Vocal ensemble performance
8 March 2017 | Prinzregententheater, Munich
Note : Singer Pur

Singer Pur

Singer Pur will give a special concert at the Prinzregententheater Munich for their 25th anniversary. This will include a new piece written for them, as a gift, by Gavin: Words for Music. This sets two poems by W B Yeats from his collection Words and Music, Perhaps (1932) or the six voices of Singer Pur plus Gavin on double bass. The poems are "Mad as the Mist and Snow" and Those Dancing Days are Gone." The texts are copied here. Singer Pur performed pieces with bass when they were with Gavin at Villa I Tatti for the concert following the release of the Vilaa I Tatti Madrugals CD (BCGBCD26) in April 2016.

Words for Music

"Mad as the Mist and Snow"


Bolt and bar the shutter,

For the foul winds blow;

Our minds are at their best this night,

And I seem to know

That everything outside us is

Mad as the mist and snow.


Horace there by Homer stands,

Plato stands below,

And here is Tully's open page.

How many years ago

Were you and I unlettered lads

Mad as the mist and snow.


You ask what makes me sigh, old friend,

What makes me shudder so?

I shudder and I sigh to think

That even Cicero

And many-minded Homer were

Mad as the mist and snow.

(12 February 1929)


"Those Dancing Days are Gone"


Come, let me sing into your ear,

Those dancing days are gone,

All that silk and satin gear;

Crouch upon a stone,

Wrapping that foul body up

In as foul a rag:

I carry the sun in a golden cup,

The moon in a silver bag.


Curse as you may I sing it through,

What matter if the knave

That the most could pleasure you,

The children that he gave,

Are somewhere sleeping like a top

Under a marble flag?

I carry the sun in a golden cup,

The moon in a silver bag.


I thought it out this very day,

Noon upon the clock,

A man may put pretence away

Who leans upon a stick,

May sing, and sing until he drop,

Whether to maid or hag:

I carry the sun in a golden cup,

The moon in a silver bag.

(8 March 1029)

From W B Yeats: Words for Music, Perhaps (1932)

poems XVIII and XIX





GB Ensemble performance
22 January 2017 | 6:30 PM Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL
Note : Cafe Oto Concert

Cafe Oto Concert

This will be one of my very few UK performances and has been organised by my daughter Ziella to feature some of the music that my ensemble played at the time my children first started to perform with me in the mid-1990s. The programme is as follows

Part I

The South Downs

Duration: 15'
 Instrumentation: Cello and piano

The North Shore

Duration: 15'
 Instrumentation: Solo viola, piano, electric guitar, cello, bass

The Island Chapel

Duration: 17'
 Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, cello and Korg M1

~ Interval ~

Part II

Oi Me Lasso

Duration: 5'
 Instrumentation: Soprano, viola, cello, electric guitar and double bass

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Duration c. 25' Instrumentation Viola, 3 cellos, 2 basses, electric guitar

Epilogue from Wonderlawn

Duration: 6'
Instrumentation: Solo viola, electric guitar, 3 cellos and double bass

Performers :

Orlanda Bryars, voice and cello; Nick Barr, viola; Sophie Harris, cello; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Ziella Bryars, cello; Yuri Bryars, double bass; Gavin Bryars, double bass, piano, keyboard

Book Tickets Online: https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/gavin-bryars-ensemble/



Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet
13 January 2017 | BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff
Note : Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs Jesus' Blood, conducted by Clark Rundell. This will be the final work in a concert featuring works by living British composers. The rest of the programme contains David Sawer: The Greatest Happiness Principle; Howard Skempton: Lento; Michael Nyman Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings; Charlie Barber: Shut Up and Dance.

Gavin Bryars will attend and will give a pre-concert talk

Gavin Bryars own performance of Skempton's Lento with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is on GB Records GBCD25 "Adelaide Town Hall"


part of "See You Later"
17 November 2016 - 20 November 2016 | Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA
Note : The Other Side of the River

The Other Side of the River

This piece was commisisoned by Third Coast Percussion and forms part of a theatre event called "See You Later" directed by Cathie Boyd (Theatre Cryptic) at Montclair University.



