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?”