I join the throng of composers and sonic creators who cannot read music, well at least not any more. I took piano lessons as a fresh-faced ten-year-old boy in London, but rather tragically had to stop, as my mother could not afford the 50pence cost for lessons with the local music teacher. Only months later in rather a blur our battered upright piano suddenly disappeared from the house, never to be spoken of. This was the very same piano that took the exploratory hits and slaps that hearing John Cage aged 11 brought to my young open mind and the piano strings themselves.

Alvin’s notes bring encouragement to learn again, to rediscover the magic of notation, even after all the destruction, chaos and wild games at play, the notes remain. When we are all left merely as memories and stories, others can step back in time and discover and rediscover the charm, the beauty and richly orchestrated works of this very fine fellow.

I’m fortunate to have shared the stage, dinner and much laughter with Alvin and carry very fond memories of this gentleman of professional playfulness. Long may his influence and joy continue.