Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 1614 Bedfords Review | Issue Four EMMERSON DUTTON Musical houses End note I am in good company when finding a link between music and houses. Suffolk’s own Benjamin Britten once said, ‘…composing is like driving down a foggy road towards a house…the notes are the bricks and the mortar of the house…” Since I was a young boy, music has been a fundamental part of my home life. My family were not musically virtuosic (my brother was a drummer), but my parents were passionate enough to fill any quiet space in the house with the sounds of classical and popular music. I distinctly recall being infatuated with The Aristocats as a youngster, and ’Everybody wants to be a cat’ probably stirred my early love of jazz music. Heading down the ‘foggy road’ to my own home, my relationship with music and how it connects to houses, is quite uncomplicated; from those childhood days locked away in the confines of my own room, practising, with sheet music propped upon the mantelpiece, to time now spent teaching my daughter ‘Deck the Halls’ on her violin in our study, the 'home' has always been a place of musical discovery to me. At varying points during my young adult life, and before I got a proper job 15 years ago selling houses in Suffolk, I coveted the lifestyle of a musician. I studied classical composition, made some peculiar sounds on a cello, memorised every note Jimi Hendrix struck and lost myself in many jazz clubs. During this time, I stumbled across some incredible events amongst the eccentricities of Suffolk; some that popped up before ‘pop up’ became a familiar concept, from old barns in the middle of nowhere holding chamber concerts, to a secret club in an undisclosed part of Norfolk that becomes an irregular home to some of the finest jazz musicians you will see in the UK – if you are fortunate enough to know about it, keep it to yourself. Over the course of time, both music and property have introduced me to some wonderful and interesting people. As a profession, musicians are invariably forced to London to find opportunity, but unsurprisingly more and more are heading out of the city, with many retired musicians, composers and artists finding solace in Suffolk and Norfolk. Indeed a favourite of mine, Mike, a Double Bass luthier, now lives on the Suffolk/Norfolk borders. Having spent 30 years as a professional musician in London, he moved to Suffolk on the recommendation of one of his fellow players many years ago. He is a wonderfully eccentric man, lives in a beautiful red-brick country house and spends his time restoring beautiful old instruments in an old shed, enveloped by, and ‘giving life’ to, decrepit remnants of cellos and violins. As I look out of the shed window, over his shoulder, and enjoy the view of the Dutch gable of his house, he tells me another tale of his fascinating life as a musician. An hour of his time and his anecdotes, just doesn't seem enough. My regular visits to him, recently stopping off on my way to Southwold with my family and our young spaniel, let loose in his garden whilst we talk music, is a reminder that the creatively- minded connect with this region, in its charming rusticity and its opportunities artistically. This fine craftsman lists countless others like him who have also moved up to the area, some better known than others, but all ‘…better off for living in such a lovely area…’ So, after all, the lack of musical talent that eventually steered me into a career selling houses was a blessing. I would have moved back to Suffolk anyway! Emmerson Dutton Partner, Bury St Edmunds Bedfords Review | Issue Four ‘From childhood days in my own room, practising, to teaching my daughter her violin in our study, the 'home' has always been a place of musical discovery’ 14