Last night of Tallinn International Piano Festival
12 November 2016 | Estonia Symphony Hall, Tallinn Estonia
Note : Estonian Piano Orchestra

Estonian Piano Orchestra

The Estonian Piano orchestra consists of an ensemble of 4 pianos 16 hands (i.e. 8 players - 4 sets of opiano duets...). There are two new pieces of mine that will be played at the final concert: Grainger's Woggle and Zaleski's Perfumed Garden

Ballet by David Dawson
10 November 2016 - 13 November 2016 | Merriam Theatre, 250 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Note : The Third Light

The Third Light

David Dawson's ballet The Third Light, with music by Gavin Bryars, scored for solo violin and low strings (violas, cello,s basses) was first performed in Antwerp in 2010. David had choreographed his ballet Reverence to Gavin's Third String Quartet, which Gavin subsequently re-wrote for string orchestra. The Third Light was their first collaborative work and is being given its North American premiere in Philadelphia. Both Gavin and David will be there.


New work for organ and percussion
7 October 2016 | Eglise Notre Dame de la Dalbade à Toulouse 20:30
Note : Jimmy Smith in Paradise

Jimmy Smith in Paradise

The organ is essentially an orchestra - with its registers of woodwind, brass and strings - but, unlike the orchestra, all under the hands and feet of one performer. Of course, the only orchestral section missing is that of percussion and the unique combination of church organ and percussion that comprises the extraordinary duo Organsticks (Yves Rechsteiner and Henri-Charles Caget) corrects this historical omission. This new piece involves reference to a world where such an imbalance did not exist, that of jazz where the organ - above all the Hammnd organ - emerged in the 1960s as an authentic instrument within a jazz ensemble. Jimmy Smith in Paradise pays homage to one of its legendary and greatest players. 




Vocal and electronic work performed at sunrise 06:38-09:00
18 September 2016 | Estuary Festival Southend on Sea
Note : Raga Dawn

Raga Dawn

Raga Dawn is a sonic artwork by Caroline Bergvall for site-specific soundscapes featuring two live voices - one spoken (Caroline Bergvall) and one sung (Peyee Chen) - with electronic projection and sound design (live programming Ben Corrigan, Site-specific sound engineer Sam Grant). Gavin Bryars has written the sung vocal music and at the centre of the work is an extended solo voice Canso. The texts look at several different linguistic territories of Europe and the UK, especially languages that are endangered or at risk. The performance begins during the final moments of night, continuing through dawn, and is completed with the rising of the sun. It draws on ancient and conemporary musical and literary sunrise traditions, such as troubadour love poetry. It premieres in September in Geneva (10 and 11) and Southend-on-Sea (18) and embarks on an international sequence of performances in 2017.

The performance takes pla ce from )6:30 onwards at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal, Ferry Road, Tilbury, Tilbury, Thurrock, RM18 7NG


rehearsal pictures



Audio collaboration for train journey
16 June 2016 - 2 July 2016 | Goole to Hull train (and return)
Note : Goole-Hull Sonic Journey

Goole-Hull Sonic Journey

The Yorkshire Festival has commissioned Gavin Bryars and Blake Morrison to create an audio work that will be listened to on the train journey from Goole (Bryars' birthplace and home town) to Hull. The audio will be available as a download and can be replayed on personal audio devices on the journey. The piece follows precisely the sequence of stations between Goole and Hull and is designed specifically for this journey. Simply download the exclusive free track from www.sonicjourneys.co.uk to your personal device, board the train at Bryars’ birthplace Goole and embark on a uniquely personal artistic journey through the Yorkshire countryside. The piece is designed for the stopping train rather than the "express" though it can be played on the fast train too. There is also a version for the return journey. Blake Morrison's poetry refers to the personal history of Bryars in the area as well as to topographical and historical material. Blake Morrison reads his own poems, and the music is recorded by members of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble (Gavin Bryars, bass; James Woodrow, guitar; Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello) by sound designer Mic Pool, with whom Gavin worked on the Overworlds and Underworlds project in Leeds.


Concert by The Crossing
15 June 2016 - 16 June 2016 | Philadelphia and New York
Note : The Fifth Century

The Fifth Century

The concert by The Crossing with the Prism saxophone quartet, originally planned for January 23 in New York, had to be cancelled because of extreme weather conditions in the US Eastern states, which prevented the choir from travelling from Philadelphia to New York - let alone any audience...

This has now been rescheduled for June 16 in New York, with a performance in Philadelphia the day before.

The venues and all details will follow.