“Time Cut Short The Dance”


fretless bass & Moog synths
…fretless bass & Moog synths…
photo ©2019 niall parker

“The village lost several people to cancer, apart from Red. One of them was my friend Niki- I first met her when she took all the children dancing in the bottom field of the village, where the river ran.

It was a hazy May day (I think) in 2009; a crowd of children, all floating through the trees; running across the grass, following Niki’s lead- including my daughters. I’d brought the tour-van down to the field as a mobile sound-system and to feed the girls

Along with others in the village, I drove Niki to hospital a few times; she was extremely intelligent, and several profound conversations would happen in the hospital cafe; conversations I was to repeat, with Red, only a couple of years later.

Niki was- amongst other things- a poet; something I only found out after she’d gone- hence the reference to “words on the page…”.

This song emerged very quickly- a year after Red had passed, some friends (who’d been at the original meeting in 2009) arranged a barbecue in that same field; I felt out of sorts, spaced out…but the next day, on returning to Moretonhampstead, the lyrics emerged as a complete set of words, and one of those highly focussed writing sessions later, the demo was complete. I knew immediately the words emerged that they were for Niki”.

I don’t know if she’d have liked it or not- the only music I knew for certain that she liked was Jocelyn Pook- and that only because I’d edited some tracks for her for use within a performance. However, it’s the spirit of these things that matters the most…

Technically, this track demanded a different, lighter approach; more lyrical- something that fitted with the spirit of that field that inspired it, but that also carried the energy that underpinned that dance. Using fretless bass to drive the track allowed all that fluidity that fretless brings best; deconstructing the guitar sound into an approximation of the water that’s sonically ever-present in that field.

A big part of that sound is also the Sequential Prophet8- alongside the maligned (and- to my mind- deeply under-rated) Oberheim OB12- two polysynths that to my ear layer really well together.


She danced
In the green field
She flowed through the forms
Children are dancing
All dressed in white
Like birds ride the wind
Water on stone
Flowing around

Time cut short the dance
To leave whispers on the wind
Time cut short the dance
To leave words on the page

It’s a simple field
Oak, beech and hazel
River wanders through
In the bowl of the sky
Hawk floats at rest
There’s only a few of us here
Just for this moment
You could float in the dance

Time cut short the dance
To leave whispers on the wind
Time cut short the dance
To leave words on the page


from the album Red, released March 8, 2020
Music & Lyrics by Niall Parker

Vocals, guitars, fretless bass, synths & piano: Niall Parker
Programming & Synths: Pete Miles

Produced, engineered, mixed & mastered by Pete Miles at Middle Farm Studios.
Lyrics & Music ©2019 Niall Parker. All rights reserved.

....rare and unpopular- the big blue OB12....
….rare and unpopular- the big blue OB12….
photo ©2019 niall parker


Guitars: Strat/Jaguar hybrid, made by Gus Guitars, to a Johnny Marr wiring spec, with Bare Knuckle Jaguar pickups & an EHX Electric Mistress.
Bass: 1974 Fender Jazz bass (left-handed).
Synths: Oberheim OB12, Sequential Prophet8 rev2 & Moog Mother32
Piano: Wurlitzer electric piano
Percussion: Moog DFAM, Arturia Drumbrute

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