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Jesus Blood never failed me yet
Gavin Bryars

Aqualung cover art When I copied the loop onto the continuous reel in Leicester, I left the door of the recording studio open (it opened onto one of the large painting studios) while I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual, and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping. I was puzzled until I realized that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's unaccompanied singing.
This demonstrated to me the emotional power of the music, but also alerted me to the need to approach very carefully anything I did to the tape. I had already thought about a gradually added orchestral accompaniment and I realized that this needed to be simple, to gradually evolve, yet at the same time respect the tramp's humanity and simple faith. Aqualung cover art

Gavin Bryars About the Composer

Official Gavin Bryars Site
Point Music
Frankfurt Ballet: Bryars
Disquiet: Bryars


Jesus Blood never failed me yet was first produced by Brian Eno on his Obscure label in the early 1970s. A later 1993 version included the participation of Tom Waits, who called the original his "favourite recording."

Bryars almost gave up music to study the work of Marcel Duchamp. He is also a member of the Pataphysics Society and Oulipo. The latter group also included Georges Perec and Italo Calvino.