Cambridge Concert postscript
August 21, 2021

Cambridge Summer Music Festival, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

The Gavin Bryars Ensemble was to perform at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival on July 20, 2021, this being our first live performance since December 8th, 2019, when we’d performed the 50th anniversary concert of The Sinking of the Titanic (1969-) at Kings Place, London. And on December 7th four of us, Morgan, James, Audrey, and myself had travelled back from Normandy following the last of our Biped performances with CNDC Angers… So, the prospect of being back together was a pleasurable one. 2021 is also the 50th anniversary of the composition of Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

However, after my serious injury in Tasmania, which left me with a useless left hand and arm, it was clear that I would not be playing bass for some considerable time, nor piano either. I had no wish to call off the concert, so the programme was modified from the original one that appears in the calendar section of this website by having my son Yuri take the bass parts, and by rethinking some pieces to include right-handed piano. This will be the situation for some time – certainly for the forthcoming November concerts at Opera North and the Opéra de Lyon…

In addition, because of a sudden change of Covid legislation, at the last minute, my daughter Alexandra who had been scheduled to join us on piano from Italy was not allowed entry to UK because, although doubly vaccinated, the vaccine had been administered in Italy not the UK…

The concerts kept the original scheme of having the shorter chamber versions of The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet which we had premiered at the Goldmark Gallery, Uppingham in July 2017 and which were shown on Goldmark TV.

In the event the concerts were a tremendous success and were a very happy occasion for all my musicians – also my friends and family….

Nick Cooper wrote to me afterwards:

It was so great to see everyone on Tuesday.  Don’t know what it is about the GB Ensemble, but it always feels special concertising together.  Particularly this time, it seems we were collectively breaking free from the pandemic.  Many thanks to Freya, Gavin, Orlanda and Zie for putting this one together.

A couple weeks after, just before I left for Canada, Morgan was able to join me, James and Audrey for the Wednesday fish and chips in Billesdon – a local equivalent of our Hobart harbour fish experiences…

Programme I 6:00-7:00 pm

Lauda Dolçe I – cello (Nick), guitar, piano (Gavin)

It Never Rains guitar, viola, cello (Nick), cello (Audrey), bass

Lauda Dolçe II – viola, guitar

Added Time – guitar, viola, cello, bass, piano (Gavin)

The Sinking of the Titanic – full ensemble

Programme II (8:00-9:00)

Lauda Dolçe III – cello (Audrey) guitar, piano (Gavin)

Ramble on Cortona – piano (Dave Smith), guitar, viola, cello (Nick)

Lauda Dolçe II – cello (Audrey), guitar

Dancing with Pannonica – guitar, viola, cello, piano (Gavin)

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet – full ensemble

Epilogue from Wonderlawn – full ensemble

Performers: Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, Audrey Riley, Orlanda Bryars, cellos; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Yuri Bryars, double bass; Gavin Bryars piano; Dave Smith solo piano (programme II)

Gavin Bryars