VIDEO: Chris Thile reacts to Bach and Radiohead the same way

Nathan Empsall and Chris Thile, the 9:30 Club, May 4 2014

A very blurry photo of the writer meeting Chris Thile last month

The other day, a friend told me how surprised she was to find herself enjoying the mandolin at a bluegrass concert. I replied that if you think you don’t like the mandolin, it’s probably only because you haven’t heard Chris Thile yet.

I went searching for some great Thile clips to show her, and came across this one from last year where he jams on multiple genres as part of an interview with the Wall Street Journal. I LOVE this point that he makes: Classical music isn’t any more staid or somber than rock or pop; it’s the AUDIENCES that are more reserved. But not the music or the artists! He compares a riff from Bach to a riff from Radiohead – both on the mandolin – and says they’re both “super intense!” and deserve similar reactions. Sounds good to me! What is music if not a portal into your emotions and your soul?

What do you think?

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