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Memoir, intercontinental cycling adventure, music guide, CADENCE is the debut book by ABC Classic FM’s Emma Ayres. In her provocative, intelligent, surprising and funny memoir Cadence, Emma cycles her way from England to Hong Kong with a violin she calls Aurelia strapped to her back. But it is also a journey through the keys, and the music that inspired, shaped and provided Memoir, intercontinental cycling adventure, music guide, CADENCE is the debut book by ABC Classic FM’s Emma Ayres. In her provocative, intelligent, surprising and funny memoir Cadence, Emma cycles her way from England to Hong Kong with a violin she calls Aurelia strapped to her back. But it is also a journey through the keys, and the music that inspired, shaped and provided refuge for Emma throughout her travels with music.


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Memoir, intercontinental cycling adventure, music guide, CADENCE is the debut book by ABC Classic FM’s Emma Ayres. In her provocative, intelligent, surprising and funny memoir Cadence, Emma cycles her way from England to Hong Kong with a violin she calls Aurelia strapped to her back. But it is also a journey through the keys, and the music that inspired, shaped and provided Memoir, intercontinental cycling adventure, music guide, CADENCE is the debut book by ABC Classic FM’s Emma Ayres. In her provocative, intelligent, surprising and funny memoir Cadence, Emma cycles her way from England to Hong Kong with a violin she calls Aurelia strapped to her back. But it is also a journey through the keys, and the music that inspired, shaped and provided refuge for Emma throughout her travels with music.

30 review for Cadence: Travels with music — a memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wayne

