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“It’s very heraldic. As with most of my compositions, I like to have some bravado, especially as we near the finish. Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique ends on a very somber note. The third movement is what everybody applauds, but you get to the fourth movement and everybody’s in tears. You can’t really clap for that.
“I didn’t want any of ELP’s music to send people away crying, so I went for something more anthemic and rousing. It’s not really cheery per se; there’s a bit of foreboding, particularly the way it all ends. There’s a lot of light and shade in this cut, the soft and the loud.
“There are three oscillators in the Moog synthesizer, and I detuned them slightly to give them a particular ring, very much like what I did on pianos. That worked really well on the synth horn parts. Oh, and you hear the voiceover l did, like a computer voice – I did that as a joke.
At the very end, that’s the Moog going crazy – it’s sped up to sound like an out-of-control computer. I programmed each note one at a time, twenty-four notes in the pattern. They sort of ping-pong off one another as it goes faster and faster and sputters out. It took a while to program, as you can imagine. Live, we had a set design and a bunch of lights that responded to the notes and then kind of blew up. It was pretty cool.”