Radiohead's Thom Yorke has branched out into the art world, creating the musical underscore for "The Panic Office," a new Australian exhibition by frequent collaborator Stanley Donwood. Donwood, whose real name is Dan Rickwood, has previously designed artwork for Yorke, Radiohead and Yorke's other band Atoms for Peace.
His relationship with Radiohead has lasted for more than two decades, with artistic contributions to the band's albums OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, In Rainbows, and The King of Limbs. Some of his music-related pieces will be included in the 25 years of art showcased in "The Panic Office," which will feature a variety of Donwood's work, including paintings, prints and drawings. Many of them will be for sale at the exhibition.
Australian radio station Triple J reports that Yorke's score, entitled 'Subterranea,' is specifically designed for three different levels of speaker systems, quoting a press release that states subs will be heard from the floor, mid-level sounds will echo through the walls, and the highs are supposed to come down from the ceiling. Furthermore, the press release promises that no minute of music over the entire 18-day run is the same.
This amounts to an immersive auditory experience that you don't get at your average art gallery. You can check out a video, including a sample of Yorke's music, via Donwood's Twitter.
Unfortunately for American fans, there are no plans for 'Subterranea' to be released outside of the exhibition, so the only place to hear it in full will be in Australia.
But if you can make it to the exhibit, it's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the marriage of art and music, and to look back at pieces from some of the best albums from a classic band. Radiohead have been on somewhat of a hiatus since the release of The King of Limbs in 2011. Yorke, credited as "Zachariah Wildwood," collaborated with Donwood, who chose the alias "Donald Twain," on that record's cover art and packaging. After its release, the album registered on more than 20 charts around the world, including third on the Billboard 200. It also earned five nominations at the Grammy Awards, but did not win.
More recently, band member Philip Selway told Drowned in Sound that the group had started working on their next release last fall, and would resume the project in March. While we still don't have much information about what that album will be or when we can expect to hear it, it's clear that Radiohead is still alive and kicking - whether it's in the recording studio or in an art gallery.
For more on Radiohead, visit the band's page at AXS.