Compositions
Gavin Bryars

(b.1943)
Like several of his contemporaries, Gavin Bryars has attracted popular attention through the combined innovation and approachability of his compositions in conjunction with his writing on a wide variety of music and musicians. His first love in music was jazz, and he performed as a bassist with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. In the late 1960s, he began to study and work with several other innovative composers, including John Cage and Cornelius Cardew. In 1969, he began teaching at the Portsmouth College of Art, where he helped found the Portsmouth Sinfonia and also wrote his first major composition, The Sinking of the Titanic. This first foray into musical conceptual art was inspired by his considering what the sounds of the band that continued to play as the ship sank would have been like in the watery environment. Two years later, he composed Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, a work in which he combined a tape looping the voice of a man in a homeless shelter, singing the title phrase, and a musical background. In 1981, he followed on the success of the Portsmouth Sinfonia by creating the Gavin Bryars Ensemble. Rather than following traditional ensemble structures based on a group of instruments, Bryars chose instead to make it a group of musicians who would work well and creatively together. He wrote his most famous opera, Medea, in 1984 and it premiered at the Opera de Lyon. In 1988, he wrote his first work for the Hilliard Ensemble, Glorious Hill, beginning a long-standing collaboration, as well as material for the opening of the Tate Gallery in Liverpool.

Composition timpani and percussion requirements

By the Vaar

No Timpani + 2 percussion
2 suspended cymbals, 2 bass bows, tam tam, marimba, vibraphone
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Cello Concerto

Timpani + 2 percussion
Orchestral bass drum, tam tam, suspended cymbal, vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, marimba
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Creamer Études

No Timpani + 1 percussion
Vibraphone, marimba, 2 suspended cymbal, tam tam, orchestral bass drum
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Doctor Ox's Experiment - Opera

Timpani + 3 percussion
Glockenspiel, 2 octaves crotales, vibraphone, marimba, tubular bells, sizzle cymbal, suspended cymbal, tuned cow bells, tam tam, mark tree, Chinese bell tree, orchestral bass drum, wind machine
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Double Bass Concerto

Timpani + 2 percussion
Glockenspiel, 2 octaves crotales, vibraphone, tubular bells, tam tam, orchestral bass drum
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Four Elements

No Timpani + 2 percussion
Vibaphone, marimba, tubular bells, large suspended cymbal, sizzle cymbal, antique cymbal, tam tam, Japanese temple bell, water gong, mark tree, castanets, orchestral bass drum
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G...

Timpani + 2 percussion + celeste
Glockenspiel, 2 octaves crotales, vibraphone, marimba, mark tree, tubular bells, 2 suspended cymbals, clash cymbals, tam tam, 2 snare drums, orchestral bass drum, celeste
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Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

No Timpani + 1 percussion + celeste
Glockenspiel, vibraphone, celeste
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Les Fiançailles

No Timpani + 2 percussion
2 percussion, glockenspiel, sizzle cymbal
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Medea - Opera in five Acts

Timpani + 5 percussion
Glockenspiel, 2 octaves crotales, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, 5 octave marimba, tubular bells, 2 triangles, 4 suspended cymbals, 4 tuned gongs, tam tam, tambourine, orchestral bass drum,  7 x 12" roto toms, 2 maracas, 4 wood blocks, 5 temple blocks, 2 flexatones, chocolo, cabassa
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New York

No Timpani + 5 percussion
3 glockenspiel, 2 vibraphones, 2 marimbas, xylophone, 5 octave marimba, 3 suspended cymbals, 2 tam tams, 2 triangle, antique cymbals, mark tree, tom tom
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Piano Concerto (The Solway Canal)

Timpani + 2 percussion
Glockenspiel, vibraphone, 2 bass bows, suspended cymbal, tam tam, orchestral bass drum
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The Green Ray

No Timpani + 2 percussion
Glockenspiel, tubular bells, 2 suspended cymbals, tam tam, orchestral bass drum
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The North Shore

No Timpani + 2 percussion
2 suspended cymbal, tam tam, orchestral bass drum
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The Old Tower of Löbenicht

No Timpani + 2 percussion
Vibraphone, marimba, tubular bells, sizzle cymbal, tam tam
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The Paper Nautilus

No Timpani + 6 percussion
Glockenspiel, vibraphone, 2 octaves crotales, 2 marimbas, 5 octave marimba, steel drum, tubular bells, 2 triangles, 4 suspended cymbal, 2 sizzle cymbal, ride cymbal, 7 gongs, water tank, 2 tam tams, 2 bell tree, 3 mark tree, cabassa, chocolo, 2 orchestral bass drum, 4 timpani, maracas
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The Sinking of the Titanic

No Timpani + 1 percussion
Tam Tam, orchestral bass drum, vibraphone, tubular bells, 2 suspended cymbals (high and medium), Ab3 and Eb4 Paiste gongs, 2 sets temple blocks, water gong, water tank
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Viennese Dance No.1 (M.H.)

No Timpani + 6 percussion
Glockenspiel, 2 octaves crotales, marimba, tubular bells, 5 suspended cymbals, sizzle cymbal, 2 tam tams, tuned gongs, steel drums, orchestral bass drum, 7 roto toms, 2 wind chimes, bell tree, sleigh bells, mark tree
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