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Written in January 1994, I had been considering the possibility of using elements from popular music in the same way that earlier composers had used folk music. I wasn’t sure it was possible because the gulf between my musical language, which at the time was primarily serial, and that of rock or pop music was daunting. However, I found that one very well known riff (from Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water) could be treated in a more or less serial way, hence the piece and its title.
17 Dec 1994: Performed by Michael Calvert (guitar) at Biblio's Bookstore and Cafe, Purchase, New York.