Touch, December 2007

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Gavin Bryars/Philip Jeck/Alter Ego - The Sinking of the Titanic

Gavin Bryars/Philip Jeck/Alter Ego
The Sinking of the Titanic

Limited Edition of 2000
CD in Special wallet + postcard [postcard image by Andrew Hooker]
Artwork by Jon Wozencroft

1 Track - 72:37

This version of Gavin Bryars's seminal piece, The Sinking of the Titanic, was recorded at the 49th International Festival of Contemporary Music at The Venice Biennale on 1st October 2005 at the Teatro Maliban.

Gavin Bryars - Double Bass
Philip Jeck - Turntables
Alter Ego - Strings, Brass, Wind, Percussion, Keyboard, Tape Recorder and sound design

Boomkat (UK):

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 reverberations of the ship itself with each scrape and hiss worked into Bryars' incredible vision. For this special performance of the piece we see Bryars (on double bass) alongside Italian ensemble Alter Ego (not to be confused with the German electronic duo of the same name) and experimental turntablist Philip Jeck, and the result is arguably its most stunning rendition to date. The most noticeable addition is Jeck, whose expertise and unique style seems to fit like the final piece of the puzzle as his crackles and motifs melt into the architecture of the recording as if they had always been there. This additional layer of nostalgia brought forth by these found sounds adds a significant sense of history , forcing the mind back into hazy film footage and decomposed photos, a perfect match for the subject matter. Also of note are Alter Ego, who surprised me with their stunning renditions of Philip Glass recently, and work comparable magic here on Bryars' composition, with their ensemble bringing in the sounds of bottles, tape recorders, laptops and percussion on top of more traditional instruments. 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 almost impossible to describe. Unique, flawless and totally essential music.

You can read other reviews here

Chris Watson on BBC Radio 4 at 1100 am

The Castle

A powerful evocative sound portrait of a castle and its wild inhabitants and ancient ruins. Sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The programme can be heard live here

Fennesz New Release | Download Only Track | 11.12.2007

Fennesz - On a desolate shore a shadow passes by
Touch # TS04D

1 track - 8:01

Exclusive digital download available through Boomkat, iTunes and all good download stores

This release will be followed by a 7" single release in January 2008 featuring 2 different tracks from the same sessions:

Touch # TS04

7" vinyl only

Side A: On a desolate shore 5:14
Side B: A shadow passes by 3:21

These three tracks are based on 8 different guitar recordings made at Amann Studios, Vienna, between 2005-07. The acoustic guitar was recorded with an AKG C12 microphone. Other sounds were made using a Fender Stratocaster and a Vox ac15 amp.

You can read about this download here

The 7" is part of the Touch Sevens 7" vinyl-only series. More information about this series may be found here

Chris Watson & Touch @ Consortium | Amsterdam 20th December 2007

A full pdf of this info can be downloaded here

Touch is providing the music for the elevators in the Lloyd Hotel. Here is the track listing:

AER - As I Wander Round
BIOSPHERE - Moistened & Dried
BJNILSEN - G�tland
ROSY PARLANE - Iris part 3
CHRIS WATSON - Sunsets. Breachacha, Island Of Coll, Scotland
BRUCE GILBERT - Sliding Off The World
GEIR JENSSEN - Tingri The Last Truck

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