Gavin Bryars unable to come to Sligo

It is with great regret that we announce that composer Gavin Bryars is unable to come to The Sligo New Music Festival this weekend as planned. Unfortunately the drift of volcanic ash from Iceland has caused the closure of UK airspace for the past two days, and looks set to continue to do so into Saturday.

Gavin was looking forward to hearing his works performed by The Smith Quartet(UK) and Morla (Irl) and was especially looking forward to visiting Sligo for the weekend. The performance of his ground-breaking work The Sinking of the Titanic takes place today, Friday 16th April; the day after the anniversary of the ship’s sinking in 1912, and several of his other works, including the magnificent Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, will be played over the weekend.

The planned public interview with Gavin Bryars will go ahead on Saturday at 3.30pm as planned, but with Bernard Clarke (Lyric FM) interviewing Gavin via a skype video conferencing system.

I was looking forward very much to my visit to Sligo and was honoured to have been asked to be a part of the first performances in the new performance space at The Model, and to meet other musicians for the first time. I know Ian Wilson’s work a little as we are on a couple of CDs together and we have many friends and colleagues in common.

As you may know I have been working more and more in Ireland and with Irish material over the last few years. Nevertheless this would have been my first visit to the west coast and I am really sorry and frustrated that massive natural forces have conspired against this – my wife and son were eagerly anticipating the visit too.

I’m sure that the performers will do a great job without me telling them what to do (!) and I know them well and trust them completely.

I will make every effort to find a way to work together with Sligo as soon as possible in the future and will look at this with some urgency.

I wish the festival every success and my best for the future of The Model.

Gavin Bryars


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