Thom Yorke on Spinning Plates

Posted: August 24, 2007 in creativity

Here’s another little treasure from John Baez’ site. A couple of weeks ago, when another example of the debilitated intelligence of our species planted a flag on the arctic seabed to follow the calling of empire grandeur and shiny dollar notes, Baez reflected on this sad occasion this way:

Thom Yorke of Radiohead had this to say about their song Like Spinning Plates:

I focus on the most imminent ecological issues. You know, there are so many scenarios on the horizon at the moment that will result in mass suffering. For the most part in the West we worship a certain type of economics, which is like worshipping a false god. It’s a theory about economics which will collapse, and the sooner people realize that, the quicker they will be able to understand how we should be engaging with the world around us. To me, it’s like spinning plates: I’m not sure how long we can keep this trick going.”

[excerpt from the Spinning Plate Wiki link above: “The song was apparently created by reversing the backing track from ‘I Will,’ which was composed during the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions but did not appear as a release until their 2003 album Hail to the Thief. Thom Yorke then wrote a new, electronic song around the reversed melody, then reversed it again so the vocals were backwards. Yorke learned the backwards vocals, sang and recorded them over the backing track, and reversed the track once more. Finally, Yorke sang the song forward again for the final take, mimicking the distorted sound of his manipulated vocals in the verses.”]


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