Release Date:

April 14, 2014

Purchase Links:

The Sinking of the Titanic


This live recording of The Sinking of the Titanic was made on the Gavin Bryars Ensemble’s tour in 2012, the centenary year of the disaster. It brings together in one performance elements that have appeared separately in the various versions that precede it: the inclusion of the improvising turntablist Philip Jeck; the presence of a second quartet of low strings that consists of his four children; the faint allusion to Aphex Twin’s remix The Raising of the Titanic made shortly after the release of the 1994 recording; the water gong first used by percussionist Martin Allen towards the end of a performance on a raft at the shallow end of a renovated Art Nouveau swimming pool in Brussels…

Although there have been four previous recordings (and the original Obscure recording from 1975 will be released on GB Records shortly), according to the composer this performance and recording is as near to a definitive one as there is ever likely to be. 

Gavin’s Notes:


Philip Jeck: improvising turntablist
(Quartet I) Nick Barr, viola
(Quartet I) Morgan Goff, viola
(Quartet I) Nick Cooper, cello
(Quartet I) Gavin Bryars, double bass
(Quartet II) Alexandra Maria Tchernakova, viola
(Quartet II) Orlanda Bryars, cello
(Quartet II) Ziella Bryars, cello
(Quartet II) Yuri Bryars, double bass
Roger Heaton, bass clarinet
Dave Smith, tenor horn, keyboard, woodblocks
James Woodrow, electric guitar
Martin Allen, percussion


1. Applause 1:04
2. Prologue (Philip Jeck) 10:09
3. Crash 1:57
4. Titanic Hymn I Autumn – Quartet I 4:33
5. Titanic Hymn II Autumn - Quartet II 5:25
6. Titanic Hymn III Autumn – Quartet I 6:07
7. Hymn IV Aughton (“He leadeth me”) – Quartet I 5:59
8. Morse 2:00
9. Hymn V Autumn - Quartet I (cello solo) 7:56
10. Titanic Lament 9:04
11. Cadences 2:56
12. Lament extract 3:59
13. Water gong 2:51
14. “La Maxixe” music box 2:12
15. Hymn VI, last hymn – Quartet I 8:29

Playable Tracks

Gavin Bryars