Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Roots of Christopher O'Riley

THE eclectic pianist O'Riley came to my attention a few years ago for his interpretations of music by Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. He's recently teamed up with Matt Haimovitz, the wild-man cellist who cam render Bach and Hendrix with equal skill. (In '05 or so, Haimovitz put on a radical and memorable show at a restaurant in LA in which a fight nearly broke out.)

O'Riley, who comes to town with the cellist next Wednesday, is the latest subject of my Influences column. He had a lot to say, so here's a bit I did not have room for:

If I’m not playing the piano, I’m likely reading or seeing a film. I read widely and voraciously. I find the world of the imagination to be enriching, inspiring and a great influence on how deeply I invest myself in creating my own pieces. I am more in awe of writers than I am of most musicians/composers. Some of my faves: David Foster Wallace, Mark Z. Danielewski, James Joyce, Roberto Bolano, Charles Dickens, Thomas Ligotti, Stephen Graham Jones, Chuck Palahniuk, Kris Saknussemm, Ken Bruen, Megan Abbott, Salman Rushdie, Stona Fitch, Donald E. Westlake, Christopher Hitchens, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy.

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