Back in January, Thom Yorke announced that he’d written a classical composition to be performed by French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labeque. Earlier this month, the Radiohead frontman premiered the composition, “Don’t Fear The Light,” in Paris at Minimalist Dream House. The show, hosted by the National’s Bryce Dessner, also featured David Lang, Caroline Shaw, Timo Andres, and David Chalmin. Today, we get to hear the studio version of that composition, which just aired on BBC Radio 3 along with his other new song “Gawpers” and “Suspirium.”
While Yorke has been dabbling in composition for films, like for Luca Guadagnino’s ultimately disappointing Suspiria remake, this marks his first official foray into classical composition. The Suspiria soundtrack demonstrated some innate inclination towards eerie tension and resolution necessary for climactic compositions, but according to Yorke’s Twitter, he cannot read sheet music. Listen for yourself and decide whether or not that’s even a necessary skill for composing nowadays.
Check out “Don’t Fear The Light” via BBC Radio 3 here. The composition starts around the 27:00 mark, preceded by a message from Yorke and followed by “Gawpers.” Or you can hear it all in the YouTube below.