About Sonic Journey

Sonic Journeys are soundtracks to specific journeys. Each commissioned piece is available as a free download for limited periods, enabling listeners to experience the music travelling through the landscape that inspired it. Or wherever they choose.

Read on to discover the latest commission by composer Gavin Bryars and poet Blake Morrison available again as part of Hull2017 (1 May - 1 July 2017).

Sonic Journey: Gavin Bryars + Blake Morrison
The Stopping Train 

“This journey has strong links to the area of East Yorkshire where I grew up, and this commission allows me to engage creatively with this environment for the first time. I have long admired Glenn Gould’s remarkable train journey-related The Idea of North as well as the obsessive train pieces by the Canadian Eldon Rathburn, who made the final realisation of Percy Grainger’s Train Music. This project with Blake gives me the chance to make my own train music at last.” Gavin Bryars

Sonic Journey: Gavin Bryars + Blake Morrison composed as a series of movements to be played as the stopping train leaves each station on the journey between Goole and Hull or vice versa. Scored for viola, cello, bass, electric guitar and spoken voice, the work was recently recorded at National Theatre, London by Gavin Bryars and Blake Morrison together with members of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble and produced by sound designer Mic Pool.

Fancy creating your own Sonic Journey to upload and share with others? Visit sonicjourneys.co.uk to find out how.

“There's something especially exciting about collaborating with Gavin for a project that's happening in the area where he grew up. The landscape passengers see out the train window is very different from the one I know from my childhood, in the Yorkshire Dales, but it's rich in history and has its own kind of beauty. I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing justice to it - and to offering poems and vignettes that can be heard along with Gavin's music.” Blake Morrison

Gavin Bryars has continually shunned convention, treading his own distinctive and unique path. Starting as a jazz bassist and pioneer of free improvisation with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley, he worked with John Cage in the late 60s. Early iconic pieces The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet achieved great popular success. Since this time Bryars has composed four operas, a large body of chamber music, several concertos and much vocal music. He has collaborated with international artists across the spectrum from Merce Cunningham and William Forsyth to Juan Munoz and Robert Wilson. The Gavin Bryars Ensemble and GB Records continue to document his work. Serene, graceful and achingly beautiful, his music is characterised by a sense of contemplation that is revealed through harmony of underlying depth.

Born in Skipton, Yorkshire, Blake Morrison is perhaps best known for his two highly acclaimed memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Things My Mother Never Told Me. He is also a poet, novelist, journalist, librettist and critic, and has adapted several plays for Barrie Rutter’s theatre company Northern Broadsides. He teaches Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, and lives in South London.

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