    "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EMMA???" It is now early March of 2018... Last week I was watching "The Drum", a discussion and analysis of recent news, a woman was chairing the panel of two men and two women - the two youngish men had previously been women; the two older women had previously been men. They openly discussed their problems and challenges in their new guises. Eddie Ayres had briefly returned to Sydney from Afghanistan where he had been teaching music. Emma made a very handsome credible man. I "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EMMA???" It is now early March of 2018... Last week I was watching "The Drum", a discussion and analysis of recent news, a woman was chairing the panel of two men and two women - the two youngish men had previously been women; the two older women had previously been men. They openly discussed their problems and challenges in their new guises. Eddie Ayres had briefly returned to Sydney from Afghanistan where he had been teaching music. Emma made a very handsome credible man. It was wonderful to listen to this open discussion. I had got back from a short overseas trip to find that Emma Ayres had disappeared from our radio airwaves, namely ABC-FM Classical station. Her accent,her quirky ways and sly gently landmine-placed humour had REALLY grown on me.I was thrilled when she announced she had become an Australian citizen.I knew her partner Jane was a close friend of the wife of one of my nephews. I felt almost related!!!! Our new Liberal (Facisti would be a better word !!!) Federal Government was cracking down on our Government TV and Radio stations, the ABC ie the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Friends and I wondered if Emma had been one of their earliest targets. Conspiracy theories aside...she was missed...and still is. What a thrill to find a BOOK by and about her in the local Dulwich Hill Bookstore of which I have almost bought half the contents !!!I bought it immediately for a fellow fan, Fran. Madly and enjoyingly trying to complete it before Fran returns from a trip to Perth. Glad to see lots of Aussies have enjoyed their read too(just checked at the book's Goodreads Site.) And a few readers from O/S...overseas as well. Perhaps some readers not too conversant with Music or Music Theory do get a bit taken aback by the MUSIC content ...but when you have known about Emma THAT is Emma!!! You read it and expect it and possibly WANT it !!! So nonsense to want to get the publisher to reprint it as TWO Books!!?? Like asking the publisher to reprint "War and Peace" in 2 Volumes marked...yeah !!!You Got It !!! If you enjoy traveller's tales, music, Emma's humour and wisdoms, memoirs from Childhood onwards...well this is the book for YOU !!! PS. A CD of the music Emma mentions in this, her First book, was made as a companion piece to this book, which might satisfy those who want autobiographers to dismantle their Written Lives so they don't have to read about the bits that don't interest them. Otherwise, fans of Emma and lovers of Music will not gripe at the contents chosen here...undoubtedly by Emma!!! I picked mine up recently (July, 2015)...there's NO theory; but there are 12 tracks - most excerpts from larger works. The 3 Great "B"'s - Bach,Beethoven and Brahms - feature twice each,and Elgar,Schumann,Shostakovitch,Mozart & Webern account for the rest. AVAILABLE from ABC Shops, ABC Centres, good music stores and online at www.abcshop.com.au Now that DIVISION should appeal to EVERYBODY!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Dear Mum You gave me Emma Ayres' memoir Cadence a year ago. It's only taken me a year to get around to reading it, which let's be honest isn't a bad turn around when it comes to your gifts and my reading them. Anyway, you gave me this book for a number of reasons. I think you knew that Classic FM was our choice of alarm-clock-station; after quarrelling over whether it should be Triple M (him) or Triple J (me), and anyway then we both grew up. So for a long time it was Emma's dulcet tones that let Dear Mum You gave me Emma Ayres' memoir Cadence a year ago. It's only taken me a year to get around to reading it, which let's be honest isn't a bad turn around when it comes to your gifts and my reading them. Anyway, you gave me this book for a number of reasons. I think you knew that Classic FM was our choice of alarm-clock-station; after quarrelling over whether it should be Triple M (him) or Triple J (me), and anyway then we both grew up. So for a long time it was Emma's dulcet tones that let me know it was time to drag my carcass out of bed. Then there was the bicycle aspect: one of the chief points of the book is that Emma rides her bike from England to Hong Kong, and that reminded you of our bicycle trip around the UK. And then there was the music aspect, which clearly had nothing to do with me but I guess you thought might appeal to my trumpeter (but she's viola and cello, and brass players and string players have something of a mutual animosity I think). The first thing to note about this book is that it made me immensely grateful for my stable, boring childhood. Boring in that sense is a good thing. Because Emma did not have a boring childhood. Her father left the family when she was very young; her mother struggled immensely to provide for the family; her middle sister was very troubled/ bordering on dangerous. None of them issues I had to deal with. Also her mother signed her up for violin instead of cello, thus breaking her heart. You on the other hand allowed me to experiment with flute but probably were not surprised when I gave it up pretty quickly. Let's be honest; I'm not exactly flautist material. The book has a lot of potential... which phrase may be a clue to the fact that I didn't adore it. Sorry. The potential is in Emma's life: the life of a musician isn't inherently interesting but Emma did a lot of interesting things - studied in Berlin, played in Hong Kong - and she has a nice turn of phrase that makes even a non-musician interested in the learning to play music bits. Plus she keeps agonising about whether she wants to try her hand at cello, as an adult, which is a fairly major change to consider. Then of course there's the trip across Europe and Asia by bicycle, and all that entailed. She did it solo, and she attributes the many, many interesting conversations she had to this fact - and the fact that she was cycling with a violin strapped to her back. Turns out that even if you don't speak the same language you can indicate your desire for a bit of Brahms with your lunch fairly easily. In the last half or so of the book, Emma starts talking about the idea of cadence, which is apparently a big deal in music. (I must admit that there were a few bits that I skimmed over... because I just don't get music-speak, so when she's waxing lyrical about majors and minors and tones and fifths, my eyes glaze and I start thinking about lunch.) There's perfect cadences and interrupted cadences and so on. Cadence is also important in cycling, and when you get a good cadence riding is a bit like flying. I think that what Emma was trying to convey in this memoir is that life has its cadences. Interrupted cadences can add to the richness of life, and so on. But... she only started talking about that towards the end. So it didn't really work as a framing device. I think this is the problem with the book overall. There's a distinct lack of structure and form. Is it a book about her cycling adventure? Well, yes, but not entirely. In fact I felt a bit betrayed in the last chapter where she mentions that actually she got to Lahore, was so stuffed that she went home for a while, then flew back to Lahore to finish. Which is SO fine, I've got nothing invested in her finishing in one go, but... why not mention that say, chronologically? It's also only at the end that you find out she's been raising money for a charity. Which is weird. Anyway. It's also about her making major life choices... but it's not always framed around those, either. So I was frustrated by the meandering from childhood story to 20-something story to 30-something story with a lack of obvious connection. Like going from Brahms to Limp Bizkit and then to Howlin' Wolf without an explanation as to why. ANYway. Thanks for buying us this book. It's not one I would have bought myself but I definitely don't regret reading it. It only took me a day to read while I was camping. Love A

