Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - (unreleased)
Original album - (none)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

The Pet Shop Boys were among the composers involved in a fascinating musical experiment that culminated in an orchestral performance February 17, 2009. The BBC Concert Orchestra, appearing at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall for an evening's show titled "Music and Chance," performed a composition that might be described as a "random collaboration." This new piece, given the title Stakes 'n' Chips (undoubtedly a pun on food and gambling, in keeping with the concert's overall theme of the element of chance in music), was described in a press release as follows:

"Twelve leading composers … their order decided, naturally, by the roll of a dice—have each written one minute of music, with only the last few bars of each score being shown to the next composer. What will be the consequences of this exciting instrumental experiment?"

In addition to the Pet Shop Boys, the other composers involved include Anne Dudley, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Will Gregory, Paul Patterson, Gwilym Simcock, and Tansy Davies, among others.

Each individual composer provided a separate single-word title for their own portion, although a couple of them "hedged" by combining two words into one. Neil and Chris gave theirs the rather literal name "Particle." (It is, after all a part—or particle—of a longer work.) These titles, like the minute-long portions themselves, were then combined into two six-minute movements. The resulting movements, their component parts, and corresponding composers are as follows:

Movement 1: Be Minuteman Still Chancemeeting Particle Gamble

Movement 2: Arabesque Uncertainty Buckled Merryland Tumble Momentum

The PSB segment has been described by one attendee as similar in some ways to the introduction to the Extended Version of "Jealousy." Another attendee said that it reminded him of the orchestral passages of Results. Featuring no vocals, it begins (if I'm delineating the segment correctly) with a somewhat pastoral section dominated by a flute playing a series of brief arpeggio-like "up-and-down" runs. After about 20 seconds, the melody shifts to more drawn-out notes played on the oboe, still pastoral but with a darker mood. Then, after another 15 seconds, the rest of the orchestra comes to the fore. The music grows in volume and intensity, with the horn section providing a strong, ominous undercurrent. A brief segment of relative quiet returns, now with glockenspiel and, again, flute in the lead. Once more the music slowly grows in intensity, now with the string section providing the tense undercurrent. The PSB segment (again, if I'm delineating it correctly) concludes with those strings on a minor chord.

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