Gavin Bryars’ Sinking of the Titanic was the very first release on Brian Eno’s mid-1970s record label, Obscure Records. The album, from 1975, also included “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” which became better known in the subsequent decades than the title composition, in part perhaps because its structure — a minimalist work built on a fragment of a homeless man’s singing — bears resemblance to the decade older “It’s Gonna Rain” by Steve Reich, and later certainly because of a celebrity reworking when Bryars re-recorded it with Tom Waits performing the vocal. Sinking of the Titanic is a very different work from “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.” It’s a slow-motion chamber performance in which the ensemble performs an act of veritable theater, the piece intended to suggest the sound of a band playing as the ship goes down. This three-part video was apparently shot at the recent Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 26, 2017, a Sunday. The videos are from the excellent account of Seijin Lee, who has access to an incredible and ever expanding catalog of live shows. I created the little playlist so the three parts can be easily viewed in sequence.
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Robert Gable: "Classical Pulse had slipped my mine. I remember at the time thinking that Robert Levine listened to a..."
Ian Joyce: "Thank you Marc for such a lovely and thoughtful review! "
Debashis Sinha: "Thanks so much for this Marc – spot on analysis. You nailed it exactly. "
Brian Biggs: "Fantastic. There’s a Rube Goldberg analogy hidden there in the electronics. "
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• January 2, 2018: This day marks the 6th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• February 7, 2018: Start of the semester for the course I teach on the role of sound in the media landscape at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
• December 13, 2018: This day marked the 22nd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0324 / Factory Floor / Make music for newsrooms, design studios, and other collaborative workplaces.
• 0323 / Music for Meditation / Record a piece of music suited to meditation.
• 0322 / The Wanderer / Make a short piece of music that encourages the the mind's tendency to wander, based on research by Dr. Liila Taruffi, PhD, and her colleagues.
• 0321 / Let’s Active / Make a short piece of music that decreases the mind's tendency to wander, based on research by Dr. Liila Taruffi, PhD, and her colleagues.
• 0320 / Table of Contents / Make a composition containing loopable background-music segments for each chapter of one of your favorite books.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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