When I Said “Stop Setting Things On Fire” I Really, REALLY Meant It.

Wait! Wait! What Key Are We In?
Frank Zappa meets Scott Bradley
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Written during FAWM 2016. I found a couple of musical fragments labelled ‘Etude No 3’ on a cassette I recorded in 1991. I really liked some parts, others made no sense at all. The original tape was a quarter tone out and I suspect I moved some parts up a semi tone and others down by mistake

I could hear I was attempting to do something with the whole tone scale originally, so I used that to write the middle section but by the time I came to put the bassline down I forgot I was in G# and played the bassline in G natural. But by that time it was already so bizarre that I didn’t hear anything wrong.

A happier (or at least more harmonious) accident was the string and horn parts in the final recapitulation. I pretty much improvised those counter melodies and they’re some of my favourite parts.

I decided I couldn’t call the finished piece ‘Etude No 3’ because

a) It’s not an etude.
b) I’ve already written more than three.
c) It’s a boring title.

I brainstormed and what you have the best I could come up with at short notice.

There’s a grand tradition of not knowing what key you’re in
What do you mean “who is Scott Bradley?”


About mattblick

Songwriter/Singer from Nottingham, UK. My 2nd EP, Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky, is out now. I'm blogging (& podcasting) through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy. In my spare time I wish I had some spare time.
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