O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Bryars Rabbit

Gavin Bryars debuts new work amongst Barry Flanagan's Hares at the IKON Gallery

by Ancient Champion, for outsideleft.com
Of the many highlights of the evening was Bryars seven one-minute pieces written in response to Flanagan’s involvement in the College of Pataphysics
O U T S I D E L E F T
stay i n d e p e n d e n t
Of the many highlights of the evening was Bryars seven one-minute pieces written in response to Flanagan’s involvement in the College of Pataphysics

Bryars Rabbit

Gavin Bryars debuts new work amongst Barry Flanagan's Hares at the IKON Gallery

by Ancient Champion, for outsideleft.com

For about 30 years, up until the moment Gavin Bryars opened his mouth to speak last night (and perplexingly, didn't sound obviously like an Irishman at all), I'd thought, for some reason, that Gavin Bryars was Gavin Friday and Gavin Friday was Gavin Bryars and they were one and the same.

I'd loved Gavin Bryars most famous composition, Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, initially used to inadvertently subdue Leicester art students, and used by me to avoid LA road rage where the 5 meets the 10 and the 101... yet I had still, somehow, laboured under the illusion that Gavin Bryars was Gavin Friday, the former Virgin Prune.

Happenstance. Ran into the critically acclaimed author, C. D. Rose at the IKON Gallery, and he put me straight on that Gavin vs. Gavin dope. Oh man, does C. D. have a good eye for detail.

The Gavin Bryars performance at the IKON was beautifully staged amongst sculptor Barry Flanagan's elephants, hares and draft excluders. The music reflected on the artist’s use of pataphysics, defined by the French playwright Alfred Jarry as, “the science of imaginary solutions”.

One of the many highlights of the evening was Bryars' seven one-minute pieces written in response to Flanagan’s involvement in the College of Pataphysics, of which Bryars is also a member. This included the premiere of Calendar (“Le Calendrier Pataphysique”) (days 1–7). Bryars plans a one minute piece for each day of the year, a little like (in some respects I guess), Tierra Whack's Whack World - although her 1 minute items were accompanied by video, which could probably earn her a place in the College of Pataphysics. Bryars still has a taste for drama though, warning of the 480 seconds of life we'd never get to repeat, and launching a metronome to count the seconds and then, seemingly set to adjust its tempo, just switched it off. Great stuff!

Violist/violinist Morgan Goff joined Bryars on many of the items during what was a fantastically breezy 80 minutes or so. Another great event flawlessly staged by the IKON and for free too. Can't complain then except...Christ almighty the audience looked like a casting call for Tarrantino's remake of Dog Day Afternoon. And while it's true, there are very few beautiful people, bar me, to be seen in Bearwood, when I traipse into town, I expect better. And I wondered, as the minimal keyboard stylings passed through me, what those other people there were thinking? I always do. Me, I thought about the Irish writer Joe Ambrose, gone now. I wondered, since I can't sit still and was given a chair without a back, whether the soles of my shoes would look as worn as they actually are to the people behind me. I wondered whether I smelled of period blood but that was implausible. Maybe it was that Jesus Blood thing getting to me. Maybe I am rotting on the inside faster than I'd previously imagined. Maybe something is emanating and I am worried. I wondered whether Warren the Shoe would find the electric piano just... just too much unnecessary tech. It turned out he'd enjoyed the use of the sustain pedal.


Barry Flanagan retospective continues until November 24th at the IKON
Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet at Wikipedia
College of Pataphysics
Barry Flanagan
Gavin Bryars

see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion only ever communicates with us online so, so much we don't know. Proud Citizen of Nowhere is the response when we ask where you from? We do know the Ancient Champion is releasing a new single each month of 2019. Instrumental music characterised as easy listening for difficult times. And a collection of extremely short stories, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere as part of the SideCartel's Sextet series. More info at AncientChampion.com

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Four Tet: OK, OK, I'll Dance Already
Back in 2005 Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden reclaimed techno for people that liked real music, but on his latest, he reshapes it for those that still like dance music.
My Beady Eye
If this was a new record by a bunch of losers you'd never heard of instead of rock star royalty you'd probably like it more
Watching A Brief History of John Baldessari
While washing up, keeping an eye on the phone on the shelf, watching a brief history of J-Bald, narrated by singer Tom Waits
Chelsea Hotel Manhattan, an outtake
Joe Ambrose's Chelsea Hotel Manhattan - extreme travel writing concerning the time that Joe spent in the legendary boho hotel - is out now from Headpress. Joe will be launching the book at the Chelsea Hotel, W 23rd St. New York, on April 18th at 7.30. Everybody is invited to come have a look around the inside of the hotel before it changes forever.
The Eccentric Millionaire Chronicles
Chapter One of Kelsey Osgood's new Outsideleft serial, The Eccentric Millionaire Chronicles
Music's Nouveau- Cuisine and everything else (teens vs. the rest)
They Kids are Doin' it for the Kids, so Shane O'Reilly searches for something else
Some of our favorite things...