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Atwell

    A beautifully executed piece of life writing which uses a series of major and minor keys to link musical and personal history - although I suspect that the Australian Broadcasting Commission marketing department has no small part in making this volume something of a ‘one size fits all’ memoir. Nevertheless, Emma’s resilience and humanitas make ‘Cadence’ an inspiring and essentially joyful read, and I’m keen to check out many of the musical pieces which she details with the true attention and sens A beautifully executed piece of life writing which uses a series of major and minor keys to link musical and personal history - although I suspect that the Australian Broadcasting Commission marketing department has no small part in making this volume something of a ‘one size fits all’ memoir. Nevertheless, Emma’s resilience and humanitas make ‘Cadence’ an inspiring and essentially joyful read, and I’m keen to check out many of the musical pieces which she details with the true attention and sensitivity of a practitioner who views the world through music. No less inspiring is the account of her remarkable solo pushbike journey between her (then) home in Shropshire and Hong Kong almost twenty years ago, and her evocative descriptions of people and place. If the ABC had issued a journeyman map as well as a CD, I may well have given ‘Cadence’ an extra ratings star!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Loved this book. Devoured it in two days. Such a joy to find out more about the mind and adventures of the funny and compassionate Emma who fills the airwaves every morning. If you love classical music, travel and being an aware human being then this book is well worth your time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Cadences are waypoints in the music, places where you can take a breather, readjust your instrument and hurtle on to the next bit of the adventure.’ On 9 December 2000, Emma Ayres accompanied by Vita (her bicycle) and Aurelia (a three quarter length violin, borrowed from a student) arrived in Hong Kong. It was the end of a 16,000 kilometre journey that had started in England one Friday many months earlier. This is a book about a number of different aspects of life: about experiencing and being; ‘Cadences are waypoints in the music, places where you can take a breather, readjust your instrument and hurtle on to the next bit of the adventure.’ On 9 December 2000, Emma Ayres accompanied by Vita (her bicycle) and Aurelia (a three quarter length violin, borrowed from a student) arrived in Hong Kong. It was the end of a 16,000 kilometre journey that had started in England one Friday many months earlier. This is a book about a number of different aspects of life: about experiencing and being; about travel and music; about journeying through the past, making choices in the present and choosing possibilities for the future. Emma structures her memoir around musical keys, and writes of her own musical adventures and loves. ‘Our lives are full of interrupted cadences, full of moments when the direction is changed.’ Interspersed with Emma‘s descriptions of her journey to Hong Kong are memories of her childhood. Some memories are more positive than others and, if cycling provides a means of escape and enabling a buffer of distance from the past, then cycling 16,000 kilometres mostly alone provides an opportunity for a very considered introspective analysis. ‘To move forward, we need to make decisions. Whether they are right or wrong.’ But during her journey, in the present, Emma (mostly) enjoys the different experiences the journey affords. Being mistaken for a man (‘Emmett’) in Pakistan undoubtedly makes aspects of that part of her journey easier. In most places, music transcends many barriers, and in some cases even international borders. ‘Then you are very brave. This is your courage.’ I read this book because Emma Ayres is one of my favourite radio presenters. For the past few years I have been listening to her breakfast show on ABC Classic FM while I walk for between one and two hours most mornings. I’ve learned a lot about music – yes, even though I can’t read it or play an instrument – and have made the acquaintance of many new (to me) composers and pieces of classical music. Emma Ayres is an accomplished viola player who has recently played with the Afghan Youth Orchestra and the Bombay Chamber Orchestra, about which she made two radio documentaries. ‘To share the value of music is the resolve of my life.’ Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    This book drove me insane because it is not written chronologically. Even in the space of a single paragraph, we might jump from her childhood to the middle of her bicycling adventure to playing in a quartet in her youth. This was difficult, as just as I was getting stuck into hearing about the exciting cycling adventure, we would leap backwards to a different time completely. I didn't realise the extent to which chronology traditionally organises the memoir genre, and it is glaring here. Apart f This book drove me insane because it is not written chronologically. Even in the space of a single paragraph, we might jump from her childhood to the middle of her bicycling adventure to playing in a quartet in her youth. This was difficult, as just as I was getting stuck into hearing about the exciting cycling adventure, we would leap backwards to a different time completely. I didn't realise the extent to which chronology traditionally organises the memoir genre, and it is glaring here. Apart from that, it was a light, conversational memoir that covered quite a lot in not very much detail. It left me wanting more detail and a more logical format. And lastly, like many others I skipped over the music descriptions - I'd imagine that it complements the themes of the story if you understand it, but it absolutely went over my head.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    After having done a long distance ride myself last year of 3,800K, I can totally appreciate the scale of this trip at 16,000 kilometres. Cycling on your own from England to Hong Kong is not for the faint-hearted, so stand tall and take a bow Emma Ayres, hell stand tall and take two bows! I loved reading this book. At times I glossed over the technical writing about her music as it just left me floundering but, when she wrote descriptively about the music she loves to hear and play, it was a shee After having done a long distance ride myself last year of 3,800K, I can totally appreciate the scale of this trip at 16,000 kilometres. Cycling on your own from England to Hong Kong is not for the faint-hearted, so stand tall and take a bow Emma Ayres, hell stand tall and take two bows! I loved reading this book. At times I glossed over the technical writing about her music as it just left me floundering but, when she wrote descriptively about the music she loves to hear and play, it was a sheer joy to read. There are some wonderfully constructed word pictures. This amazing journey, taken with bicycle and violin was the making/breaking and re-making of the author. She met many people, some helpful some down right dangerous. Cadence is more than a bit of armchair-travel, it's more than a memoir, it's more than the combined sum of all its parts...it's epic, and Emma Ayres is a legend!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    I read "Danger Music", the later work by E. Ayres, before I read this one. Consequently, I interpreted "Cadence" as a prelude. Emma embarks on a long journey of self discovery, vacillating between Viola and Cello, just as she vacillates on the verge of self discovery, on the threshold of a decision she finally takes in "Danger Music". "Cadence" is a masterclass, for both cyclists and musicians. I read "Danger Music", the later work by E. Ayres, before I read this one. Consequently, I interpreted "Cadence" as a prelude. Emma embarks on a long journey of self discovery, vacillating between Viola and Cello, just as she vacillates on the verge of self discovery, on the threshold of a decision she finally takes in "Danger Music". "Cadence" is a masterclass, for both cyclists and musicians.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathe James

