Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke scores Broadway play

thom yorke to compose score for broadway play radiohead
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Thom Yorke can add Broadway composer to his long list of musical accomplishments. The Radiohead frontman will write new music for the revival of Harold Pinter’s Old Times starring Clive Owen, which debuts in October.

Yorke’s music will be featured at the beginning and end of the show as well as during the play’s transitions, said the director Douglas Hodge to The New York Times. Yorke wrote the score in collaboration with Hodge, who made his mark as an actor (La Cage aux Folles) and is now trying his hand at directing.

“I’d say something like, ‘It describes a ribbon of light on the horizon. Can you do that?'” explained Hodge to the Times when describing his method for shaping Yorke’s music for the play’s score. “He’d send me an email of some music he’d written, and it would be some primeval, unusual thing. The sort of neurosis within his music certainly has elucidated elements of the compulsive repetition of the play.”

Yorke took the project amidst quite a busy schedule: he’ll be in the studio this fall recording Radiohead’s ninth record and he’ll also be performing in support of his solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, in Japan this month.

“The music Thom has written for Old Times gives an immediacy and a ‘now-ness’ to the show,” said Hodge. “The play itself is about memory and love — Thom’s music works backwards and forward and plays with time and repetition in the same way Pinter does. In true Thom Yorke-style, the music is epic, heartbreaking, irresistible, and complex.”

The update to the 1971 Pinter play, which will be Owen’s Broadway debut, will also star Eve Best (Nurse Jackie, The Homecoming) and Kelly Reilly (True Detective).

Old Times will premiere on October 6th at the American Airlines Theatre in Manhattan and will remain on Broadway until November 29th.