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06/28/2024

Steve Hackman’s Radiohead X Brahms

Brahms X Radiohead is an epic symphonic synthesis of Radiohead’s album OK Computer and the Brahms First Symphony, composed for full symphony orchestra and three solo vocalists. The piece offers a reimagined experience of each work by seeing it through the lens of the other, exploring the explosive tension and deep pathos they have in common. Brahms’ 19th-century orchestral sound palette is used throughout, but woven in, superimposed, and inserted are the melodies and music of Radiohead. At times one hears the themes and lyrics of Radiohead suspended over Brahms’ symphony; at times the orchestra plays the music of Radiohead but filtered through the counterpoint and harmonies of Brahms. Every combination of synthesis is explored in Hackman’s recomposition, as the music moves from one to the other so seamlessly that many times the audience is left wondering which is which, and how the combination was even possible.

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