Flicker: Minack

Minack by Flicker is a brand new release that has been added to Flicker’s HappySad album at Bandcamp. Minack is epic, fragile, beautiful, gothic, dystopian and extraordinary. It’s a truly mind-blowing piece of music that we have worked on for some time to make it sound right.

Composer George said that the seeds of this piece came to him whilst he was watching a rehearsal of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, in June 1999 – hence the title. He particularly remembers that the actor playing The Cobbler was a proper Cockney comedian and very, very funny. It was a beautiful warm summer morning and the sea was a slightly odd shade of turquoise.

Despite these apparently happy memories and associations, Minack is a heartbreakingly sad and occasionally bleak piece of music. That is because it is also about knowing that somebody one is becoming more and more deeply involved with will eventually become terribly bad news. All the evidence points to an investment of time leading to inevitable pain and suffering in the longer term, whilst wanting to enjoy the joy and the thrill of the ride in the short term, to mitigate the current unbearable pain and suffering of a slowly dying loved one.

A lot of different, conflicting, confused emotions in turmoil are expressed here, from the uplifting to outright despair. Minack is a piece about cognitive dissonance.

In its original form, Minack was created and played at a higher tempo, somewhere around 80 BPM. Due to a happy accident with a tape speed knob, a demo version was mixed much slower than the tempo at which it had been recorded. It also appeared in a rather mournful lower key. Somehow the slower tempo seemed to work so much better, despite the increased length.

The actual tempo for this version of Minack is 58.33333 BPM. It was recorded at 175 BPM in a 12/8 feel.

The key is E minor. The source of the piece is in the guitar in the left channel with all the harmonics in the chords. All of the guitar parts were recorded using the Ice Maiden.

Maxx played the bass parts on his Plank. It is tuned B-E-A-D and if you are able to listen to Minack loud on big speakers you will enjoy the power of the low end even more.

Sven played the drums using his vintage spangletastic Slingerland jazz kit along with his wooden piccolo Ludwig snare. He also programmed the drum parts in the places where Flicker felt programmed drums would work better than real drums.

George’s daughter’s glockenspiel (a bing-bing) adds a little twinkliness to the last notes in each phrase of the lead guitar lines towards the end of the piece.

Every single sonic element of this track required a great deal of precision, patience and effort to sculpt into the right shape.

As you can imagine, it is a great relief to finally finish and release another Flicker track. So far each of the three tracks have taken four years to release. At this rate it will take another 64 years to finish the album. We are fairly confident of being able to speed that up a little!

We shall of course let Flicker fans know of any further releases through our News service and on Twitter.

If you would like to download Minack from Bandcamp, or just listen, you can do so by clicking here.

To download or listen to the entire HappySad album from Bandcamp as it stand right now, please click here.

Should you decide you’d like to listen to HappySad by Flicker here at the Wud Records website, please click here instead.

Dedicated to the loving memory of Susannah Rowe 22/2/1980 – 20/5/2020. RIP.