Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The a.P.A.t.T. Orchestra: Gavin Bryars, The Sinking of the Titanic

At the weekend we had a very special a.P.A.t.T. Orchestra concert to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. To mark the occasion we played Gavin Bryars' piece, The Sinking of the Titanic in the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, where there is an exhibition about the Titanic currently on display.

Bryars' piece has at its core a string quartet, in which I performed. The quartet plays a very slowed down, and somewhat altered, version of the music purportedly played by the ship's orchestra as the ship went down. Around this core, fragments of that music are thrown between the rest of the ensemble, along with accompanying sound effects and noises, mimicking the effect of the music's submergence as the ship sinks.

The performance went very well, and there were even tears in the eyes of some audience members. For my part, I find the piece somewhat one dimensional. However, it is an extremely moving and effective work, and seemed a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in the disaster 100 years ago.

You can listen to a recording of our performance by following this link.

You can also read a review of the show in the Double Negative here.

Amphibolous at the Noise Upstairs

Amphibolous is a new group I formed last year with Ash Steel and Adam Webster. Last week we had our second live outing, at the Noise Upstairs in Manchester. It was a packed audience at the Manchester improv night, where part of the evening, people put their names in the hat to play in random groupings. Then it came to us.

The instrumentation in the group is:

Adam Webster: amplified cello
Ash Steel: turntables
Si Jones: objects and effects

The great thing about the group for me is that it's been a while since I've been in a noise group that practises regularly, and it's really paid off in our live performances.

You can listen to a recording of our set by following this link. We also have an album to be released shortly, and a few more gigs lined up, so stay tuned for more developments...