Gavin Bryars

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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the experimental composer Gavin Bryars. One of his best-known works, The Sinking of the Titanic, pays tribute to the band which continued to play as the ship went down. It poses the question what if they hadn't stop playing; how would their music have sounded under water? His most popular composition, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, features a tramp singing the same verse again and again, building up layer upon layer of emotion.

Composing is a craft he learnt as an assistant to John Cage, after hearing his work Four minutes, thirty-three seconds - of silence. Today he is both established and establishment - the ENO are soon to stage his latest opera and if you look closely at the orchestra, you'll spot him on the bass!

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: My Foolish Heart by Bill Evans Trio
Book: Science and Civilisation in China by Joseph Needham
Luxury: Gravity chair

Release date:

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 10 Apr 1998 09:05


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestGavin Bryars

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