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The Sinking Of The Titanic

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The Sinking Of The Titanic album cover
The Sinking Of The Titanic
Album Information

Total Tracks: 1   Total Length: 72:35

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Wondering Sound

Review 93

Adam Sweeting


Gavin Bryars / Philip Jeck / Alter Ego, The Sinking Of The Titanic
2007 | Label: Touch / Kudos Records Limited

Composer Gavin Bryars has devised several versions of his 1969 piece, "The Sinking of the Titanic," for concert and installation purposes. This latest incarnation, captured in a live recording from Venice in 2005, enlists the help of Italian new-music ensemble Alter Ego, with conceptual artist Philip Jeck manning the turntables. What you don't get with the audio version is Andrew Hooker's accompanying film, but the sonic layerings and shifting audio perspectives, materialising eerily through… read more »

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From the sublime to the ridiculous ... CRICKETS!


There are rave reviews of this offering online, as if this were a sublime example of conceptual art. Unable to assess this piece’s artistic merit, I do however find it occasionally evocative, an (appropriately) murky dirge submerged to varying degrees beneath successive waves of sound effects -- some of dubious relevance. The most ridiculous -- nay, laughable – of these occurs at 29:45, when chirping crickets surface unexpectedly from the icy abyss. Would the artist be kind enough to explain their relevance? Was the offending iceberg inhabited by the rare Arctic cricket. Or were these charming insects onboard as unwitting stowaways? Ships' bells, foghorns, rattling chains and droning machinery, OK -- perhaps even grammophone crackle and roaring football fans are apt at some stretch of the imagination. But CRICKETS? They’re as absurdly misplaced as mewing kittens on a conceptual piece about the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission. Now there’s a grand idea, Mr Bryars!

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well deserved the effort


to define this album as "minimalism as its best, it's simple and really ACCESSIBLE. it's a beautiful album. I first heard this as an employee at streetlight records in San Jose CA. one morning when I had to be "in the pit" it was the first thing I heard, it only ruined my day because it put me in a droney-cataonic-dreamy state when I needed to be alert. Download this you won't be disappointed.

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Just get it!


A 30 second preview cannot even begin to give you an indication of how good this piece is. The introduction of Jeck on turntables takes it to a new level. Haunting. Ethereal. And very, very moving. It can only be fully appreciated in it's entirety.

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also try....


If you're not willing to fork over 12 credits for one track, you can get a different performance of, I think, a different version of Bryars' piece for 1 credit. Just search for the same title, by Gavin Bryars.

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....This most wonderful piece....


EErie,challenging, malevolent and heart-breakingly beautiful.

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i love the ambience


i'm into the ambient music, this one took me awhile to get, and it is a bit repetitive, but i really "sink" into it, bottom line, i think it's ok to spend 20-40 cents (depending on your subscription) for a 70 minute track right?

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don't judge by the preview


You can't judge by the preview clip... the first few minutes consist of vinyl crackle noise. They obviously have the computer set up to take 30 seconds from the very beginning, whether it gives any inkling of what the track really is like. As for my review... it's quite lovely and interesting, but I do get bored with it. And I'm really into drony ambient music. More concision would ultimately make a more compelling piece as a whole. It does have very poignant moments, though.

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http://www.touchmusic.org.uk/catalogue/tone_34_gavin_bryarsphilip_jec.html Gavin Bryars' 'The Sinking of the Titanic' is, and I say this with confidence, one of the finest pieces of music you could ever wish to own. Written in 1969 it has journeyed through the lands of modern classical, experimental and electronic music netting dedicated followers on its way, and each and every time I hear it I become more convinced of its genius. Bryars wrote the piece to mirror the last moments of the doomed voyage, when the Titanic sunk and famously the band played on. According to survivors the music being played was a rendition of 'Autumn', an Episcopal hymn which forms the basis of Bryars' composition. The notes and phrases from the hymn are worked in and out of the piece, sinking through the waters, effected by time, nostalgia and the cavernous ... more

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The sound of a watery grave


Don't expect minimalism where notes are repeated in tight repetitive structures, Its more of an aural collage piece. It starts with a blizzard of static with snatches of band breaking through, it moves through sections of spoken survivor memory, strings referencing hymns and crowd panic before ending with a possibly submerged music box. Bryars seems to be after the poignancy of a band playing on to a ghostly watery grave. Rewarding and well worth a (thats one!!!) download.