Whole Notes by Ed Ayres

‘This is the moment, before the music begins.’

About twelve years ago, I started listening to ABC Classic in the mornings. A presenter called Emma Ayres introduced me to a world of beautiful music and accompanied me as I gradually started walking my way from ill health to fitness. And over the past twelve years, I have followed Emma through her adventures and books. I missed Emma when she left ABC Classic and then, reading ‘Danger Music’ understood why. Emma’s transition to Eddie has enabled him to find happiness in the gender he belongs to. And now, I can hear Ed on ABC Classic (on Weekend Breakfast).

‘This book is an ode to music, and a celebration of humanity’s greatest creation.’

This is a wonderful book, about life, about finding yourself, and about the role of music in that journey — for Ed — and for others. I particularly enjoyed the passages about teaching music to others, about working out what works best for student and teacher. And then there’s Ed’s journey as a student, as he learns to play the horn.

There’s mention of a period when Ed wasn’t playing music and I can imagine what a loss that must have been for him: missing that particularly beautiful part of life.

There is also Ed’s honest, open account of his transition from female to male. He had waited a long time, thinking it would be too difficult. And, yes, it is a difficult process but a necessary one for Ed. I finished the book overjoyed that Ed has found himself. It is never too late, is it?

At the end of the book is a list of music tied to each section of the book I know some of this music (thanks, ABC Classic) and will be exploring the rest.

Bravo, Ed, on having the courage to take this journey and thank you for sharing it with us.

‘There is no such thing as talent, there is only love. Love for what you are learning, and therefore a desire to know it more deeply, more comprehensively, to have that knowledge become part of you, and you of it.’

 Note: My thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. I have now bought my own copy.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith