On Good Friday: The Crucifixion According to Radiohead

For about a year now, every time I hear Radiohead, I have a vision of a meditative multi-media art performance piece. As I’ve prayed and journeyed along, it’s become apparent to me that this vision is to be brought into reality…. and that time is on Good Friday (April 22).

So if you’re in Houston, you’re invited to Ecclesia for a meditative video/live painting/destruction art piece on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, all to the narrative soundtrack of Radiohead.

Ecclesia Church, 2115 Taft St, Houston TX 77006

Performances at 12pm, 630pm, and 8pm



About scotterickson

curator of awesomeness scottericksonart.com
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33 Responses to On Good Friday: The Crucifixion According to Radiohead

  1. zach says:

    no matter how this is said, I will be offending the writer and probably many of the readers of this post… but I think it needs be said.

    I’m not sure it necessary to know what Radiohead thinks of the cross. I’d rather a preacher/ pastor tell me what God has to say about the whole ordeal from Scripture. Gosh… I know I sound really old-fashioned and completely irrelevant, but I’m not so sure that is really a bad thing. I understand this post isn’t going to change how you church is going to go about all this, but thought I’d throw out my two cents.

    By the way, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate art (although, I specifically do not like Radiohead, but that is neither here nor there). And there is nothing wrong with art being found in the church. God is creative and we have been created in His image. But as far as how He has revealed Himself in a sure way is through the Scriptures, not our subjective feelings and thoughts. I’m not terribly sure Radiohead would have anything authoritative to say about Jesus and Him crucified for our sins. But I am pretty sure the Gospels, the various epistles in the NT, and much of the OT points to Christ and His work on the cross quite sufficiently.

    • scotterickson says:

      um…. you don’t even know what this is.
      it’s amazing to me that you wouldn’t start out asking about the event or even what this was… but would jump right to “i think this needs to be said”… confronting the possible heretical art event.
      i love it.

      thanks for the comment.


      ps. i love beer too. what are you brewing now?

    • misty jones says:

      it’s not even about what radiohead thinks of the cross. God can move through, breathe through, and speak through whatever He chooses. Looks like Scott is dialed into where the Spirit is leading him, and through him being obedient, I believe God is going to move through and speak through these pieces in a way we never thought possible.

      I know every time I heard the bridge of Paranoid Android, God speaks to me that His presence is there in the chaos. but that’s just me 🙂

    • graceshaker says:

      i wonder y paul quoted epimenides, aratus, cleanthes, and menander?

  2. Caleb says:

    I wish I lived closer to Houston! This sounds amazing. I’m also a performance painter (www.lovespaint.com) and I strongly believe in the church bringing the arts back home! Keep making good art and keep making bad art! Maybe oneday we can do something together.

  3. zach says:

    Please elaborate please. If I am mistaken at all, I will admit it. I understand me coming out of nowhere seemingly blasting the whole thing seems to be confrontational, and to be honest, I came from an angle of disagreement, but not to out right bash those participating in the service.

    And after rethinking the whole thing, I am still unsure how beneficial listening to Radiohead is in regards to Good Friday and Easter… It still seems to me that listening to what Scripture has to say about Christ and Him crucified is more beneficial than listening to Radiohead tracks. But as you accurately pointed, I spoke out of ignorance. Even so, on the surface, it seems to be a stretch to connect Radiohead music with God becoming incarnate and dying for our sins.


    PS. – Actually, I haven’t brewed in awhile.. but I enjoy a good German bock, and a hefeweizen beer.

    • scotterickson says:

      i’m not going to elaborate. sorry. : )
      if i could poignantly tell in words what it is i am depicting about the crucifixion, then i would preach a sermon.
      you’re talking about reading and saying words.
      this event is using music, imagery, and creating to depict the crucifixion. not words.

      when it’s all done, and we put out a video, then you’ll see what i mean.

      or maybe not.

      : )


    • graceshaker says:

      all truth is gods truth eh?

