Host Christopher O’Riley and Cellist Matt Haimovitz Want You To “Shuffle. Play. Listen”

We are excited to announce that our own Christopher O’Riley recently teamed up with cellist Matt Haimovitz (2010 Grammy nominee for Best Classical Crossover Album) to create the classical/pop CD Shuffle. Play. Listen. The two-disc set was released from Oxingale Records on September 27 and offers traditional classical selections as well as pop and rock interpretations. You can preview the music and purchase a copy on or iTunes.

Disc one is full of Igor Stravinsky, Leoš Janáček, and Christopher’s own arrangement of Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo Suite.

“O’Riley effectively captures the essence of Herrmann’s indelible soundtrack, and the pianist’s richly expressive playing is matched by Haimovitz in atmospheric performances that may have you feeling a little dizzy,” says Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun. “Selections from O’Riley’s ‘Vertigo’ Suite are interspersed with colorful music by Janáček, Martinů and Stravinsky (the ordering provides built-in shuffling on this disc); the artists deliver that repertoire impressively, too.”

The second disc takes a different turn, offering Christopher’s arrangements of popular music from Radiohead, Arcade Fire, A Perfect Circle, and more.

“In concert, we go between Stravinsky and Radiohead, and then John McLaughlin and then some Bach and Ravel. It’s part of the same trajectory for us, and it fits seamlessly in a program,” Matt Haimovitz said in an interview with New York Times author Dan Levitin. “For me, a classical listener will be interested in Radiohead or any of the tunes we’re playing on the pop side. I think what we’re doing has a sincerity to it. We’re getting to the spirit of this music, while translating it in a very different way than the original.”

Here’s a clip of the duo in action, playing O’Riley’s arrangement of “Empty Room” by Arcade Fire:

Christopher and Matt are touring cross-country until April 2012, with their next performance in Portland, Maine on Friday, November 18