Two new classical songs by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke debuted on the BBC Radio 3 program Unclassified on Sunday. The two new pieces included Yorke’s first-ever classical composition “Don’t Fear The Light” and a live rendition of “Gawpers,” both of which were debuted during the Minimalist Dream House concert at the Philharmonie de Paris on April 7.
Minimalist Dream House”was a classical performance orchestrated by the sisters Katia and Marielle Labeque, and it featured contributions from Yorke, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and French producer and composer David Chalmin. Yorke wrote “Don’t Fear The Light” as a three-part piece meant for two pianos, a modular synthesizer and various electronics. The Labeque sisters are the pianists in the recorded version played on Unclassified.
“Katia and Marielle suggested for a few years that I write some music for them. Usually I would laugh and explain that I couldn’t read music, but in truth I was intrigued by the idea,” Yorke said in a note to BBC Radio 3. “I realized that writing for score or in a sequencer and modular gear are really not so far apart. But the best part for me was watching the basics of what I’d written being brought to life by the sisters and their interpretation, making the notes theirs. I could only take part responsibility for the results. It’s been fascinating.”
The other track, “Gawpers,” was a bit of Yorke’s own solo material that he played a few times on his most recent tour. The April 28 broadcast of Unclassified marked the first time either song was played on the radio. Unclassified host Elizabeth Alker concluded the episode by playing the song “Suspirium” from Yorke’s recent soundtrack for Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake.
Listen to “Don’t Fear The Night,” “Gawpers” and “Suspirium” in the archived episode of Unclassified here. “Don’t Fear The Night” appears around the 27:30 mark, “Gawpers” begins around 47:20 and “Suspirium” can be heard at 55:00. We’ve also included a Radiohead performance from the Paste archives below.