It may be music to his ears, but it’s noise to mine
Our columnist with his unique view of Ashford life
Ican’t stand jazz, he replied, it all sounds the same; just a noise. The reason I had asked the question was that I could hear, coming from the wires terminating in this young man’s ears, a repetitive clicking and clunking sound generated, I would guess, by a computer. To his ears it was music, to my ears, it was just a noise. Personally, I prefer music. Preferably live music. The school I attended had an outbuilding in which there were four cubicles, three of which held upright pianos. These would be shown to parents of prospective students as evidence that this was an establishment in which no element of culture (including music) was neglected. All three pianos were, in fact, unfit for purpose, having been eccentrically “tuned’”by a boy who had found that his bicycle spanner neatly fitted the pianos’ tuning pegs and who thought he had discovered the secret of jazz. The only music which, to my knowledge, ever came from that building was the merry swish and thwack of a cane indicating that the reverend brother was dispensing his version of justice on a miscreant’s trousered behind in the fourth cubicle, what he euphemistically called ‘musical therapy’. Happy days…
‘A boy who had found that his bicycle spanner neatly fitted the pianos’ tuning pegs’
You may think that this has nothing to do with this weekend and Ashford’s 10th annual jazzfest. You are, of course, right but it was remembrance of the sad lack of musical education in my school that brought to mind the superbly inspirational musical training enjoyed by many of our youngsters today, notably the Highworth Jazz Orchestra under the guidance of maestro Colin Welch. The Orchestra will be performing tonight (Thursday) at Eastwell Manor and will be joined by two of Britain’s leading jazz musicians; Julian Marc Stringle (clarinet) and Derek Nash (saxophone). The jazz festival came into being through the efforts of ex-councillor Mick Hubert, who is no mean musician himself. For 10 years he has toiled singlehandedly, coaxing and cajoling sponsorship cash from local businesses. This year, additional funds have been provided through the good offices of councillor Graham Galpin, whose particular sphere of interest is the development of the town centre. Money well spent, councillor!