Riley has been known to lend his talent to non-classical repertoire. Having rendered his own versions of compositions by Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake in dedicated albums, O’Riley has announced the upcoming Out of My Hands. Due out August 18th on White Tie Records, Out of My Hands will feature arrangements of songs by a mix of different artists, including R.E.M. (“World Leader Pretend”), Tori Amos (“Mother”), The Smiths (“Asleep”), Cocteau Twins (“Blue Bell Knoll”), Pink Floyd (“Us and Them”), Portishead (“The Rip”), Tears For Fears (“Woman in Chains”), Elliott Smith (“New Disaster”), and Radiohead (“All I Need” and “Video Tape”)—all based on his own transcriptions. Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” is the first single and is already available for download on iTunes.

As a press release announcing Out of My Hands reports, when Michael Stipe heard that O’Riley was covering “World Leader Pretend” the R.E.M. frontman had this to say: “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.”

O’Riley is set to perform music from the album at his upcoming show at New York’s Highline Ballroom on August 24th. He’ll also be performing October 17th at The Barns at Wolf Trap in Falls Church, VA and on October 23rd at Manship Theater in Baton Rouge, LA, with more dates to be announced.


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