A show about Radiohead can only be accurately reviewed by a Radiohead expert. So we turned to an avid fan of the iconic band to check out “Radio Rewrite” at the Push Festival. Abhi’s perspective is not only valuable in the context of the theme of the show, but also because it belongs to the demographic that is not easy to find at performing arts shows – younger millennials. As an engineering student at UBC, Abhi is even further removed from the arts community, so to see him immerse himself in a brand new community we thought would also be wonderful to witness. Without wasting any more time in preambles, let’s dive into what Abhi thought about this unusual avatar of his favourite music.
There were a total of eight plays performed in “Radio Rewrite”, four of which were composed by Jonny Greenwood. A variety of string and wind instruments were used in this classical music-themed concert. The concert started with the Ondes Martenot alongside the string instruments, violin, and cello.
It was fascinating when soloist and chamber player, Estelle Lemire, gave a brief background about her instrument, the Ondes Martenot, an electronic musical instrument used to produce some eerie wavering notes by varying the frequency of vibration. In the first half of the show, the Ondes Martenot was almost disengaged with the other instruments, as if two separate pieces of music were playing at the same time.
The solo piano piece was spellbinding to observe since the
pianist’s hand movement was agile over every keystroke. It, however, sounded quite fragmented and did not flow as well. Some of the pieces sounded like what one would hear in old horror or suspense movies.
The latter half of the show brought about a calmer and a more fluid-take on classical music with the violin, cello, trombone, and the base guitar.
The final piece called “Radio Rewrite” was quite good. It is composed by Steve Reich and was performed by Turning Point Ensemble. It had a good mixture of technical finesse and energy. Overall the concert was calm and peaceful with the monophonic synthesizer in the background.
“Radio Rewrite” is a concert that is definitely catered more towards a classical music fan.
You can get tickets to all the other amazing PuSH shows here now!
– Abhijeet Kamble