Sections

OK composer: Concert combines Radiohead with Brahms

Rock goes symphonic: Steve Hackman’s Stereo Hideout orchestra will play a mashup of Brahms and Radiohead at Kings Theatre on May 19.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

This is classical rock!

A 55-piece orchestra will blend Brahms with Radiohead for an epic concert at Kings Theatre on May 19. The virtuoso who mashed up the Romantic composer’s work with that of the rock gods says that the show combines the best of the past and the modern world.

“It’s about putting classical musicians and pieces with the best songwriting we’ve got,” said Steve Hackman. “The powerful voices and songs plus the power of the symphony is amazing.”

Hackman’s Stereo Hideout Orchestra is known for melding pop and rock with classical music — past projects have combined Coldplay with Beethoven, and Drake with Tchaikovsky. For the May 19 concert, he will conduct a full orchestra, including a group of Brooklyn musicians and singers, through a mash-up of Johannes Brahms’s “First Symphony” and Radiohead’s “OK Computer.”

The musician and composer has a personal connection to the works — the symphony was one of the first he ever conducted, while “OK Computer’ was the soundtrack of his high school years. The angst-ridden lyrics of Radiohead singer Thom Yorke jive with the restlessness that Brahms felt when while writing his symphony over a lengthy 15-year period, said Hackman.

“He was seen as the successor to Beethoven and there was such pressure on him to deliver,” he said. “And ‘OK Computer’ speaks masterfully to social anxiety and emotional isolation.”

Despite their different eras and genres, the two pieces go together with everything in its right place. The song “Airbag” already has a cello part, for instance, and “Paranoid Android” makes use of classical counterpoint, with two melodies going at the same time, making it a natural fit for orchestral instruments, according to Hackman.

“Their compatibility gave me a lot of freedom to play,” he said.

The show follows the format of the symphony, but interweaves music and vocals from “OK Computer” throughout, with singers performing Radiohead lyrics over Brahms’s music, and the orchestra sometimes taking on Radiohead’s instrumentation, with strings filling in for guitars.

Williamsburg singer Keren Tayar, who has performed with the group several times, said that she is excited to sing “Subterranean Homesick Alien” at the show, which she feels takes on new life in an orchestral setting.

“The fusion with Brahms brings out the story line in a different way,” she said. “The story and the meaning are so beautifully communicated with the orchestrat­ion.”

The show will bring music fans of different genres together, said Hackman.

“Brahms and Radiohead seem disparate and unrelated,” he said. “But really when you break it down, music is all made of the same twelve notes.”

“Stereo Hideout: Brooklyn Brahms V. Radiohead” at Kings Theatre (1027 Flatbush Ave., between Tilden Avenue and Duryea Place in Flatbush, (718) 856–2220, www.kingstheatre.com). May 19 at 8 pm. $39.50–$75.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Posted 12:00 am, May 8, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!