Music for a Harsh Collapse
July 27, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Soundtrack for that moment when your life comes crashing down?

I'm doing a performance piece and I'm looking for some intelligent instrumental music that sounds like your whole emotional world is crashing and shattering. A climax, turning-point.

Your world is turning upside down.

Should be strident and sudden - everything's fucked up in the blink of an eye.

The music shouldn't be hopeful. All genres considered, but needs to be instrumental.

I'm really struggling to find something that meets this criteria - Could really use the collective wisdom of metafilter on this one.
posted by bonsai forest to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Holst: Planets Suite: Mars
posted by genesta at 1:06 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

The first movement of George Crumb's Black Angels.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:09 PM on July 27, 2011

Dissolution 1 by Earth, from "A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:11 PM on July 27, 2011

Somewhere abouts the middle of the Rite of Spring.
posted by ignignokt at 1:12 PM on July 27, 2011

I'd say almost anything by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
posted by kaseijin at 1:12 PM on July 27, 2011

Doesn't answer the question because it's not an instrumental, but the first song I thought of was Muse's "Apocalypse Please."
posted by cnc at 1:13 PM on July 27, 2011

The classic solution for this type of event is the 5th movement from Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony.
posted by Namlit at 1:14 PM on July 27, 2011

This point in Lux Aeterna.
posted by axiom at 1:15 PM on July 27, 2011

The end of Duke Ellington's "Summertime", from his "Piano in the Foreground" album. Nice-nice-nice-nice-nice-DESTROY.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:17 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

You don't specify how long a portion of music you need, so the first thing I though of was the orchestral swirl at the end of "A Day In The Life."
posted by kimota at 1:20 PM on July 27, 2011

My friend once said if she was ever going to kill herself (and this is one of the least suicidal people I've ever known, so know that it was a joke), she would probably put this song on:

12 Rods "Glad That It's Over"

Pretty angry sounding and the first line is "TODAY HAS SUCKED" there you go.
posted by lovableiago at 1:20 PM on July 27, 2011

Dome's "Ar-Gu".
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:24 PM on July 27, 2011

Nine Inch Nail's The mark has been made. Live version just to prove you can do it instrumental.
posted by pwnguin at 1:26 PM on July 27, 2011

Tom Waits Oily Night?

Technically, there are "vocals," but they're completely in service of the nightmare-ish instrumental feeling of the song.
posted by otolith at 1:28 PM on July 27, 2011

It verges on cliche status at this point, but Barber's Adagio for Strings is the instrumental version of "nooooo everything is ruined oh god."

Stravinsky is good for this, too. Seconding The Rite of Spring (Sacrificial Dance), or you might find something in The Firebird.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:28 PM on July 27, 2011

How about this?
posted by devnull at 1:31 PM on July 27, 2011

These are all great answers so far, really appreciate the suggestions. In terms of time, looking for about 3-4 minutes, could be longer and I could edit out that much.

In terms of suggestions, I think that Neubaten one is pretty good, specially the first part. Noisy collapsy shattery is good, and I think that's why they traditional world is over stuff (the Barber piece) are too beautiful and too mournful for what I am looking for, and also not loud enough. This is more of an aggressive collapse/world end, and it's personal too. It's not that the world just collapsed for everyone, it just collapsed for ME. And I'm not mourning the collapse, I'm LIVING IT.

Stuff I had considered already, but rejected were:
Mono / Everlasting Light (this part) But that was too hopeful.

I had thought about Lux Aeterna too...but even more aggressive would be good...

Thanks so much for answers so far....
posted by bonsai forest at 1:48 PM on July 27, 2011

Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima is good too....I was trying to remember that piece. But please, keep the suggestions coming, and again, all genres considered, these are great!
posted by bonsai forest at 1:52 PM on July 27, 2011

elend has a lot of songs that would fit, especially anything off of 'windz devouring men'. Very dramatic orchestral with noisy cacophony, long instrumental passages. Maybe under war-broken trees
posted by everyday_naturalist at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2011

Massive Attack's Angel has a somber start with a nice heavy buildup to a tumultuous and intense sound
posted by lizbunny at 2:10 PM on July 27, 2011

NIN - The Beauty of Being Numb
posted by empath at 2:29 PM on July 27, 2011

Actually, I meant "At the Heart of It All" off the same album.
posted by empath at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2011

Saint Saens' Dance Macabre (sorry can't link to it at work, they don't like us using anything video-ey).

The ending is a little hopeful so you may want to cut that out but it's basically about Death tuning up his violin and leading the Dead in a dance.
posted by prettypretty at 3:03 PM on July 27, 2011

bonsai forest: In terms of suggestions, I think that Neubaten one is pretty good, specially the first part. Noisy collapsy shattery is good

FYI: Einstürzende Neubauten means Collapsing New Buildings, and it's definitely fitting.

Agreed, Mono is good. But I get what you mean about too hopeful.

Maybe something from the (diverse) Venetian Snares collection (MeFi self-link). Winter in the Belly of the Snake starts to get depressing, but the glitchy/IDM stuff might ruin it (particular favorites: Sink Snow Angel and In Quod (no handy direct video/audio link, beyond the MySpace album link)). This Bitter Earth isn't glitchy, but perhaps there's still too much hope? If so, Rossz Csillag Alatt Született might hold something. And then there's My Downfall (Original Soundtrack), the soundtrack to Aaron Funk's personal downfall.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:47 PM on July 27, 2011

There's a Download album from 1996, "The Eyes of Stanley Pain", that might have some possibilities on it:

Fire This Ground (Puppy Gristle Part 1)


posted by hackwolf at 3:57 PM on July 27, 2011

The beginning of Act III of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Insist on the Böhm recording with Birgit Nilsson.
posted by Trurl at 7:53 PM on July 27, 2011

"Komm, süsser Tod" by Arianne.
posted by heatvision at 10:26 AM on July 28, 2011

First Death in the Family by FSOL

Cold Dream of an Earth Star by Coil

If these tracks don't grab you but you want something similar, scan through Future Sound of London's Dead Cities and Coil's How to Destroy Angels.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:58 PM on July 28, 2011

Thanks again MeFi's! I think I'm going with the Einsturzende Neubauten track lumpenprole recommended - It's really got that collapsing feeling I was looking for.
posted by bonsai forest at 6:41 PM on July 28, 2011

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