Gael Rakotondrabe’s Stunning Piano Interpretation of "Reckoner"

Gael Rakotondrabe's piano performance of Radiohead's "Reckoner" has captured fans by providing a new, melancholy take on the iconic song. Rakotondrabe's version, which began as a high-profile charity campaign music, emphasizes the song's inherent beauty with his expressive piano playing. Since its publication in 2008, Radiohead's original has been a fan favorite, and Gael's piano-only version heightens its emotional impact. 

Gael reflects on his teenage discovery of "In Rainbows," explaining how the record deeply influenced his musical trajectory. When Jessy Moussallem asked him to cover "Reckoner" for a cancer research campaign, Gael hoped to capture the song's spirit in its purest form through his authentic piano rendition.

Gael was born on Réunion Island and later moved to Paris, where he graduated from the famed Bill Evans Piano Academy and the Nadia and Lily Boulanger Conservatory. His impressive resume includes earning first place in the international piano competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008.

 He has worked with renowned musicians including David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, Ayo, Animal Collective, CocoRosie, and Hugh Coltman. Gael has also served as the pianist for Antony and the Johnsons and ANOHNI for many years. His talents extend to acclaimed cinema scores, such as "Afterschool" by Antonio Campos, "Mystery" by Lou Ye, and "Other People's Children" by Rebecca Zlotowski.

Gael Rakotondrabe's performance of "Reckoner" demonstrates his tremendous musicality and emotional affinity to the work. By reducing the song to its piano core, he unveils fresh depths of its beauty, which resonates with both longtime fans and newcomers. His painstaking technique and sincere delivery solidify his reputation as a brilliant player who can transform beloved songs into enduring piano classics.

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