    I thought this was an open, honest and inspiring adventure about tackling life, change and the greatest bicycle trip in the world intertwined with a discourse about the different musical keys and the emotions they evoke as one hits the sharps (majors) and flats (minors) in life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pharlap

    I remember Emma Ayres very well as ABC morning music presenter. Not so long ago I've been to his (Eddie's) presentation of his latest book - Danger Music. I found this book very interesting, but at the same time I was very frustrated with descriptions of life in Kabul and hopeless struggles of Afghani musicians. I just received from Goodreads a summary of my readings this year. A very saddening summary - 35 books read, average rating 2.3. Most of books written by writers I respect and such a disa I remember Emma Ayres very well as ABC morning music presenter. Not so long ago I've been to his (Eddie's) presentation of his latest book - Danger Music. I found this book very interesting, but at the same time I was very frustrated with descriptions of life in Kabul and hopeless struggles of Afghani musicians. I just received from Goodreads a summary of my readings this year. A very saddening summary - 35 books read, average rating 2.3. Most of books written by writers I respect and such a disappointment. I got a feeling of time lost and hesitated to start another book. It looks that the last glimpse at books in my local library was a kind smile of the fate - Cadence by Emma Ayres - her life, musical experiences, adventurous bike ride and reflection on selected pieces of music. I suppose for everyone who remembers Emma and her music programs it will be a most welcome return of a good friend. For those, who do not remember Emma? Still I think it should be interesting story of a brave girl fighting for finding her place on earth.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bronwen

