Composer Gavin Bryars was living in London working on a documentary about people living in poverty. During the recording, a number of people being interviewed broke into drunken maudlin ballads and even loud opera. But one old man, who, according to Bryars, was not drinking, sang a small verse of a religious song called "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet."
He sang it without irony. He sang it seemingly in childlike faith despite his dire circumstances.
The recording of the old man was never used in the film and it was returned to Bryars. When Bryars listened to it at home he found something beautiful in the old man's singing. He improvised a simple accompaniment to the verse that built...READ MORE