Mercy & Grand: The Tom Waites Project

Music, Classical and opera

Gavin Bryars's versatile 'circus band' brings together ten songs by Tom Waits, two by Kurt Weill, a sea shanty, a hymn, a couple of instrumental gypsy tangos and a classic Fellini film score. With mezzo-soprano Jessica Walker at the centre, Waits's and Brennan's songs of love, heartbreak and intoxication are revealed in all their strange beauty. (The band is: singer Jessica Walker, Joe Townsend, violin, Simon Allen, percussion, Gavin Bryars, double bass/harmonium, Karen Street, accordion, Dai Pritchard, tenor saxophone/clarinets/flute, guitarist James Woodrow and David Smith, piano/harmonium. (Songs composed by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan are arranged by Gavin Bryars, Joe Townsend and James Holmes.) Note: at 6pm, Gavin Bryars and Joe Townsend discuss the inspiration behind the project and their 'circus band'.