“I remember my father playing a lot of “very interesting” music when I was a teenager…. I asked him what he was playing and he explained it was “classical stuff”, the likes of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart.
I was hooked. And my hero is still Mozart to this day. He is and always will be a genius in my eyes, someone I wish I could invite to dinner (yep, he would certainly be fun AND an incredible person to converse with).
A few more years went by and I started listening to a bit of everything, with a preference for Indie/ Alternative music. Many moons ago, I worked for a local station called Greenwich Meridian Community Radio. I will treasure those days: I was writer,producer and presenter of my own show which was a mixture of arts, music and current affairs, called Crossing Borders. It was a good experience and most of all an absolute learning curve.
Music is a catalyst in all I do, especially now that I am older and my son is “all grown up”, I am learning all the time from his music choices as well!
Music is played all round our little apartment: we have a radio in each room with a couple of record players, too!
Then, one day, I discovered jazz, well I should say, in fairness, I had been listening to jazz standards, be-bop, 20s pieces all along, but the love for jazz grew further when I was given a 3-CD box set with some of the most amazing jazz compositions by my late boyfriend. Thank you, Dec!
The rest is history. I was taken. It is like being under a spell: I cannot and will not stop listening to jazz now.
Coltrane, Blakey, Mingus, Billie, Bessie Smith, but also the young Binker & Moses reign supreme in our house and many many more.
Art and music are vital ingredients in my world.
Writing is a drug, but a good one, a stimulating one. I finished writing my little book of short stories in 2014 (The Cold Light) and I am getting ready to write another one soon: “Black is the colour of Love”. Come and visit me at erminiayardley.com for more info.
I also have a crazy love for Astronomy. I have studied it at GCSE level, so am no astrophysicist by all accounts, but the skies and the Universe hold so much for us, it is just simply fantastic to have the opportunity to understand a little bit of what goes on out there and why.
When I interviewed the great jazz musician Nicola Conte last year, I asked him what jazz was for him and he aptly replied: “It is a way of life, the essence of life”. Well need I add more? Not really. The mighty Nicola is indeed right”.