  4. Luke says:

    If I’m not mistaken, that’s probably part of the point. the fact that hearing the gospel in radiohead tracks seems like a stretch I mean. that’s the part that, to me, is intriguing. I’ve heard, accepted, believed and joined in (through baptism) the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. I’ve heard the story from preachers and pastors more times than I can count. I’m excited by the idea of engaging my heart through the OTHER side of my brain now. I expect and hope this will communicate the Gospel to me in a new way. A way that simply hearing the story hasn’t yet. I will absolutely be in attendance.


    P.S. i’d love to brew my own beer. how would one go about learning such a thing?

  5. zach says:

    P.S.- I learned from a friend… and I am still not very good at it…
    You can ‘google’ for a homebrewing store in your area… they tend to be all over the place… they will have all the materials you will need, and probably will have classes from time to time to have instruct on the process.

  6. scotterickson says:

    You And Whose Army – Radiohead

    “Come on, come on
    You and whose army?
    You and your cronies
    Come on, come on
    Holy roman empire
    Come on if you think
    Come on if you think
    You can take us all on
    You can take us all on

    You and whose army?
    You and your cronies”

    just one of the songs for the soundtrack….

    • Jacob Lindsey says:

      One of the most under-appreciated Radiohead songs! Sadly gets looked over since it appears on “Amnesiac,” but sounds fantastic live.

  7. Casey Hurt says:

    I know it may seem an odd place to find it but in one of the darkest parts of my life I felt like I was spoken to by God through a Radiohead song. I’m not sure what it is about them but I know there is some major magic and divine creativity happening in that music. Check out the song “there there” – It might change your life.

  8. Paul J holzman says:

    Yes! “you and whose army” is one of the tracks that I thought about when I was reading the post. Will “Reckoner” be used? Could I get the set list?

  9. Thad says:

    Wow, I really want to experience this. I heard Pastor Chris talking about this last Sunday. This will be performed at all three times mentioned above?

  10. MWalker says:

    This sounds really intriguing, and since I’m out of the area I’ll have to wait for the video.

    Personally, if I am to believe that God can move mountains, I have to think that God can use a Radiohead song to speak to someone about the crucifixion.

    Have you heard Derek Webb’s latest record, “Feedback”? Basically, its an instrumental album focusing on the “Our Father”. The thing about it is, it sounds nothing like what you would place in the “Christian music” box. I think its the same thing with metal music with a message. Some get in a tizzy because the vessel used to convey a message of God’s love is a form that previously was linked with “devil music”.

    In my everyday walk I’ve found many a “secular” music that speaks to me louder than a song by a worship leader. God speaks in all types of avenues.

  11. Jeff B says:

    It’s a KidAcharist! Wish you were back in Seattle doing this….

  12. chad says:

    I have used Radiohead many times installing participatory worship. I think they are one of the bands that really forms worldview for many folks around my age (30ish). They take on the sense of sacred in a manner like no one else.

    I really hope there is a video of this. I would love to be there, but I live 18 hrs away.

  13. Marc Buwalda says:

    As a big radiohead fan i’ll be hoping for a video after the fact (i live in indiana). very excited though to experience the finished project even after the fact

  14. Greg Garrett says:


    Doing Good Friday at my home church in Austin, but sending good wishes and looking forward to the video. When I write about experiencing God through music, Radiohead is often one of the names I drop. Their faith (or lack of it) doesn’t matter to me–if what they’re creating is true and beautiful (and it is), then it points us back to the source of Truth and Beauty. My soul has been rocked by Radiohead (and U2, and Bruce Springsteen, and Coldplay) more often than by sermons or theological treatises, and I am so glad you all are doing this today of all days. Thank you!


  15. Thad says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Scott. I was at the noon service and was knocked down by the message all over again and in a brand new way.

  16. Doug says:

    Still reeling from yesterday’s service. It was incredible. Thanks so much.

  17. Susan B says:

    Is there video of this? I was out of town last night and missed it, sadly.

