Bryars Tells It Like It Is

My new-music-obsessed friend Anthony Creamer alerts me to a very articulate interview with composer Gavin Bryars, who has written some wonderful music, courtesy of the BBC. (I especially recommend a gorgeous Bryars postminimalist ensemble piece called Four Elements, recorded on ECM.) Bryars echoes my point about fulfillment coming more from the act of composing than from the performance. He also feels, though, as I do, more comfortable being onstage playing in the performance than sitting helplessly in the audience as a new work is played. I like his reason:

Interviewer: Is this so there will be a little piece of yourself in the music?

Bryars: No, it’s so I’ll have something to do with my hands besides bite my fingernails.