Gavin Bryars “A Man in a Room, Gambling”

Gavin Bryars “A Man in a Room, Gambling”

On the 16th of May 2003
in Rotermann Salt Storage (2 Ahtri Street, Tallinn)

Gavin Bryars’s (1943), who is an English composer, ten movement work “A Man in a Room, Gambling” was born in collaboration with a Spanish sculptor Juan Munoz, and at first was meant for a radio broadcast.
The Premier took place on the BBC Radio in 1992; it was on the air by 5 minutes’ pieces, directly before the last News of the evening. Juan Munoz himself read in the text, accompanied by the string quartet.
Juan wrote ten texts for the project that was eventually called “A Man in a Room, Gambling”, each one describing the manipulation of playing cards dealing from the bottom of the pack, avoiding failure in the Three-Card Trick, how to palm a card and so on. Some of this material was culled from the Canadian S. W. Erdnase’s book “The Expert at the Card Table”, which contains some of the most perfectly constructed sleights of hand in card manipulation.

The Estonian version was performed in collaboration of
the Von Krahl Theatre and the NYYD Ensemble

Characters: Liina Vahtrik, Tiina Tauraite, Erki Laur, Juhan Ulfsak, Taavi Eelmaa
String quartet: Harry Traksmann, Juta Õunapuu, Arvo Haasma, Leho Karin
Director: Peeter Jalakas
Translation to Estonian: Maarja Kangro
Mutual collaboration has inspired Von Krahl Theatre, NYYD Ensemble,
and their leaders – Peeter Jalakas and Olari Elts – for years already.
Since 1995 more than 10 musical performances have been staged.
Collaboration began at the festival NYYD’95,
when three new Estonian chamber operas
were also performed in the Rotermann Salt Storage
(composers Mari Vihmand, Alo Mattiisen, Raimo Kangro).
Igor Stravinski’s “The Soldier’s Tale”,
Lepo Sumera’s “Olivia’s Master Class”,
Mauricio Kagel’s “Variété” and “Blue’s Blue”,
H. K. Gruber’s “Frankenstein!!”,
Michael Nyman’s “Letters, Riddles & Writs”,
Louis Andriessen’s “M is for Man, Music, Mozart”,
Yoshiko Chuma’s dance performance “What’s Up?”
on Tõnis Kaumann’s music “Practice Suite”,
and Pjotr Tchaikovsky/Sergei Zagny’s ” Swan Lake ”
were staged during the next seasons.

The bar was opened. Drinks and money were sold. Card tricks were taught.
Betting competition. Lottery. Presale of the Golden Lady’s cocktail cards.

/-/ The International Museums Day was celebrated with the series of events called MUSEUM 24h in the Rotermann Salt Storage from 16 to 18 May in 2003. The tradition of Museums Day, established by the International Museums’ Council, was started in 1977, and it is celebrated throughout the world. The theme of the Museums Day this year was “Museum and Friends”. The long weekend of the Salt Storage began on Friday at noon with the lecture about world museums, and continued in the evening with NYYD Ensemble’s and Von Krahl Theatre’s collaboration project “A Man in a Room, Gambling”. Counterfeit money was sold, lottery and betting competitions were held, video film of Salvador Dali’s Museum was shown, and the Golden Lady, who distributed cocktails, revealed herself. Night Party in Tallinn de Janeiro lasted till 6 in the morning. Architectural films could be seen non-stop on Saturday and Sunday, and all the exhibitions in the house were opened for free. /-/

ETV Press Release, 3rd of October 2003
ETV brings the music project “Reports from Reality I X” to the audience

On 5-14 October, 2003 Estonian Television presents the music project “Reports from Reality” that was made in collaboration with Estonian Television, Von Krahl Theatre, NYYD Ensemble, Estonian Concert, and Estonian Radio.
This is a television version of a British composer Gavin Bryars and a Spanish sculptor Juan Muoz’s work “A Man in a Room, Gambling”. Von Krahl Theatre actors and string quartet of NYYD Ensemble perform in the series that consist of 10 movements.

Director of the project, Peeter Jalakas , says that it is a conceptual piece, a paraphrase to the ordinary television evening News. Obvious and invisible is described by words and music on ten evenings consecutively.
Bryars’s vision is derived from the same source: the unexplainable im press ion of the BBC nightly weather report for the seafarers the routine broadcast text that creates a vague image of the struggle on the far-away seas; minutes that give surprising directions to the flight of imagination.
“Reports from Reality” transforms to reality after the last part of the series with the “live” final in the opening concert of the NYYD Festival and with Gavin Bryars’s participation. So the birth of the series got the initial kick, and is a part of Bryars and his ensembles festival visitation.
Gavin Bryars is the Grand Master of Music of our time, whose original, sensuous, and deeply touching music has found way to the classical music as well as the world music and pop auditorium. His works have been released in enormous amounts of records; many choreographers, theatre and film directors have used them. Remarkable Bryars-events have come out in Estonia , too: NYYD Ensemble in collaboration with the Von Krahl Theatre have performed successfully both of his breakthrough pieces – “The Sinking of the Titanic” and “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”.

Gavin Bryars’ official homepage


  • F 16. May 00:00

Date & Time

  • F 16. May