Gavin Bryars studied philosophy at Sheffield University and became a professional jazz bassist and pioneer of free improvisation working especially with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. In the late 1960s he worked with John Cage: this influenced early works such as the indeterminately scored The Sinking of the Titanic of 1969 and the 1971 work Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet. Since then he has written five operas and music for many ballets as well as a great deal of vocal music. He performs with his own ensemble and his work is widely recorded - on his own label GB Records and elsewhere. He is a Transcendent Satrap and Regent of the Collège de 'Pataphysique.