“I’d first heard Alberto Ginastera’s Tocatta from his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1969. It just completely blew me away. When Carl and I got together, he was very keen on doing music by Bartok and some other composers because he knew that I liked the classics. When this piece came to my attention, I started to play it and Carl said, ‘What the fuck is that?’ He was excited and wanted to try it. I don’t think Greg was too into it at first.
““I used a Minimoog on this and, of course, a Hammond organ – they were lined up in locality to each other. Carl had quite an arsenal of equipment for making his drum sounds. We wanted to do something quite extraordinary, and I think he really pushed himself to the limit on this track. The music lent itself to experimentation – it wasn’t the kind of thing you could sing along to. We all got caught up in that feeling of adventure: If somebody did something exciting, somebody else extended it.
“After we’d spent about two weeks recording, it came to management’s attention that we should get permission from the publishers, which, in this case, was Boosey and Hawkes. I approached them and they said, ‘Nope. Sorry. We don’t think Maestro Ginastera will want to give approval to this.’
“I wasn’t going to take no for answer. I got his Alberto’s number and spoke to his wife. The next day, I was on a plane to Geneva with Stewart Young, our manager, and we found ourselves in Alberto’s apartment. He served us a brilliant meal, and we talked about music and synthesizers – he had a rough knowledge of synths and was interested in. At the end of the lunch, he wanted to listen to my adaptation of Tocatta.
“I had the tape with me, so we went into his studio. I think he had a Revox reel to reel tape recorder. I played it for him, and when it was over he had a strange look on his face. He seemed to be extremely astounded, and he said something like ‘That is terrible.’ I interpreted that as literally that – terrible. I thought, ‘Well, that’s it. We obviously can’t use that one.’ But then I learned that in French ‘terrible’ means the same as ‘formidable’ or ‘unbelievable.’ He was, in fact, overwhelmed by the recording, so all was fine.”