    I loved this book, and it inspired me to take my travel writing more seriously. I've read a few of the other reviews, and can see that people really like having chronology in a memoir. This is interesting to note as an author wanting to write my own travel memoirs, however as a musician (cellist), I found the structure of this book superb. I found the references to the colour of keys, and the use of them in 'ancient' music to be fascinating, and loved the way this lined up with the story of ridi I loved this book, and it inspired me to take my travel writing more seriously. I've read a few of the other reviews, and can see that people really like having chronology in a memoir. This is interesting to note as an author wanting to write my own travel memoirs, however as a musician (cellist), I found the structure of this book superb. I found the references to the colour of keys, and the use of them in 'ancient' music to be fascinating, and loved the way this lined up with the story of riding across the globe. Also the use of the term cadence, for a musician, is key ('scuse the pun) and I liked the depth that comes from the exploration of different contexts for the same words, and the way this can shine a light on life. Emma certainly has a way with words, and a lovely way of looking at life, as many who listened to ABC Classic FM breakfast will attest. I find it interesting that cadence in the musical sense is about different types of conclusions, where as in the physical sense, it is more about flow and transition. Maybe for Emma, the journey and the process of writing this book ushered in the possibility for both conclusions and transitions - http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/wh...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rosalie

    I wanted to like this book, and am sure that my Book Discussion group members will disagree with me, nevertheless I did not get into it. I found it a frustrating read as I wanted to know more about everything that the author slips in almost as an aside; herself and her friends, the people she meets on her cycle trip, teaching in Kabul, her side trip travel in India, her return to England partway...anything but the constant reference to music notation. There is more information underneath the pho I wanted to like this book, and am sure that my Book Discussion group members will disagree with me, nevertheless I did not get into it. I found it a frustrating read as I wanted to know more about everything that the author slips in almost as an aside; herself and her friends, the people she meets on her cycle trip, teaching in Kabul, her side trip travel in India, her return to England partway...anything but the constant reference to music notation. There is more information underneath the photographs she chose to put in (so a page on each of them would have satisfied me more). I don't know if it is the lack of or just bad editing or the lack of any chronological sequence but I found it quite a disconcerting read as it skips back and forth without any real links. I found that I did not get to know her as a person apart from her resilience and tenaciousness, and I would like to know more. There are snippets that are pure gems - such as her description of her meeting and befriending the self-taught musician luthier, so the book would have been grand if there were more anecdotes like that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie Garner

    I will be honest, I struggled a little when it came to discussing the music and the cadences and the classical. I picked up this book because I was interested in reading the adventure of a woman riding her bicycle from England to Hong Kong. I loved this journey and hearing about the people and places that Emma travelled to. I loved her enthusiasm for her music and her instruments. I loved reading about her struggles both on and off her bike. I just found myself lost when she spoke about sonatas I will be honest, I struggled a little when it came to discussing the music and the cadences and the classical. I picked up this book because I was interested in reading the adventure of a woman riding her bicycle from England to Hong Kong. I loved this journey and hearing about the people and places that Emma travelled to. I loved her enthusiasm for her music and her instruments. I loved reading about her struggles both on and off her bike. I just found myself lost when she spoke about sonatas and symphonies and suites. My eyes have been opened to some of those parts of the world that I will most likely never see or experience. Many of the people that Emma met sounded like beautiful souls. It probably sounds silly, but I would like to thank Emma for sharing her hard times with the environment and with some of the people she met along the way. It reminds me that we all have to find our place in the world and the people who will help us share it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Another book I put on my list as it featured cycle touring. Better still the author rode by herself from London to Hong Kong - I was interested in reading of the experiences of a solo female cyclist. It wasn't until I'd picked the book up that I realised she is the presenter on ABC Classic Radio who's pleasant voice wakes me most mornings. I wanted to love this book but firstly it suffers that common Australian non-fiction book fate of poor editing. The story is presented as memoir which interwea Another book I put on my list as it featured cycle touring. Better still the author rode by herself from London to Hong Kong - I was interested in reading of the experiences of a solo female cyclist. It wasn't until I'd picked the book up that I realised she is the presenter on ABC Classic Radio who's pleasant voice wakes me most mornings. I wanted to love this book but firstly it suffers that common Australian non-fiction book fate of poor editing. The story is presented as memoir which interweaves her journey as a musician with her cycling journey. Sometimes the jumps are jarring. I'm pretty ignorant of classical music and so those sections were often lost on me.However, in the end I let go of my annoyance with the bits I didn't like and really enjoyed the rest.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Mackay

