Tinderbox Orchestra – Quetzalcoatl: Track Premiere

Listen to Quetzalcoatl by the Tinderbox Orchestra

Feature by Music Team | 27 Jan 2017

Scotland’s premier youth music orchestra are proud to present their debut single Quetzalcoatl (pron. Ket-zal-ko-at-al), due out on 30 Jan. The single marks the first release from the Tinderbox Orchestra, a ferociously talented collective of 13-25 year olds, based in Edinburgh; it will be followed up by a full-length LP on 4 Jun.

A triumph of unsettling chamber-prog, the track came out of a Tinderbox workshop series called Creative Sessions that brought together composers and bands from all manner of backgrounds for one-off orchestral collaborations. For composer Frazer Knox it was the first opportunity he’d had to write for an orchestra, and it empowered the young musician to burst out of a period of writers block.

“Hearing it in real life in front of me through an orchestra was an overwhelming moment of pride,” says Knox. “Where I suddenly felt like perhaps I could call myself a composer, because it’s real music, and it sounds like real music.”

That journey from frustration to satisfaction is written into the bones of this single, which propels itself along a tightrope of tension reminiscent of Anna Meredith's Varmints. Quetzalcoatl takes its name from the feathered-serpent god of Mesoamerican religion; this composite deity – also the name of a Final Fantasy character – is an apt and powerful image for a track that bristles with threat and typifies the orchestra’s omnivorous approach to genre.

Tinderbox Orchestra will be performing at the Hidden Door Festival in June 2017