It may be mu­sic to his ears, but it’s noise to mine

Our colum­nist with his unique view of Ash­ford life

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - It’s Just Not Cricket -

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!

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