    An interesting memoir in parts. There were a lot of musical references - and I do mean a lot esp. In the first half. Not being a musician, I found much of it went over my head. Personally I think the editor should have had a hand in this, and advised condensing much of that aspect so that a greater audience could be attracted to the story. Apart from that there was an interesting story buried in the musical business. We see a youngish woman finding herself by cycling from England to Hong Kong an An interesting memoir in parts. There were a lot of musical references - and I do mean a lot esp. In the first half. Not being a musician, I found much of it went over my head. Personally I think the editor should have had a hand in this, and advised condensing much of that aspect so that a greater audience could be attracted to the story. Apart from that there was an interesting story buried in the musical business. We see a youngish woman finding herself by cycling from England to Hong Kong and then migrating to Australia. I would have loved a bit more info about her life in Australia and about her youth. Perhaps another book is on the way?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I really enjoyed this memoir, and as I listen to Emma every morning on ABC Classic FM, I heard it with her voice speaking. The jumping around in time was well done, I thought, and never became disoriented. The stories about Iran and Pakistan especially were very well done, evoking the cultures of the two countries. I'm a bit like a chook so go to bed early and wake up early. But this book is a page-turner that drew me in and I finished it (in bed) at around 2.30am, not usual for me. I really enjoyed this memoir, and as I listen to Emma every morning on ABC Classic FM, I heard it with her voice speaking. The jumping around in time was well done, I thought, and never became disoriented. The stories about Iran and Pakistan especially were very well done, evoking the cultures of the two countries. I'm a bit like a chook so go to bed early and wake up early. But this book is a page-turner that drew me in and I finished it (in bed) at around 2.30am, not usual for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chai1965

    Lovely to be able to read this with the author's voice in my head, having heard her radio broadcasts for many years. I really enjoyed this - deeper then it first appears. Lovely to be able to read this with the author's voice in my head, having heard her radio broadcasts for many years. I really enjoyed this - deeper then it first appears.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Monks

    What an amazing journey this author/musician writes about!!! She decides that she will travel (alone) from Paris to Hong Kong..... on a bicycle!!!! She is an accomplished violin/viola/cello player and she heads off with a small violin as part of her "luggage". She meets an amazing range of people ... she avoids danger in many risky situations ... she gives impromptu concerts along the roadway to a variety of individuals. She risks her life many times over, but luckily comes out in one piece at the e What an amazing journey this author/musician writes about!!! She decides that she will travel (alone) from Paris to Hong Kong..... on a bicycle!!!! She is an accomplished violin/viola/cello player and she heads off with a small violin as part of her "luggage". She meets an amazing range of people ... she avoids danger in many risky situations ... she gives impromptu concerts along the roadway to a variety of individuals. She risks her life many times over, but luckily comes out in one piece at the end. To say she is unchanged though would be an understatement!!! She is an accomplished musician as I mentioned, and relates lots of musical notes and key signatures to her experiences on her journey. Even though I had done a small amount of music theory in my youth, much of it was lost on me. The lovely thing I did gain from this book was to be introduced to some musical compositions, composers and performers I had never listened to before. Some I liked; others not so much. Not only was it an interesting novel, I found it educational as well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    Starting with a difficult childhood and her early experiences of music making, and eventually travelling from England to Hong Kong, Emma Ayres describes the people and sights she encounters along the way with great clarity. Some of her adventures are frightening, but on the whole, she meets with great kindness and generosity. What makes her narrative stand out is the way in which she peppers it with her wonderfully poetic descriptions of music and music making, often using them as a metaphor fo Starting with a difficult childhood and her early experiences of music making, and eventually travelling from England to Hong Kong, Emma Ayres describes the people and sights she encounters along the way with great clarity. Some of her adventures are frightening, but on the whole, she meets with great kindness and generosity. What makes her narrative stand out is the way in which she peppers it with her wonderfully poetic descriptions of music and music making, often using them as a metaphor for life's interior and external travels. Reading this book made me feel like I'd just taken part in an exhilarating journey. A side note; Emma has since transitioned to Ed, but as she was writing this as Emma, I've used the feminine pronoun.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leila

