Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. SibeliusSymphony No 5

The clever trick here is that the main melody in the first movement is actually happening in the bass line but at a quarter of the speed of the bass. You think there’s something wrong with the bass – it’s not actually following the chords. But it is. It’s just at a different speed. It’s so innovative. Again, I’ve tried so often to use it in my work. In fact at the start of Tubular Bells side two, there’s a whole cycle of tunes that are all in different time signatures and all happening at once. There’s piano, there are a couple of guitars, and they eventually all come together but only after about two minutes. I’m sure nobody’s ever noticed that! Maybe somebody will notice it in about a hundred years. I love the idea of hiding things in music – you know, secrets to be discovered. Have I done much of that? Oh yes! In Incantations, there’s a melody that reappears later on but in reverse. It’s a beautiful melody in itself, but it’s also quite good played backwards!

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