Fresh off the back of the recent Choice Music Prize nomination for the 2021 album ‘In the Game’ his collaboration with Susan O’Neill, Mick Flannery has announced a new 12 song album ‘Night at the Opera’ and a companion NFT to be released on February 22nd.
The album, which will be released initially to Bandcamp only, is made up of 12 short songs that tell the story of 12 famous chess games and their players. Each song has corresponding chords to each move on the board. Alongside the digital release, there will also be an NFT launched which Mick collaborated on with his sister, Sarah Barthelet, and her husband, Luc Barthelet.
Of the project, Mick says:
“A lockdown-induced chess-obsession was the inspiration for these songs. A chess piece e.g. knight, pawn… is given a corresponding musical chord, and thus the song structure follows the moves of a chosen (mostly famous) chess game. The lyrics of the songs deal primarily with the often-complex lives of the grandmasters. The audio will be widely available. The NFT idea is connected to videos where people (chess-nerds) can watch the chess game play out in time and harmony with the chords of the song. There’ll be 2D and 3D versions of these and they’ll be sold as digital tokens with 20% of all profits going to effective altruism”
Mick was recently interviewed by Ryan Tubridy on his radio show, they discussed the different historical games, and his process of writing the songs following the aforementioned structure of each chess piece having a corresponding musical chord. This can be listened back to via this link: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22055959/
There will be a more detailed explanation of the NFT discussed in the discord group dedicated to this project. This can be joined at https://discord.com/invite/nightattheopera
‘King of Hate’ based on the life and death of Alexander Alekhine with chords married to the game Alekhine vs Rodzynski in Paris in 1913 can be streamed or downloaded today via Bandcamp where the full set of songs are now available to pre-order.
Full list of the 12 songs and corresponding Chess games:
Night at the Opera
Paul Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard
Take Your Beating Well
Adolf Anderssen vs Jean Dufresne
“The Evergreen Game”
Pride And Sorrow
Paul Morphy vs Unknown amateur
Morphy begins a rook down.
New Orleans, 1858
Rashid And Firebird
Rashid Nezhmetdinov vs Samsonov (Rashid’s mentor)
I’ll Learn To See
Judit Polgar (12yrs) vs Pavlina Chilingirova
Vassily Ivanchuk vs Sergey Karjakin
Song ends at Vassily’s queen sacrifice.
Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Song ends at Tal’s famous Knight sacrifice.
Bobby Fischer (13yrs) vs Donald Byrne
Game Of The Century
New York City, 1956
Albert Einstein vs Robert Oppenheimer
Song ends as Oppenheimer resigns.
Princeton, 1933 (allegedly)
King Of Hate
Alexander Alekhine vs Rodzynski
The Wayward Queen
I Do Not Run
Gary Kasparov vs Guy West
Song ends as West resigns.
Via Telex 1977
Awonder Liang vs Gunay
Polgar Challenge (2021), Online