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.

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