Jack & Gill

“Jack shall have Jill” A Midsummer Night’s Dream (III:ii:460-2)

The third release from Maxim is Jack & Gill, an avant-pop arrangement woven around a spine of No Spinoza‘s Phillip Glass-esque fractured piano. I even blew the dust off my trumpet for a fleeting appearance in the outro, a ghostly nod to Miles Davis’ Solea. A lifetime ago I used to play the horn a fair amount, and even played in a couple of jazz funk bands. These days my embouchure is shot to pieces from years of neglect, but this track with Tom’s piano and double bass really felt as though it had space for a tiny fragment of horn. As such, I pray your forbearance for the cameo of my trusty old Conn 1000B and its dented rose brass bell.

We are delighted also to have digital artist @pixelscript create an interactive visualisation to accompany the track. The animation generates waves, curves and a collection of medieval merchants’ marks in response to the music, swaying and adapting to each mouse cursor movement or touch of the screen. Every iteration is unique. You can find it at here.

We preserved the unfamiliar title of Jack and Gill from the earliest version of the rhyme (a reprint of John Newbery’s Mother Goose’s Melody), thought to have been first published in London around 1765. Jill was originally spelled Gill in this early version and the accompanying woodcut shows two boys at the foot of the hill. This volume also has a curious maxim, “The more you think of dying, the better you will live”, which will make another appearance later in the album.