Written by Alastair Turner

Imagine any piece of music played on the recorder. I mean it’s lovely if it’s three blind mice played by my daughter. But it’s usually played out of tune and out of time.

Somehow though, cacophony turns celestial when her attempts are combined with a hodgepodge of other equally unappealing sounds from her friends and their assortment of instruments. At once, their pick and mix approach to note selection vanishes and they chime in as one to create (in a parent’s opinion) a sumptuous sound. The sum is definitely greater than its parts.

And this reflects my thoughts on being included in the PR Week Power Book again. Sure I like to think I have some game in some areas. But I hope and think I am very aware of my many, many shortcomings. Any orchestra made of badly-played wind instruments isn’t going to attract much of an audience. But when there is the full array of wind, string, percussion, brass and keyboard instruments playing in something like harmony, the results can be amazing. And with the broadest possible range of instruments on display at Aspectus, we aspire to hit the sweetest possible notes. We want people shouting ‘encore’ after all!

So my role is less about power and more about responsibility. Going back to orchestra, it’s a bit like being the person sitting by the bass drum. They have to follow every note intently for an hour and a half and then at just at the right time play a couple of bars to perfection. If they miss their cue, play the wrong note or become one step out of time, they muck it up for everyone. Get it right, it pulls the whole piece together and the audience cheers.

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