Release Date:

April 19, 1994

Purchase Links:

Argo 443 214-2

(plus works by Gordon, Andriessen, Le Gassick, Lang)

Gavin’s Notes:

The Archangel Trip (1992)

This piece, written for Icebreaker, uses most of the instruments available within its unique line-up. The title, and aspects of the musical imagery, comes from a pun derived from Icebreaker’s name and inspired by a documentary film about two Russian icebreakers that ply the seas above the northern coasts of Russia.

The home port of the ships is the north-western town of Archangel and the two ships move independently through these frozen and inhospitable seas – one sailing from east to west, the other from west to east – and meeting occasionally when their paths cross. The piece, then, becomes a kind of journey, moving from one musical state to another. It begins and ends in home territory, a sequence of drones derived from Japanese court music. The central section is an extended arioso for saxophones, doubled at times by the electric guitar using an E-bow, accompanied by electric strings, rough-hewn percussion and hocketting pan-pipes.

The idea for the piece was suggested in part by Jules Verne’s novel Measuring a Meridian.

Gavin Bryars.




1. Yo Shakespeare / Gordon
2. De Snelheid / Andriessen
3. The Archangel Trip / Bryars
4. Evol / LeGassick
5. Slow Movement / Lang

Gavin Bryars