Occasional Writings

Notes on audience behaviour

Globe and Mail

There are a number of occasions when I have experienced unusual or extreme audience behaviour. Here are a few examples, which I list in no particular order, nor with any sense of hierarchy.

Composer Gavin Bryars in conversation about Adelaide Hall’s concert

at the Studio Theatre, Haymarket, Leicester

David [Gothard, Associate Director at the Haymarket] had the idea of getting Adelaide Hall to perform and for me to put together the band. I had lot of good students at the time [GB was Professor of Music at De Montfort University (1986-1994) and an Associate Director of Music at the Haymarket] – there was a good feel for written-out Jazz.

Re. The Wire

To Pat Kane,

My manager, Jane Quinn, called me just now and faxed me the questions that you're asking about The Wire. I'm leaving home in about 15 minutes and won't be back until tomorrow late morning, so I thought I'd send a quick fax before I go.

1. The Wire doesn't really set out to "cover" contemporary music but has a distinctive and pleasantly lop-sided approach. I enjoy in particular the tone of the reviews of contemporary music where the language is refreshingly non-classical.

Notes on Joseph Holbrooke reunion

(not published)

While the recorded legacy of Joseph Holbrooke from the 1960’s is almost non-existent, it seems ironic that almost every note played since the trio’s reunion in 1998 has been recorded. Most of the material which does survive from the 1960’s is located on rehearsal tapes (one of which was issued as a ‘single’ by Incus) and there are no recordings of the free playing to the best of my knowledge. There are (somewhere) tapes of our playing with Lee Konitz when he toured the north of England in the mid-60’s.

Yves Klein

For Hayward Gallery Exhibition Catalogue (written December 29th 1994)


To: Kate Miller/ Martin Caiger-Smith

Date: December 29th 1994

re. Yves Klein

How was it for you?

for The Wire January issue 1996


To: Rob Young, Deputy Editor

Date: November 29th

My manager Jane Quinn passed on to me a fax asking for a short piece for your January issue (1996 - How was it for you?). Hope this is useful.

Note on Tom Waits and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

written for John Potter (not published)

When Philip Glass asked me if I would be interested in doing a new recording of Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet he assumed that I would do something similar to the first version and wanted to know what other pieces would be on the same CD. He was somewhat fazed when I said that I would do a version lasting the whole 74 minutes available.

John White

in response to questions from John Walters, Unknown Public

1. I first heard John's work at the end of the 1960's (I first heard him as a performer playing tuba in a Feldman piece in 1965) but the first piece which made a deep impression on me was Tuba and Cello Machine. Victor Schonfield, of Music Now, organised a performance of this by John and Cornelius Cardew at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in, I think, 1970 or 1971. For me it was one of the most stunning concerts of that period.

Heroes and Villains

For GQ Magazine (written January 24th 1997)

To Nick Coleman (GQ Magazine),

Many thanks for your fax. Here is a short piece on "Heroes and Villains" (to use the Beach Boys title).

on Brahms

for BBC Music Magazine, written January 1997

To: Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine Jan 24 1997

Here is the piece on Brahms as requested. I'm not sure of the title. It would depend on the context and what other pieces you are running.