Over 40 years ago, modernist maestro Gavin Bryars made a splash with his first major composition, The Sinking of the Titanic. Decades before James Cameron set sail with his blockbuster flick, Bryars mined the human experience of the sinking of RMS Titanic on April 14, 1912. Underneath the layers of water and dust are the echoes of the Episcopal hymn Autumn, the last music that the ship’s now-famous band played before going under and the ghost-like transmissions and receptions of the wireless operators.
On Sunday at 2 p.m., listen in to the Wordless Music Orchestra’s recreation of The Sinking of the Titanic, a performance done at the Guggenheim Museum on April 14, 2011, the 99th anniversary of the ship’s demise. Accompanying the acoustics is the larger multimedia installation T.1912, designed by French artist Dominique Gonzales-Foerster for the Guggenheim’s rotunda.
This performance is introduced by Bryars, who talks about the genesis of his homage to the “ship of dreams.” Gonzalez-Foerster also talks about the visual component to the work with WQXR host David Garland before Wordless Music takes the wheel.
Gavin Bryars offers more introductions to many of his seminal works this week on Never Failed Me Yet, a celebration of all things Bryars. In addition to going behind the music with the composer himself, you can also hear exclusive private and unreleased live recordings plus tributes by some of Bryars’s many colleagues and admirers.
Take your own voyage with us on Sunday and again on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m. for encore Webcasts.