    I really wanted to love this book. Having read prior and enjoyed 'Danger Music' I was looking forward to reading 'Cadence', as I have a keen interest in cycle touring and a personal connection to Pakistan, and thought the author's 'total beam of light' moment which during this cycle tour would be fascinating. Unfortunately for me the novel lacked structure and order. Too many times I wanted more travel stories about cycle touring, border crossings, and cups of tea with locals, only too be bored I really wanted to love this book. Having read prior and enjoyed 'Danger Music' I was looking forward to reading 'Cadence', as I have a keen interest in cycle touring and a personal connection to Pakistan, and thought the author's 'total beam of light' moment which during this cycle tour would be fascinating. Unfortunately for me the novel lacked structure and order. Too many times I wanted more travel stories about cycle touring, border crossings, and cups of tea with locals, only too be bored by skimming pages on the complexity of composing classical music. I did persevere and finish the book, but I found the rambling nature of this writing style disjointed and confusing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Bonetti

    I loved Emma Eyres' ABC FM programs and was sad when she/he moved on that my Letter to the Editor of a national daily gave a thumbs down to her successors. So I expected to rate this book with a 5-star accolade. And would have done, if it included maps so readers weren't lost in transition. As a musician I appreciate reflections on key colours and harmonies, sometimes I was lost in abrupt segues from Turkey to London and bewildering time travels. More attention to editing would have lifted this I loved Emma Eyres' ABC FM programs and was sad when she/he moved on that my Letter to the Editor of a national daily gave a thumbs down to her successors. So I expected to rate this book with a 5-star accolade. And would have done, if it included maps so readers weren't lost in transition. As a musician I appreciate reflections on key colours and harmonies, sometimes I was lost in abrupt segues from Turkey to London and bewildering time travels. More attention to editing would have lifted this to an exceptional book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Memoir/ travel book/ music book. As someone who had been soothed into my morning by Emma for years, this book continued to soothe me thought the last stretch of a difficult pregnancy. Emma had gone from the airwaves, and her absence was felt keenly. The book lulled me thorough her childhood and a beautiful dance through the orchestra that only a classical musician can accomplish. Rarely have I had such a soulful response to a book as I did to this. Thanks you Eddie.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Emma has written a wonderful book about music and life -her travels and struggles written on the cycle of keys are enharmonically mapped across the landscapes, geographical and emotional through which she pedals. An engaging and easy read dealing with some deep issues. Her charisma shines through.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I very much enjoyed this. I wish a map tracing the journey had been included. Loved reading about (then-) Emma’s travels and especially appreciated the intimacy of some of the musical analysis. Such a strong voice - as a longtime ABC Classic listener I could really hear the author’s writing voice in a speaking voice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Denise Gossow

    An interesting read and I really enjoyed the musical details. She seems a very courageous woman although at times I thought her a bit foolhardy. My one complaint is that it did seem to jump around from place to place too much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Pokarier

    Really interesting and related with her characteristic warmth and wit

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leonie Youngberry

    Just finished the audio version of this which is read by the author - very pleasurable to listen to. Looking forward now to Danger Music.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Trenbath

    Music and travel, can a book get any better?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Colin Baldwin

    Loved it. Not only for the music connection, but for the humour and travel details.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Em Lewis

    One hell of a bike ride, lots of music and a journey of self discovery and a hint of the future.

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