Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Sinking Of The Titanic - Gavin Bryars

This is the 1975 album by Gavin Bryars. It's very out of print, thanks for Spotify I was able to find it. Both pieces on this record happen to be his best know works , and they are for a reason. This also happens to be his debut album, one which I have to say is a pretty great one at that. Considering how Easter is today I decided to publish a review with some religious tones or themes in the album. Why not, I decide if I want to or not. So without further a due I give you the review for the album aforementioned in the title of this post.
  1. The Sinking Of The Titanic: While I didn't enjoy this as much as the next track I can none the less say its impact on me. The theme in the song is fricken great. One thing i should point out is I've also heard the hour long version from the 90's or 2000's. There is a beauty to the swells in this track. It moves slowly, but has a feeling of, to be honest, death. Like I know that the title might help set up what's happening, but there is a feeling that this would be perfect at the sinking of the Titanic in Titanic. This almost sounds like a variation of Amazing Grace (at parts). Through it's 24 minute run time, it feels like it's..... I feel like it's like, I fell like this kind of is what it'd be like to know your going to die. This was inspired by the fact the band supposedly played until they sunk, they knew they wouldn't make it out. So it's like they are playing to the end.There is a moment in there where it sounds like they went under water, about 8 minutes in, but then the strings come back again. There is a muffled sort of ambiance surrounding the piece. Kind of like your underwater, or the adrenaline (like in movies) is "slowing time down". I don't think it's as good as the next piece, but it's still worth the listen.
  2. Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet: This song is famous for it's title and story. A homeless man on the street said this and they recorded it and looped it. But his voice makes it so touching, and when the strings come it it sounds like something that I could see being in a Disney movie. It's a very pretty simple arrangement, but the feeling of the slowly moving orchestra makes it get louder and more intense. Not in the way that it's angry, but in the way that it's touching. when the acoustic guitar (played by my boy Derek Bailey) comes in the background it's great and adds to it even more. There are numerous versions, the original 25 minutes LP version (because of limitations), but it was in it's entirety 40 minutes. Then he made a 60 and 74 minutes version. For some reason, though I doubt I'd listen to it one an endless loop, it isn't that bad of a 25 minutes to spend on a song. It's very simplistic an pretty. Sometimes the prettiest stuff is the simplest. This this is slow it's definitely worth the listen.
Overall I have to give this album a 8/10. While I prefer the second track, I can't deny this album has had an influence on me. This thing is actually a pretty solid listen and it doesn't feel like the songs drag on much, or at all. The songs build and don't over stay their welcome. This isn't Einstein on the Beach. I actually prefer this to Ambient 3 (even though there were some interesting sounds on it). 

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