Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reckoner


reckoner
you can’t take it with yer
dancing for your pleasure

you are not to blame for
bittersweet distractor
dare not speak it’s name
dedicated to all human beings

because we separate like ripples on a blank shore
in rainbows
because we separate like ripples on a blank shoree

reckoner
take me with yer
dedicated to all human beings


From Dante's "Paradiso" (Canto XIII):
Experiencing that Radiance, the spirit
is so indrawn it is impossible
even to think of ever turning from It.

and not because that Living Radiance bore
more than one semblance, for It is unchanging
and is forever as it was before;

rather, as I grew worthier to see,
the more I looked, the more unchanging semblance
appeared to change with every change in me.

Within the depthless deep and clear existence
of that abyss of light three circles shown -
threefold in color, one in circumference;

the second from the first, rainbow from rainbow;
the third, an exhalation of pure fire
equally breathed forth by the other two.

But oh how much my words miss my conception,
which is itself so far from what I saw
than to call it feeble would be rank deception!

O Light Eternal fixed in Itself alone,
by Itself alone understood, which from Itself
loves and glows, self-knowing and self-known;

that second aureole which shone forth in Thee,
conceived as a reflection of the first -
or which appeared so to my scrutiny -

seemed in Itself of Its own coloration
to be painted with man's image. I fixed my eyes
on that alone in rapturous contemplation.

Like an old reckoner wholly dedicated
to squaring the circle, but who cannot find,
think as he may, the principle indicated -

so did I study the supernal face.
I yearned to know just how our image merges
into that circle, and how it there finds place;

but mine were not the wings for such a flight.
Yet, as I wished, the truth I wished for came
cleaving my mind in a great flash of light.

Here my powers rest from their high fantasy,
but already I could feel my being turned -
instinct and intellect balanced equally

as in a wheel whose motion nothing jars -
by the Love that moves the sun and other stars.


Thanks to emptylee for finding this quote from Dante's "Paradiso".

AVC: "Reckoner" makes In Rainbows, as an album, feel like a transition for the band.

TY: In a way, that's right. But, then again, Kid A was quite a bit of a transition, wasn't it?

AVC: Radiohead seems to make a lot of transition records.

TY: When you're making a record, you should be transitioning.

AVC: Was "Reckoner" intended to usher in a different feel for Radiohead? Everything before that song sounds like your past few records, then "Reckoner" is like the break of dawn or something—everything after it is so subdued and calm.

TY: It's definitely a first-thing-in-the-morning song. You don't write many of those until you have kids. It was something that happened despite us, really. It just happened. Once I'm in the flow of a record, and feel like I'm starting to cover some ground, it gives me a boost to write something that's appropriate to where I am and what we're aiming at. "Reckoner" is like that.

AVC: If "Reckoner" is what you were aiming at, the band must have had something different in mind for the record.

EO: There wasn't any kind of vision. But we were talking about making something a bit more bare-bones.

TY: More space.
--

Thom: Um, but you know, I—it’s a genuine shock to me that, ‘oh, it’s not blindingly obvious’, ‘cause it’s blindingly obvious uh, to the person who writes it, I think.
Now you’re talking about the content of the lyrics, I suppose.
Thom: Ah, no, well… Uh, well, it’s all kind of the same thing.
Yeah?
Thom: To me. I mean, lyrics obviously is a different thing because the nature… if you’re words are any good then what you, what you’re trying to get across is is is always going to be, ‘meaning’ in the normal sense of the word is not exactly what you’re trying to do. I mean, I think uh—what’s on the top of my head?—a song, like “Reckoner, for example. I’m singing those words because I have to sing those words. Uh, it was necessary for me to sing those words with that [undecipherable] at that time. [laughs] Much like it’s necessary, you know, to have toast in the morning, I mean, or whatever. It’s uh, that’s what has to happen. And the words make you feel good, or they make you feel better, or whatever. They’re there to fulfil something that… some need in you, you know? But increasingly I fall into bad habits where I don’t worry about, you know, meaning afterwards or whatever, which I guess when you’re writing songs you kind of think, ‘Well, maybe I should worry about that’. But actually, I think it’s a deeply unhealthy thing to… you know, it’s sort of a…
Why is it unhealthy? ‘Cause they aren’t going to get the meaning of it anyway or…? Or it ruins it if you’re too straight-conscious?
Thom: No, it reduces… Yeah, it can reduce it. Uh, you reduce the initial energy, your initial response to things, because initial responses are always best, uh, in this particular case. [laughs]
Now, your set of words right there confuse the hell out of me. [laughs]
Thom: Oh good! [laughs]
[laughs]
Thom: So, I’ve illustrated my point.
Very well! [laughs]
Thom: Alles klaar.
--2008-02-14 | NPR Interview

Colin says: “I also love Reckoner, because it’s like happy/sad music. It reminds me of Lucky on OK Computer or Yellow by Coldplay.

“You listen to it because you want to but it still tugs at you.

“When T[h]om’s singing the main melody, it repeats again and again. We recorded our own breaks and we are all playing little percussion instruments and recorded it on this one piece of tape."
--Colin Greenwood (Sun | December 2007)

Steve: You've got to..um, did you have people emailing in all the time, saying, when are you going to do this? Are you going to do this? Uh, which, why we've, through our webpage, people like Dan in Hastings saying, uh: "The New version of Reckoner, surprised everybody,

Thom: Yeah that's because it's not the same song...

Ed: *laughs*

Thom: Um, well there was a song called Reckoner, and, then I like ended up writing a second part to it. And that mutated into the only part to it, and then Jonny wrote another part of it. And, the song, as it was, left the building.
--Thom and Ed (2007-11-19)

John: What else can you tell us about “Reckoner” apart from the Golden Section, which comes up midpoint?

Ed: Well… it’s… What can I say? Um, it was one of the songs that really, truly evolved in the studio. It hadn’t been road tested. It was exciting for the… it was… for us probably it’s one of the most exciting tracks on the record because we didn’t really have a vision for it. It just evolves and I think to hear Thom singing falsetto is really new and it’s uh… It’s kind of… it feels… we weren’t trying to do it, but we were just trying to get it out and do it, you know, try and present something with a percussion and do it differently, and looking back it sort of has a real gospel-y feel. And I think it’s very…

Thom: Really? Reminds me of early rave 1992. It’s just the drumbeat thing, I guess. Uh… um… early rave isn’t 1992. Get your facts right, boy! Anyway, the funny thing was that to be honest the guitar on it was really influenced by… I went to see the Chili Peppers a few times and I really like the way John Frusciante plays. And uh… it was sort of a homage to that, in my sort of clunky ‘can’t–really-pick kind of way.


The breakthrough for Radiohead on ‘Reckoner’ a song that underwent multiple incarnations on its way to ‘In Rainbows’came by way of what Jonny Greenwood calls a “big percussion fest.”

Recording in an English country house, all five members of the group make a loud, cathartic racket, a habit-busting trick the band has practiced since primary school, says bassist Colin Greenwood.
--

3 comments:

ultraviolet spy said...

thank you.

horacio said...

Awesome!!! Thanx!!!

wierd fishee said...

No problem. In the webcast Thom sang 'bittersweet detractor', by the way.