NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series is full of surprises, and the latest twist finds Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood enlisting the Ensemble Signal to perform two moving pieces of original classical music.
"I've watched a lot of Tiny Desk concerts over the years. It's good to see musicians in the raw, away from stage lighting and backing tracks — as if they've just stopped by an office to play over a lunch break, with desk-bound employees watching on," Greenwood writes in the introduction to the 22-minute meditative performance.
"The performances should expose flaws, but instead they tend to expose musicians being casually brilliant, like the members of Ensemble Signal, who certainly play these pieces beautifully," Greenwood adds. Though he was unable join the six musicians in the Washington, D.C. NPR offices, they did his compositions justice, opening with "Three Miniatures From Water," performed on violin, piano, cello, bass and the sitar-like tanpura.