DU Orchestral go round the bends

Almost 500 people squeezed into the Exam Hall on Friday 19th February to catch Trinity Orchestra’s eagerly anticipated Exit Music (For An Orchestra). The concert featured over fifty Trinity musicians performing fourteen of Radiohead’s most famous pieces. The tribute was described by Brian Denvir, Orchestra Society Auditor, as a “resounding success”. With over 750 people marked as “attending” on the event’s Facebook page, tickets sold out just two hours after their release at the Students’ Union Shop.
Last year, DU Orchestral performed a tribute to the Icelandic symphonic group Sigur Rós. Thought up by Denvir and conductor Rob Farhat, the pair felt confident that the Orchestra could recreate Radiohead’s music in a live orchestral setting.
The Oxford-based rock group, whose guitarist Johnny Greenwood served as Composer in Residence for the BBC, has made extensive use of orchestral arrangements in studio but rarely export this to the live stage.
“We realised that their music lends itself so well to the orchestral genre,” says Denvir, “and lamented the fact that Radiohead were unlikely to ever perform with an orchestra.”
A core band of five instrumentalists, seven vocalists and around fifty society members in the orchestra constituted the ensemble on the night. Denvir and Farhat – who performed and conducted respectively – had arranged all the music for the band and orchestra from scratch. Fans cited the haunting “Pyramid Song”, chaotic live favourite “The National Anthem” and the funereal “Life in a Glasshouse” as being among the highlights of the performance.
All proceeds from the night went to the Foundation for Social Assistance and Youth, a charity supporting underprivileged children and families in Romania. Over €1,500 was raised for the charity by the event.
Despite the demand, those hoping to catch a second night of Exit Music this term will be disappointed. But there may be hope for next year.
“The plan,” says Denvir, “is to play Daft Punk’s Discovery album in its entirety, and then who knows, maybe we’ll do Beyoncé…”
For those who enjoyed Exit Music (For An Orchestra) Trinity Orchestra can be seen in their element at their final concert of the year in Christ Church Cathedral, 8pm Wednesday 24th March. For €5 students can catch a programme that includes Debussy, Brahms, and the Malcolm Arnold Clarinet Concerto conducted by Ciaran Sutton.