For TITAN: A Crane is a Bridge, sound artist Michael Begg enlists the gigantic, titular Titan crane of Clydebank in Scotland both as a performance space and as an instrument. In the windy, beefy lattice frames and oily joints of the towering device, Begg teases out all sorts of metallic resonances and ironclad drones. Over these, he layers his own gentle instrumental additions - to great effect. At times, it resembles ‘dark ambient’ music. Only actually good. A Sonica Festival 2017 commission, the work is available on CD through Omnempathy in a glossy Japanese digipak.
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Michael Begg has made an album of immense stature and structure, fully reflecting both the subject matter and his source of inspiration in this recording, ‘TITAN: A Crane Is A Bridge’. A piece specially commissioned by Sonica Festival, it’s a bit of a coup for them as Begg is something of a titan himself in the fields of sound art, theatre and contemporary music composition. A magnificently graceful and beautiful sonic document, it’s testament to the immense joys of looking up and gazing in awe and wonder at the most wondrous metallic structures erected by humankind: each a masterpiece of form and function combined, the most stupendous of which is surely the Titan: a 150-foot-high cantilever crane on Scotland’s Clydebank.
Begg has actually gone several steps further than most of us gawpers / photographers / fans will likely ever do: he’s actually touched the thing and made beautiful, deeply resonating sounds from it. The word ‘drone’ barely does this music justice: there are plenty of metallic scrapes and ‘thunks’ and eerie ‘whooshes’ (wind howling through monolithic metal shapes! All right then), sure, but plenty of variety in these sounds, too: gently harmonic strings occasionally add to the oddly disconcerting ambience. There are plenty of quiet hums between dissonant screams (imagine an inanimate object squealing with pleasure, as I am picturing at the moment). It’s pretty darn magical, this. I do, however, certainly recommend cosy headphone listening, in a comfy chair, as you browse the web for pictures of this magnificent beast.
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- TITAN: A Crane Is A Bridge by Michael Begg
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