Murder and Parliament track by track 5. Firecracker

This is where the album started. Firecracker was one of a set of string quartet pieces I wrote that also included Grey Malkin, a version of Embers and a piece called Slow Burn which didn’t make it to the album.

This is about interweaving tunes, changing scales, grooves in 5, melody and chaos.

It’s also the first time we hear Chrissie Caulfield on violin.

I originally had the piece a semitone higher than it is now, with the violin playing the whole of what is now the lead guitar line. Chrissie sensibly advised me to change the key and think about whether the violin needed to play throughout.

That was good advice, which I took. As a consequence those passages that do have the violin are all the better for it. I particularly like the arpeggios in the middle and the tremelo section.

This piece has a gloriously discordant tangle of noise before the recap of the main melody. It’s all chromatic runs and clusters and mess. Exactly what’s needed before a recapitulation.

This piece is special to me. It’s nostalgic, reminding me of being at uni; it’s a true collaboration with Chrissie and Alun really helping it come alive; and it’s the essence of Murder and Parliament, marrying loud rock with twisty part writing.

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