Today is Jonny Greenwood‘s 51st birthday! Greenwood is the sonic mastermind behind Radiohead, pushing the music written by Thom Yorke and company into other dimensions with his unique array of sounds and effects.
Greenwood is listed as a “guitar and keyboard player”, but anyone who has seen Radiohead live has seen Greenwood play a wide array of instruments, with everything from a simple radio to a complicated set of computer programs used to augment Radiohead’s unique and atmospheric sound. Greenwood even wrote computer software for their 2011 album The King Of Limbs, showing just how far he’ll go to re-create the sounds that he hears in his head. Greenwood is the modern-day Brian Wilson, truly a perfectionist that has created some of the most interesting and complex music of our time.
Greenwood’s visionary work in Radiohead has also led to several other successful projects as a composer. He has written several orchestral pieces and was named composer-in-residence at the BBC Concert Orchestra, and has a long-standing collaboration with film director Paul Thomas Anderson, for whom he wrote critically-acclaimed scores for the remarkable films There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice.
In honor of the great Jonny Greenwood, check out a small selection of his diverse musical output below. You’ll find a few videos of him rocking with Radiohead, as well as a video of him performing a number of orchestral tracks–including pieces of his groundbreaking score for There Will Be Blood–as part of a special Boiler Room with the London Contemporary Orchestra
Watch Greenwood perform “The National Anthem” with Radiohead at Reading Festival in 2009, courtesy of BBC Music.
Radiohead – “The National Anthem” – Reading, U.K. — 8/30/2009
[Video: BBC Music]
Watch Greenwood perform “Climbing Up the Walls” with Radiohead at Madison Square Garden this 2016, courtesy of YouTube user Jason Adams.
Radiohead – “Climbing Up the Walls” — New York, NY – 7/26/16
[Video: Jason Adams]
Watch Greenwood perform “Present Tense” from “A Moon Shaped Pool” with Thom Yorke, in a video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke – “Present Tense”
Watch Greenwood perform with the London Contemporary Orchestra, courtesy of Boiler Room.
Jonny Greenwood, London Contemporary Orchestra – Boiler Room
[Video: Boiler Room]
Happy Birthday, Jonny Greenwood! Keep pushing the boundaries of music!
[Originally published 11/5/20]