What the Trumpet Taught Me Kim Moore Published by The Poetry Business ISBN 978 1 914914 14 0 Kim Moore is known in poetry circles as an award-winning poet, a judge in the National Poetry Competition and one of the guiding lights behind The Writing Hour - a month-long series of brilliant sessions encouraging the creation of new poetry. But in music circles she (and her sister) are known for teaching brass instruments and coaching brass bands across the North West of England.
What the Trumpet Taught Me is part musical memoir, part study of the art of playing the trumpet (and its cousin the cornet) and part autobiography. Through the text she tells the story of her life from the age of ten, when she first touched an instrument. Her narrative weaves tales of teachers, orchestral conductors, her tough but supportive father and the experiences of playing in soul bands, competitions and working mens’ clubs. It’s a deeply thoughtful book - happiness sifted through with sadness and reflection - but always returning to the rich glory of making music. This is a book several of my friends will be getting in their stockings come December 25th.
“Sense of Place” refers to the emotive bonds and attachments people develop or experience in particular locations and environments, at scales ranging from the home to the nation.” From The International Encylopedia of Human Geography
Imagine you’re house hunting. You step into a strange building for the first time. How does it feel? Is it welcoming, does it feel anonymous or do your senses tell you that this place feels like home? Most of us have felt this - it’s about having a sense of place. We might feel drawn to a special building, a hill, a street, a lake and wonder why it makes us feel something special. And out of the wondering has sometimes come amazing stuff.
A sense of place is a concept that has been a major inspiration in the lives of musicians like John Lennon and Paul MacCartney writing about Liverpool - Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields - or Ralph Vaughan Williams composing his Norfolk Rhapsody. It’s cast its spell over artists like Stanley Spencer who spent much of his career portraying biblical events in his village of Cookham, which he nicknamed “the holy suburb of heaven” or John Constable’s pictures along the River Stour where he grew up.
But poets, in particular, have celebrated the sense of place. Here are a few favourites:
Dylan Thomas’ “play for voices” Under Milk Wood is set in the mythical harbour town of Llareggub - based on the poet’s home town of Laugharne. Many of his poems describe this place. Poem in October is an especially wonderful example:
A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds