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sad strains of a gay waltz

July 16, 2009

My friend Andy Ford is finally getting ready to acquit an Oz Council grant to record his extraordinary Waltz Book, a decade after its germination. What a project. During a pub conversation, Andy proposed a modest project of a few waltzes — Andy, correct me if I’m wrong — which somehow grew to be the epic it is today: sixty of them. I don’t remember much of that day. The beer was damn good and the afternoon balmy. Andy probably said something like, “What would you say to a dozen waltzes?” And I probably said, shlurring my speesh, “Sheeshly?” Andy, thinking I was upping the ante, went away and produced an hour’s worth, when all I was trying to do was to find out if he was being serious.

So anyway, we spent two days just before Christmas last year at Angel Place, during a heat wave, trying to pin them down on DAT. I won’t pretend it was easy. Some of them are real hard, But mostly, getting them back in the fingers was a great joy, as good music always is when you come back to it after a time away. Listening to the edits last night, and also listening to Andy’s wonderful opera Rembrandt’s Wife, I have never enjoyed his music more. These two works are among his finest, and much of the music is sublime.

Thanks for the melody, Andy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 1:35 am

    Sorry, Ian. Only just seen this. But you’re right, that’s exactly how it happened . . . give or take a few details. I love the way you say I went away and produced an hour’s worth, as though I came back with them the following week! For the record, it took four and a half years to finish all 60 of the little buggers. I gather they’re nearly edited!!

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