On the music of NICK DRAKE
(and Elliot Smith and Radiohead)
"I've never met a song of theirs that I didn't love.
I do think that as much great classical music as
there is, there's other great music as well."
"You know the Duke Ellington adage: There's only two kinds of
music - good music and bad music."
It certainly seems that this dictum has been the guiding light of classical
pianist CHRISTOPHER O'RILEY's multidimensional career. O'RILEY's
1. the classical concert stage (he is one of America's
top tier concert pianists);
2. radio and TV (the host of America's most
popular classical music radio show "From
the Top" which airs weekly on National Public Radio,
he now showcases America's brightest young classical musicians on public
TV as well - in "From the Top at Carnegie Hall," entering its
second year in May 2008); and
3. popular music (his transcriptions in the classical style -
of pop/rock music he is "covetous of" - have earned 4 Rolling
Next season, he takes another of his bold ideas to the recital stage,
performing a program that intertwines classic piano music with his own
pop transcriptions, pairing Claude Debussy with Nick Drake, Robert Schumann
with Elliott Smith and Dimitri Shostakovich with the Radiohead band.
this video interview held on February 16, 2007 following rehearsals for
the World Premiere of his "TRIBUTE TO NICK DRAKE" at UCLA's
Royce Hall, O'RILEY - who has been a pop/rock and jazz enthusiast from
his youth - talks about what draws him to these genres and why he does
what he does.