I have never understood why Art afficionados condemn members of the general public when they are standing in front of a picture, saying ‘I know nothing about art but I know what I like’. To me this is a fair enough comment, they don’t need to know that chrome yellow with flake white in years to come will go black, that the subject of the picture should have been at the one third point on the diagonal, and that that highlight on the edge is a distraction to the eye. The fact that they like the picture is adequate.
Music of most sorts can affect me, but unfortunately I have a very bad memory for names and so I can’t reel off all the pieces that I know that I like, and get into erudite discussions on this composer or that. I have a large, catholic collection of music gathered since I was a young man, and I find the music can often smooth away some of the rough bits of life. Once in a while one comes across something so superior, so unusual that one never forgets it. Many many years ago I watched a film set in one of those states on the eastern seaboard of America, where the main industry is making moonshine in the backwoods. In this film, two people who I believe didn’t like one another very much, initially, started to play a conversation on two banjos, and every nuance of their association became readily apparent in the music.
Some years ago, my grandson, Steve Jones, together with some friends, including Leo Abrahams, put on a gig in The Old Museum in Belfast. Needless to say we all turned up and were well rewarded. As a final encore, Steve and Leo came on stage, sat down, each with a guitar, and started to play. They played and extemporised a conversation in music which was mind blowing, there were the nuances one has in conversation, the highs and lows, the colour and contrast. It was totally memorable., but unfortunately never recorded. I know that from time to time Leo dips into this blog, I just want to say thank you to him and Steve, for a wonderful experience of a musical art form which needs repetition.