Gymnopedie No. 1 (Satie, Arr. Williams)
Satie is a favourite for rock transcriptions, with everyone from
Blood Sweat & Tears to Gary Numan attempting it, but Sky were not
attempting to rock it up. "We played it with more arpeggios than are
in the famous piano version, but I took everything in that
arrangement from Satie's own sketches for doing an orchestration,
which he never finished." J.W.
"This was one of my earliest attempts to find a fusion of rock
and classical that would work for the band, and we often
played it live as an encore. We must have thought it worked,
because we put it out as a single before Toccata. Recently, in
Russia, I heard it being used as the title music for a Russian TV
current affairs programme, but I still don't know if I get paid a
royalty for that." F.M.
Where Opposites Meet (Monkman)
"As a group, we all came from different disciplines, and that's
what Francis was thinking about when he wrote this piece. We
were opposites in terms of background, but the music is the
point at which we all meet." H.F.
"Herbie's idea is interesting, but I was actually thinking about
the Zen concept that infinity is the point where opposites meet.
When we started the band, we were faced with a real problem
about what kind of music would be appropriate for players
from such diverse backgrounds. I was living in Greenwich at
the time, and I laid back on my couch and tried to imagine
myself in an audience watching us play. The opening sequence
of Where Opposites Meet is the music I imagined then." F.M.
There are five "movements" and the piece takes up the whole of Side 2 of the original LP/Cassette release, lasting almost 20 minutes. The extract presented here is from Part Four.
Dies Irae (Monkman)
(not on original LP/Cassette release)
This free setting of a
well-known plainchant melody was released as a single in the summer of
1980. Intriguingly, the Dies Irae theme also makes an appearance in
Berlioz's March To The Scaffold (from Symphonie Fantastique) which
was the b-side of the same single. However, March To The Scaffold
eventually appeared on SKY 4 so, by reverse logic, we feel it is appropriate
for Dies Irae finally to make its album debut on this re-release. F.M.
Not to mention because the original album was somewhat on the short side in terms of duration and needed something more to fill a CD.
Actually, to be utterly sad and pedantic, the theme doesn't appear during March to the Scaffold, but the last movement of the Symphonie Fantastique.