Brisbane, QLD, Australia

1 Dec, 1999

The Sydney Baroque music club

John Ray

I founded the club shortly after I moved to Sydney. It was a very informal thing that consisted of Sunday afternoon meetings at somebody's place where we would drink cheap flagon wine and listen to recorded Baroque (pre 1750) music. Denis Ryan was our most frequent host and his wife, Fay, used to put on a whopper afternoon tea to aid the deliberations.

It was a good way to meet musically-inclined single women and I did meet a few there. All that aside, however, my chief memories of the Baroque Music Club still are musical. I still feel the lonely eminence of Bach, the circular-saw-like power of the Vivaldi oboe and bassoon concerti and the elegance of Albinoni, Pescetti and Gabrielli. I also now, of course, like the music of Phillip Glass and consider it a great privilege to have heard him conduct his own music live.

The composer who has the greatest effect on me, however, has to be Bach. The only way I can describe it is to say that his music "transforms" me. He somehow seems to take me into a different and better world. He is a religious composer and I was once religious so maybe that has something to do with it.