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(Credit: Zach Klein)

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood launches his own classical music label


Radiohead’s multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood as launched Octatonic Records, his own contemporary classical label.

The new label, which will focus on smaller groups and soloists, has been birthed after Greenwood met fellow musicians after completing his first soundtrack. The label has already announced their first two releases in the shape of Daniel Pioro performing Bach’s iconic ‘Partita No. 2’ and, on the second, Michael Gordon’s ‘Industry’.

“This year, I’m launching a new record label, called Octatonic Records,” Greenwood writes one the label’s official website. “I’ve decided to start documenting the musicians I encounter in the contemporary classical world. Since doing my first soundtrack, I’ve become friends with lots of these remarkable musicians, as well as more familiar with the music they play. It’s a whole world out there.”

“I’m only recording soloists, or small groups, and as it’s my party, including in the releases some of my own small ideas that have never been recorded, like ’88’ (for solo piano), and ‘Miniatures from Water’ for piano, violin, string drone and tanpura.”

He added: “My intention is to capture them playing the pieces they love, both contemporary and ancient, and release the recordings on vinyl and streaming services, as regularly as I can. The first two releases should include music by Bach, Messiaen and Michael Gordon, and we have plans to record some Steve Reich in our next session.”

Detailing further, Greenwood explained: “The sessions we’ve already had with some of these friends have been glorious – any excuse to hear them play – but more importantly, I want to produce a great, intimate recording, that captures the music in a way that does justice to their talent, and the composers they chose. 

“I hope these recordings encourage more people to see live classical music, and to take an interest in the featured artists. And, whilst a recording can only ever be an approximation of the real thing, I’m going to work hard to produce recordings that encourage you to see this music as something vital and passionate.”

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