BCGBCD17_cover for web site

Release Date:

September 20, 2010

Music for tuned percussion quintet (Percussions Claviers de Lyon) – tracks 1 and 2 – and a concerto for the quintet plus chamber orchestra

Gavin’s Notes:


Note by Gavin Bryars

For me the family of keyboard percussion is as important as, say, the string family and a great percussion ensemble, like the group from Lyon recorded here, are as musically subtle and expressive as a well-seasoned string quartet. From the mid 1970’s onwards I have maintained a strong commitment to this instrumental formation and my first opera Medea (1984) included a quintet of tuned percussion in the orchestra, replacing the more conventional violins. The five percussionists in Medea became Percussions Claviers de Lyon and I’ve maintained a close relation with the group. This recording includes One Lat Bar Then Joe Can Sing, written for the great Canadian group Nexus – a work that has entered the percussion repertoire worldwide. The other pieces were commissioned for Percussions Claviers de Lyon and exploit the wide range of colours and textures that this unique combination of instruments affords – 2 vibraphones, 2 marimbas, bass marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel and assorted cymbals, tom-toms and other drums. At Portage and Main is the most recent work, premiered in on in 2009 and the other, New York (2004), is a concerto for tuned percussion quintet in which the group is joined by the French chamber orchestra L’Ensemble de Basse-Normandie



Percussions Claviers de Lyon
L'Ensemble de Basse-Normandie, conductor Dominique Debart


At Portage and Main
One Last Bar Then Joe Can Sing
New York

Gavin Bryars