:: News & Comment


The  Diary section tells you what I’m up to for the next  month or so and flags up similar future gigs.  Below that there’s news of current projects, and a blog post about Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford (who’ve both given talks at York). You’re welcome to leave comments or ask questions (click the Comments link at the bottom) and you can sign up for regular updates by clicking on Subscribe.


MARCH 13 A Musical Banquet with Ariel Abramovich lute FEMAS Festival, Seville

next performance Barcelona May 4-9 with workshops in Castellon 

MARCH 19  Duparc ‘work in progress’ with Liz Haddon piano postponed due to disappearance of piano!

next performances June 7 & 22 Lyons Concert Hall York: Schumann & Webern with surround sound electronic piano

MARCH 30  Lisbon  workshop at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa 3.00

(Contact Paulo Lourenco( lourenpf@gmail.com) for further details)

MARCH 31 Being Dufay Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon

APRIL 20 Being Dufay Chicago Early Music Festival

next performance in Foligno (Italy) June 26


Gavin Bryars Ensemble: the new Live at Punkt album (BCGBCD15) is now out. This is a recording of a concert in the Punkt Festival, Kristiansand in 2008, and features Arve Henriksen on trumpet playing with the band for the first time.

Ambrose Field has been invited to do a presentation about the new piece at IRCAM

The Bruford/Fripp experience

Some years ago, not long after I started the day job, I had a call from Robert Fripp, who wanted to tell me he’d enjoyed Vocal Authority. Having picked myself up off the floor I persuaded him to come and give talk at the Music Department. It was a memorable occasion, not least because someone pinched the wheels off his car while he was holding forth in the Lyons.  Then a few months ago I had an email out of the blue from erstwhile King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford offering us a talk (based on his recent autobiography) about his experience as a creative musician in the commercial world (thanks Syd Smith for giving Bill my address). So my York job has been nicely book-ended by two of the great figures from prog rock.

Fripp’s topic was ‘discipline’, delivered to a packed concert hall (I’d emailed the entire campus by mistake, not knowing how to work the software, as usual). He began by coming onto the stage and sitting in silence for a full five minutes before opening his mouth. It was a stunningly theatrical move – we don’t have nearly enough silence in the music department, and it did require considerable discipline as he waited for total silence to descend. Then someone’s mobile went off… and I’m sure the poor guy has never forgotten RF’s response. He almost hypnotised us with his low-key, densely formulated delivery., and we felt we were in the presence of a seriously intellectual rock musician with a very clear sense of his role in maintaining rock music as a progressive and creative art form that would have meaning for classical music students as much as anyone else. Even if we sometimes found it hard to figure out exactly what that meaning was.

There is much wry comment in Bill Bruford’s book about his relationship with Robert Fripp (and some of it’s hysterically funny). BB is an engaging and articulate speaker (and writer), and comes across as a most unlikely rock god. A student of mine told me he’d been standing in a queue at a Bruford drum clinic and got talking to the guy behind him while waiting to be let in. They chatted amiable drummery for ten minutes and when they were finally let in, his companion went straight to the stage and carried on talking. Bill, for it was he, had been queuing for his own clinic. It was typical of the man, modest and unassuming, and always interested in what the other person has to say.  He talked for nearly two hours, played some wonderful Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson archive footage, and was strangely unforthcoming about his jazz achievements with Earthworks. It was compelling stuff, utterly truthful and realistic and hugely appreciated by the largely student audience. Robert Fripp gave us some much needed discipline and silence, and Bill Bruford brought humanity and common sense; both hugely creative in very different ways. What a band King Crimson must have been.

next posting will be about responses to my Tenor: History of a Voice, which has now been out for a year.

Leave a Reply