This coming Sunday, April 15th, is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Expect lots of retrospectives and memorials in the paper, radio, TV, Internet and the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N).
The Good Shepherd Center? Why, sure:
An all-star ensemble of thirty-plus Seattle avant musicians commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy with an epic three-hour version of the classic piece by British composer Gavin Bryars. This multimedia concert will appeal to history buffs and Titanic enthusiasts as well as aficionados of adventurous music; the audience is encouraged to wear period costume.
Acclaimed British composer Gavin Bryars created this piece in 1969. Taking his cue from conceptual art, Bryars’ score consists mainly of his hand-written notes speculating on the musical and sonic aspects of the history and lore surrounding the Titanic disaster – particularly the conflicting reports by survivors as to the hymns played by the ship’s orchestra as it sank. It includes his arrangements of these hymns for an ensemble replicating that of the ship’s orchestra, as well as recorded interviews with survivors. But the work is extremely open-ended and can be realized in many different ways. Bryars encourages deviation from his own versions, and the inclusion of newly discovered data and material that has surfaced since the wreck was discovered in 1985.
Organized by composer and Wayward Music Series founder Steve Peters, this realization will differ significantly from previous ones. It will last for about three hours, spanning the actual time it took for the Titanic to sink after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic on April 14, 1912; in fact, the performance will take place roughly 100 years to the hour after the original event (accounting for the difference in time zones). A stellar group of about thirty Seattle musicians will use the hymns as a springboard for improvisation, spread out around the Chapel over six different half-hour sets: a string ensemble (including cellists Paul Rucker and Lori Goldston, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes), a wind ensemble (including trombonist Stuart Dempster, trumpeter Lesli Dalaba, and clarinetist Beth Fleenor), a solo piano set by Robin Holcomb, an accordion/concertina ensemble (including Amy Denio), and a vocal chorus. The evening will culminate with the chorus reading the names of the 1514 people who perished in the disaster.
PLUS: Ragtime tunes on toy piano by Tiffany Lin! Period 78s spun on vintage Victrolas by Climax Golden Twins! Field recordings and sound design by the Seattle Phonographers Union! Electronic processing by composer Joshua Parmenter! Atmospheric percussion by Dean Moore and Dale Speicher! Video projections by Leo Mayberry (aka Killing Frenzy)!
Nonsequitur presents “The Sinking of the Titanic,” by British composer Gavin Bryars on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM as part of the ongoing Wayward Music Series in the historic Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center. $5 – $15 sliding scale donation (cash or check only) at the door.