Download of the Week: Gavin Bryars, Philip Jeck, Alter Ego

Gavin Bryars' "The Sinking of the Titanic" is, to my mind, a beautiful piece of work. I've been on the lookout for the original LP version which was released on Brian Eno's Obscure Records label in 1975 (it is Obscure No. 1!) which includes the equally sublime "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". Today's pick was recorded at the 49th International Festival of Contemporary Music at The Venice Biennale on October 1, 2005 at the Teatro Maliban. It features Gavin Bryars on double bass, Philip Jeck on turntables, and the Italian ensemble Alter Ego on Strings, Brass, Wind, Percussion, Keyboard, Tape Recorder and sound design. And the results are, again to my mind, lovely and deep with one of the hugest heapings of sad submerged nostalgia you're likely to encounter on record.

Philip Jeck is responsible for the layers of crackling memory, while Alter Ego add solemn acoustic sounds to put things in place while Gavin Bryars saws away at remorse melodically. If you go for this sort of thing, you'll want to jump on this record and the amazingly good news is it is priced like a single!

From the Boomkat review of the CD:

The sounds are merged together effortlessly to form a fog of harmony and memory, perfectly melting the themes which Bryars intended his piece to convey in the first place. Really words can't do justice to 'The Sinking of the Titanic', like William Basinski's 'The Disintegration Loops' there is a timelessness, a patience and an ineffable beauty to this music that is almost impossible to describe. Unique, flawless and totally essential music.
You can download all 72+ minutes worth of The Sinking of the Titanic (1969- ) in FLAC or WAV format from Bleep for $1.99!

firedog55's picture

The Bleep  version has very loud crackling noises throughout the first 12 minutes - so loud it is the main sonic feature for much of those minutes. Don't like it at all.

I have heard two other versions (both available on Amazon) which aren't like this. One from 1995, and another from 2003 (Michael, that CD also includes "Jesus Blood Never failed me yet", just like your LP). I much prefer both of these.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Not everyone's cup of tea.

I'm still on the hunt for the original LP.

firedog55's picture

Hi Michael

 I realized it's Jeck, but he's also on another version I heard, and there he seems to be one sound of many, and less of a "feature". Just too much of a good thing for me.

Markus Sauer's picture

Check your email, Mike.