jeu de go

photo : Kai Fusayoshi


 Gavin Bryars, Jesus’Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Tramp With Orchestra (Full Strings), with Tom Waits

Merci à Nori de m’avoir donné à lire cet article où Gavin Bryars nous parle un peu de cette chanson que j’écoutais en boucle, voire en spirale,  il y a quelques années, le moyen de s’en empêcher :

« In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song – sometimes   bits   of   opera,  sometimes  sentimental  ballads  –  and one, who in fact did not drink,   sang  a   religious song « Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet ». This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.
When  I  played it  at home,  I found  that his singing was in tune with my piano,  and   I   improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song – 13 bars in length – formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way [in the notes for the 1993 recording on Point, Bryars wrote that while the singer’s pitch was quite accurate, his sense of tempo was irregular].  I  took  the  tape  loop  to  Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have 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 realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man’s singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp’s nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism. »