TAKE a fun-loving rock guitarist and an electronic producer and let them loose on a beautiful piece of music composed by a respected operatic composer.
The results were always going to be interesting but few could predict the finished piece would be as startlingly experimental as that produced by Oxford composer Robert Saxton, guitarist Nick 'Growler' Fowler, and studio musician Dan Hulme.
The piece, Night Dance Fantasy is a reworking of Saxton's opus, Night Dance, released by the composer – Professor of Composition at Oxford University's Faculty of Music – exactly 30 years ago.
Tomorrow the 12 minute piece is aired for the first time at the Ashmolean Museum, for its Live Friday event, Supersonic.
For Nick, who is best known for providing axe duties for Gaz Coombes, the Ralfe Band, The Dreaming Spires (and its predecessor Goldrush), and Dan, Studio Director at the Faculty of Music (who started at Factory Records and has lent his production duties to Tricky and The Coral), the experience has been mind-expanding.
"This is the most Spinal Tap thing I have ever done," Nick laughs.
"Robert is an opera composer of considerable pedigree and was mentored under Benjamin Britten. He has an amazing career and has the best anecdotes of anyone I have met, so we got on like a house on fire."
When Nick, during a session in the White Rabbit pub, jokingly suggested reworking his seminal Night Dance, the composer readily agreed.
"The original was a piece of music with a three-part tone poem structure," says Nick. "It has a serenade, dance and nocturne. We completely re-appraised and reworked the piece," he says.
"We have taken the dance section and really freaked out!"
He adds: "Someone described it as acoustic heavy mental. It is very experimental, with all sorts of interesting tonal harmonies and time signature changes.
"It has been a great experience. A piece of music is like a house and you have to live within it. I've been living inside this for months now and I think I'm going mad!"
- Night Dance Fantasy is performed at the Ashmolean Museum at 9pm tomorrow, and at the Union Chapel, London, on Saturday.
- Tickets from ashmolean.org/livefriday/2017-03/