Thom Yorke has been up to some interesting stuff recently, although that’s not necessarily a surprise for the erstwhile Radiohead frontman. While he and his compatriots in his legendary alt-rock band are working on a new album, Yorke has also done some rare live solo shows, and he put together a simple, little 432-hour long soundtrack for an art exhibit. And now, he’s decided to take on a brand-new task: Providing the music for a Broadway play.
The play in question is Old Times, which was written by Harold Pinter and which is being directed by Douglas Hodge. It also has a leading star in Clive Owen, so clearly this is a pretty big production. “It’s been a pleasure working with Doug on my first stage production. I’ve enjoyed exploring through music the script’s themes of love and memory as well as Pinter’s rhythms, twists and turns,” said Yorke. Hodge was just as effusive about Yorke, saying to Pitchfork:
The music Thom has written for Old Times gives an immediacy and a ‘now‐ness’ to the show. The play itself is about memory and love—Thom’s music works backwards and forwards 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. I’m hopeful this collaboration will result in a new kind of theatergoer coming to our show.
Apparently, love and memory are important to this play. While it is Yorke’s bandmate Jonny Greenwood who has been really branching out into creating soundtracks and scores, Yorke can now say he’s scored a Broadway play. Oh, and also appeared on the cover of an Iranian book about men’s sexual health. You can decide which is the greater accomplishment.