Gavin Bryars with Etel Adnan

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Past Event

This event was on 1 October, 8pm

Musician and composer Gavin Bryars has collaborated with artist and poet Etel Adnan for over 30 years on numerous projects, from large-scale operatic pieces to intimate improvised readings.

Doors open 30 minutes before the performance starts. This is a standing event, with limited seating provided on request


Gavin Bryars is an English composer, pianist and double bassist. He has been active, or has produced works, in a variety of styles of music, including jazz, free improvisation, minimalism, experimental music, avant-garde and neoclassicism. Bryars was a founding member of the Portsmouth Sinfonia, an orchestra whose membership consisted of performers who “embrace the full range of musical competence”. Its members included Brian Eno, whose Obscure Records label would subsequently release works by Bryars. Bryars’ later works have included ‘A Man In A Room, Gambling’ (1992), which was a commission from BBC Radio 3 and Artangel.

Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, at U.C. Berkeley, and at Harvard. From 1958 to 1972, she taught philosophy at Dominican College of San Rafael, California. In 1972, she moved back to Beirut and worked as cultural editor for two daily newspapers. She stayed in Lebanon until 1976. In 1977, her novel Sitt Marie-Rose was published in Paris, and won the France-Pays Arabes award. Her poetry has been put to music by a number of composers in addition to Bryars, including Tania Leon, Zad Moultaka, Henry Threadgill and Annea Lockwood.

  • Gavin Bryars: It Never Rains (2010) for viola, cello, electric guitar, double bass
  • Gavin Bryars: The Island Chapel (1995) for voice and ensemble
  • Etel Adnan: Five Senses for One Death Etel Adnan, reader; Gavin Bryars, keyboard
  • Gavin Bryars: The Flower of Friendship (2009) for viola, cello, electric guitar, bass
  • Gavin Bryars: The Adnan Songbook (1996) for soprano and ensemble



Anna Maria Friman, soprano
Roger Heaton, bass clarinet/clarinet
James Woodrow, electric guitar/classical guitar
Nick Barr, viola
Morgan Goff, viola
Nick Cooper, cello
Gavin Bryars, double bass
Etel Adnan, reader

Conceived in association with: Guest Curator Tom Trevor.

With additional thanks to the Embassy of Sweden in London.

In partnership with:

The Vinyl Factory



With additional support from: