In this evocative and moving book, composer and broadcaster Andrew Ford shares the vivid musical experiences – good, bad and occasionally hilarious – that have shaped his life.
Ford’s musical journey has traversed genres and continents, and his loves are broad and deep. The Memory of Music takes us from his childhood obsession with the Beatles to his passion for Beethoven, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Stockhausen and Birtwistle, and to his work as a composer, choral conductor, concert promoter, critic, university teacher and radio presenter.
The Memory of Music is more than a wonderful memoir – it also explores the nature and purpose of music: what it is, why it means so much to us and how it shapes our worlds. The result is a captivating work that will appeal to music lovers everywhere.
‘Andrew Ford’s wide-ranging musical autobiography is a pleasure to read. Accessible, informative and packed with anecdotes, it’s an excellent guide to the life of a composer: what it entails, what matters, and how and why it happened in the first place.’ —Steven Isserlis
‘I love discovering how people become who they are. Andrew Ford’s book took me into a new world: composition. His insight into how we talk about music and what it brings up for people is fascinating.’ —Julia Zemiro
‘Andrew Ford is one of the greatest music broadcasters around – and not just in Australia – yet The Memory of Music shows that he is much more than that. What is most striking is the extraordinary honesty in the way that he opens up how a composer really works and thinks, and the detail of a composer’s everyday concerns – the ways that real life impinges on the artistic process. Having spent a lifetime in music myself, this book rings more true than anything else I have read. It’s beautifully written, the prose flows effortlessly, and it’s from the heart.’ —Gavin Bryars
Andrew Ford is the author of, among others, Illegal Harmonies, Earth Dances, Try Whistling This and The Sound of Pictures. He is a composer, writer and broadcaster and presents The Music Show on ABC Radio National. His awards include the Paul Lowin Prize for his song cycle Learning to Howl, a Green Room Award for his opera Rembrandt’s Wife, and the Geraldine Pascall Prize for critical writing. His music has been played in many parts of the world, and championed by groups such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Brodsky Quartet and the New Juilliard Ensemble.