Monday, March 1, 2010

The Grand Vizier's Garden Party

The Grand Vizier's Garden Party 8:47
     (written by Nick Mason)

Part I: Entrance 0:56

Part II: Entertainment 7:04

Part III: Exit 0:36

Part I begins the piece with some nice flute, and ends with a drum roll, announcing the 'entertainment.' Nick probably got his wife Lindy, a near-professional quality flautist, to play here and on part III.

Part II is very much a made-up in the studio kind of thing, using a random assortment of sound effects and electronically processed percussion in a not-particularly-rhythmic way. The use of what sounds like a cash register here is an echo of things to come. Unfortunately, the whole piece would have been better had it been a more traditional solo percussion piece, as Nick's 'avant-garde' experimentalism leaves something to be desired, though there are some nice bits. Even Roger's Several Species seems to indicate a better sense of rhythm. Nick doesn't get into a real groove until the last minute of the piece, and the drum solo ends almost before it begins.

Part III brings back the flute, this time overdubbed a couple of times, and adds a pretty note to the ending.

For the trivia fans, a Vizier is a principal aide to the sovereign of an Islamic state, and the Grand Vizier was the title given to the 'chairman' of several viziers in the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire.

Disc One
Astronomy Domine
Careful with that Axe, Eugene
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Saucerful of Secrets, A
Disc Two
Grantchester Meadows
Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict
Narrow Way (parts I-III), The
Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Parts I-III), The

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