A man who used to notice such thingsDecember 29, 2012
It was a commission from Shipley Arts Festival in the South of England. It’s a six different pieces, each one based on a moment or time in Jon’s friend John Mortimer‘s life.
In the interview, Jon speaks of the impression people leave on each other, which remains even after they pass away. Jon was proud of the fact that John Mortimer’s friends recognized their friend in the music Jon wrote.
‘I really felt that John was sitting on my shoulder as I was writing it. I think that’s the spiritual element of it. We can’t help it, we’re human – as time goes by, people recede in your memory once they’ve gone. It’s just the nature of the human beast. We move onward, we have to.’
‘But what is nice about this music is that it’s helping people remember this dear man. Of course, one day, if the music continues to be played, it won’t matter whether it’s about John Mortimer. What will matter is if it whispers in people’s ears and says nice things. At the end of the day, it’s what music does.’
Piano at six
Speaking about his first introduction to the piano, Jon said:
‘I was five years old, so my brother tells me, when I was first sat down at a piano and began lessons at six. And when I was in my mid-teens, rock and roll came up and kicked me in the backside, and I fell in love with rock and roll. But I was lucky, I suppose, that I didn’t fall out of love with the classical music that I’d been learning as a pianist since I was 6.’
‘And I think that pretty much defines my musical life and career, the love of both, and indeed, all kinds of music. And my attempt on many occasions to put the two greatest loves in my life together, with varying consequences.’