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Influential Composers – Gavin Bryars

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I’m not sure how many people know Gavin Bryars.
I certainly did not when I accidentally came across to his music, back in 2006.
It was a difficult part of my life which I discussed extensively in a previous post about Arvo Part.
In music, it is not easy to keep a balance between simplicity and monotony. Usually you need to put quiet soon a certain amount of changes in order to keep the listener’s attention vivid through time. And even if minimal music is fundamentally based on endless repetitions, there’s a  high risk of becoming boring.
This piece does not.
For some almost unexplainable reasons, it carries you in its magical simplicity throughout the whole duration.
The orchestration is very delicate, adding tiny colors here and there without asking for attention and without distracting from the real character of this piece: this astonishing voice of a unknown homeless man who Gavin Bryars captured singing in a London’s subway.
Read the full story from the composer’s website here.

— July 30, 2015

Influential Composers – Arvo Part

YouTube Preview ImageI discovered Arvo Part’s music in 2006.
At that time I was living in Tallinn (Estonia) and I was facing a huge breakdown. I was heartbroken, depressed, and I was questioning all my life.
As a consequence, I was not able to compose anymore. It seemed to me I was almost forced to write avant-garde music in order to be interesting as a composer, even if I never felt totally comfortable with it.
I even started to suffer insomnia, which was something I never faced before. I was spending the nighttime walking on empty snow-whitened streets and daytime sleeping in the music library. So…yeah, hard time.
Until I discovered Arvo Part. It was a snowy afternoon and I was sitting on my desk with the earphones on. I think I even secretly started to cry.
Arvo’s music was a relief, a refreshing miracle. I never heard such a beautiful, honest compositions in years. I always hoped that somewhere in the world someone was composing something I could resonate with and I was finally discovering it.
Arvo Part gave me peace in one of the most turbulent and difficult period of my life, and I’ll never be thankful enough.

— June 13, 2013