  18. Pat says:

    typical. hijack the music of a band of individuals, with individual talents and worldviews, to evoke group hysteria for cultish behaviour that preaches homogenous beliefs. if you feel that your belief and faith has inspired your personal artistic work then that’s fine, but it bugs me (as both a fan, and a musician) to have people hijack artistic efforts to get a response for their own means (not just religions, but advertising too).

    religion requires the emotional transcendence of art, and has manipulated it’s effects for it’s own purposes for thousands of years. that’s the whole point of those massive stained-glass windows and epic murals, to dazzle the commoner with a sense of awe when they visit a church. it’s psychological, hardly ‘divine’. the triumph of the post-modern world (or at least those of us who have embraced living in it) is to enjoy art for it’s own sake, without needing to attribute it to some ‘higher power’ working through an artist to ‘speak to us’.

    if you find your religion boring with out spicing it up with modern cultural references, maybe it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, y’know?

  19. Tony says:

    isn’t art supposed to express something? So why couldn’t it express ones faith or beliefs?

    isn’t art supposed to be interpreted? So why couldn’t it mean one thing to the artist, another thing to you, and yet another thing to me?

  20. Tony says:

    nevermind, this isn’t place to argue over art/religion.

    Really hoping to see the video soon!

  21. graceshaker says:

    got 2 c some of it online. really moving. it was the one part of this lent/resurrection season that made me pause and consider the pathos of the cross. thanks scott

  22. Pat says:

    the thing is, radiohead aren’t expressing their faith, or using it to invoke other peoples faith in religion/culture/products, so why should someone else use it in that manner? advertisers must secure the rights from artists (or at least labels) to use their music, remixers recreate music for it’s own sake (with reinterpretation being in the forefront of the audiences mind), but this work appears to lack the transparency these other things have because religion is ‘exempt’ from such scrutiny.

    if listening to radiohead makes your faith resonate within you, that is fine, but that doesn’t entitle you to use it as a community devotional tool. it can mean whatever you want it to for you or i, but when new listeners discover music it shouldn’t be tainted by the artefacts of either of our interpretations, which i feel this work would do (re the title ‘the crucifixion according to radiohead’). it’s cause for misrepresentation…

    • scotterickson says:

      again, just as i said to the really conservative guy, you don’t even know what this is. and it’s amazing to me you wouldn’t start the conversation with “explain more please”… you just jumped to the conclusion that this was some religious propaganda event and we were raping radiohead of their musical genius and using it for our own purposes.


      I chose radiohead music cause it’s the most haunting and intense music that i’ve experienced that makes an appropriate soundtrack to describing someones execution.
      that’s all.

      if you are an artist then you know that you’re not in charge with what people do with what you create. if people want to use it to make money, then they buy the rights. but peoples thoughts, opinions, beliefs about your work is out of your hands. that’s part of creating. if you’ve been creating for a long time you’ll know what i’m talking about.

      i actually explained to some people that i hope no one thought i was trying to “christianize” radiohead music…. using it in a way to say “this is really christian music! it’s just hidden in there…”
      no way. that would then deserve a rebuke.

      but you weren’t there so you don’t really know. you just inferred your own disgust for people’s beliefs that aren’t your own.

      i’ll post a video some time later with what it was then you can make your decision.
      then if you want to say this is horrible, go for it.
      your artist “i hate religion” point of view is nothing new.
      i’m an artist and have many friends who voice the same thing. and i did say friends. what you really hate are the assholes of religion who prey upon peoples beliefs for their own advancement. i don’t like what they do either. but to put anything that has to do with faith/belief/meditation into that category is short-sighted and immature. you put what you believe in your creations. we all do. that’s what we create from.

      and… i should end. it would be more fun to talk face to face about this stuff. blogs are the least cool way.

      anyway, thanks for taking the time at least to give your two cents. i appreciate the attention even if it’s inferring i’m in the asshole of religion category.

  23. Tony says:

    well said Pat. I can now see where you are coming from. First I’ll say that I haven’t seen this event (still anxiously awaiting a video!) so I’m not even sure how it was presented. Second I’ll say that I’m not opposed to using Radiohead or any other Christian/Secular music in worship. Music is meant to be interpreted/shared/enjoyed. Thirdly, I’ll say that the title “the crucifixion according to radiohead” may have been a little misleading, although I’m sure it wasn’t intentional. One could infer that Radiohead meant to say something about the Crucifixion based on the this title which most likely isn’t true.
    So I see your point. Again, well said. But I still don’t have a problem with it.

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