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Album: The Fragile (Left)
Length: 3:31
Tempo: 80 BPM
Versions: Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage (Alternate Version)
Live: With Teeth Spring Arena Tour
Performance 2007

"Pilgrimage" is the ninth track on the Left disc of The Fragile. It is an instrumental track in a 3/4 time signature.

The "Buddha Boys Choir", credited for background chants on this track comprised Keith Hillebrandt, Clint Mansell, Steve Duda, Nothing Studios employees, and local New Orleans band Deadhandsystem. The name they were given in the liner notes comes from Igor's Buddha Belly across the street from from the studios.


The end of the song features an entirely synthetic marching band arrangement. Its creation was revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone:[1]

"It shouldn't have taken place," Reznor says sheepishly. "The track was done. But at the end, I said, 'That's such a bizarre theme. What would it sound like played by a marching band going down the street?' A week later" - he nods in the direction of one of the studio's king-size Macintosh computers - "there's a band marching through the song. It's all on synthesizer." New Orleans, of course, is a city full of marching bands. "It would have been easier to get a band than it was to do it the way I did," Reznor admits, grinning.

Song Credits

  • Additional Marching Percussion: Steve Duda
  • Chanting: The Buddha Boys Choir
  • Trumpet: Cherry Holly






This is the album version. Its abrasive guitar riff fades in from the end of "Even Deeper," joined at each repetition by new layers of mechanical synthesizers and percussion layers. These layers are soon subsumed by the main theme, played on synthesizers. After its repetition, the layers halt to simply a distorted guitar playing the same riff, which is then joined by drums, bass synth, and wordless vocal melodies. These layers soon crossfade with a return of the main melody, played this time on brass instruments accompanied by marching drums that fade in. Eventually, the horn and synth layers stop, leaving only the marching drums to repeat and stop suddenly, leading into the opening ambient pad of "No, You Don't."

On the vinyl version, the song does not fade in at the start, rather beginning with the guitar riff and building at its natural mix volume.

Pilgrimage (Alternate Version)

Running Time: 3:04

Released on The Fragile: Deviations 1. Also known as "Pilgrimage" (Alt) when it was originally released on Apple Music as part of The Fragile Instrumental. The arrangement is close to the album version, but the mix is distinct. Its intro, like the vinyl version, does not fade in.


"Pilgrimage" has been used live as an introduction tape on the With Teeth Summer Amphitheater Tour and the Performance 2007 tour.

Previous track - "Even Deeper" Track 9 from The Fragile Left (CD), Side C (Vinyl) Next track - "No, You Don't"
This page was last modified on 3 September 2019, at 15:06. This page has been accessed 69,825 times.