Music

MVKA releases piano version of “Reckoner” by Gael Rakotondrabe

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If Gael Rakontondrabe’s stunning piano interpretation of “Reckoner” sounds familiar that’s because it’s already enjoyed an audience of millions having featured as the soundtrack to a poignant, high-profile charity advertising campaign.

Since its release in 2008, Radiohead’s original version has grown to become a firm fan favourite with Gael’s piano-only arrangement only helping to reveal the song’s core beauty. As Gael describes: In my teenage years, I stumbled upon “In Rainbows,” and its impact has resonated deeply, shaping the musician I’ve become. When Jessy Moussallem invited me to cover “Reckoner” for a cancer research campaign, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the song’s themes of awakening from a dream and discovering life’s true worth. Feeling compelled to honour the original rendition, I set out to faithfully recreate each part through the piano, aiming to convey the song’s essence in its purest form.

Having spent his childhood on Réunion, Gael moved to Paris where he graduated from the Bill Evans Piano Academy and the Nadia and Lily Boulanger Conservatory. In 2008 he won first prize in the international piano competition at Montreux Jazz Festival. Since then collaborations include David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, Ayo, Animal Collective, CocoRosie and Hugh Coltman as well as being the longtime pianist with Antony and the Johnsons and more recently ANOHNI.

Gael’s career accolades also encompass many acclaimed film scores including “Afterschool” (Antonios Campos), “Mystery” (Lou Ye), “Mr leos CaraX” (Louise Salomé), “The Wild One” (Louise Salomé), “Other People’s Children” (Rebecca Zlotowski), the animated short “From the Far Side of the Moon” (Radenko Milak) and the feature documentary “On the Edge” (Peduzzi).

Written by
Barbie Edonia

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