Thom Yorke has discussed the “profound, spiritual” nature of the Blue Planet documentary series.
Yorke’s band Radiohead are set to soundtrack the new series of Blue Planet II, alongside Hans Zimmer. The BBC One natural history programme, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, is known for its classical arrangements.
The collaborative piece – a orchestral reworking of Radiohead’s ‘Bloom’ – was previewed on BBC 6 Music this morning, with Yorke also appearing on the show to discuss the project and his relationship with the Blue Planet series, revealing that it inspired his fervent relationship with environmental issues.
“This was me lying on the sofa trying to go back to sleep when I’ve been up too late with my son – 7 o’clock in the morning when he was small – and it coming in and out of my subconscious,” he said on the show. “And staying there, and you know especially stuff about the deep and these life forms they’d discovered on that series, that seemed to be the implication, that they managed to go so deep that they’d discovered all these creatures that existed they we didn’t know about. That whole thing for me, the idea of discovering life that humanity doesn’t know about, is to me one of the most profound kind of things, profound concepts. Even if it’s discovering fossils, or the idea that creatures exist – that there’s a history to the place we live that we don’t know anything about – to me is the most profound, spiritual expression of humanity when we discover it.”
He continued: “Blue Planet – the original series – was probably the thing, first it turned on my son to the whole thing, and he became obsessed… then a letter from Greenpeace came through about something or other to the house, and he started reading it and said ‘Dad, can we get involved in this’? Yeah, sure if you want to. So then we established links with Greenpeace. Anyway, I got involved in all this stuff over the years, and it started with being half asleep on the sofa watching Blue Planet!”
Previously, Yorke has stated that “’Bloom’ was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song and reimagine it for this incredible landmark’s sequel.
“Hans is a prodigious composer who effortlessly straddles several musical genres so it was liberating for us all to work with such a talent and see how he wove the sound of the series and ‘Bloom’ together.”