Thom Yorke and Radiohead have teamed up with composer Hans Zimmer to rethink one of the band’s songs. They’ve taken “Bloom” from Radiohead’s release “The King of Limbs” and turned it into “Ocean Bloom” for Blue Planet II, the new documentary nature series from the BBC. They’ve replaced the original song’s syncopated drums and piano loops with orchestral sounds, using various artistic processes to achieve a new sound for the song.
You can watch the video to get an inside look into the process the artists took to transform the song. Drawing inspiration from the painting technique known as pointillism, they incorporated randomness into the orchestration to give the song the feeling of ebbing and flowing in the same manner as the ocean would.
One of the techniques they used to achieve this ocean sound was instructing the orchestra to play randomly in certain sections. They told each musician not to play when the person next to them was playing. When one violin dies away, another rises to take its place, giving the music that feel of rising and falling like waves breaking on the shore.
When Yorke originally wrote the song, he was inspired by the original Blue Planet series from 2001. He was captured by the randomness and flow of the ocean. Now, the rework of the song fulfills those original ideas. “Ocean Bloom” is built off a base of random orchestral notes always moving somewhere under the surface of the song, exhibiting the chaotic flow of life.
The end product of “Ocean Bloom” is an intense sound experience. Paired with the striking visuals of Blue Planet II, it will be a treat to experience. It’s rich sound and earthy lyrics speak for themselves:
You can listen to the full song below: