Andrew Jones on Tango: Zero Hour by Astor Piazzolla
Andrew Jones is the Director of Speaker Engineering at TAD and Pioneer, and was Chief Engineer at both Infinity and KEF. He shares with us a song from his soundtrack.
"Let's face it, I'm a geek. I got into Hi-Fi because I love science and technology. I never had any doubts since my early years that I wanted to do something in the sciences, I just didn't know exactly what. Then my brother and I were given an old Dansette all in one record player and a stack of old 45's as a birthday present. Bingo! That started my obsession with both music, and the science of reproducing it.
However, my musical tastes were rather safe, especially compared to my friends. While they were into Cream, Yes, and Genesis, I was into the Moody Blues and the Carpenters. I liked some jazz and classical, I just didn't know what.
Wind on many years to the late eighties. I wanted to learn more about jazz, so I asked a friend of mine, a big jazz enthusiast, to put together a variety of jazz CD's of different artists and styles for me. The idea was to pick what interested me, then be guided further along those paths to discover more.
He gladly obliged, but as he handed over the discs he said "This one is not strictly jazz, but I think you need to listen to it." I thanked him, and over the next week or so I worked my way through the collection. Then one Saturday afternoon I remembered this oddity he'd mentioned that I'd not yet played. I put it on, with the intent of casually listening while I got on with my chores.
Well, that didn't last long! Within the first few bars, I was done for... I lay down overwhelmed by the beauty of the music, the passion, the ferocity. It was a roller coaster ride of melodic, lilting beauty interspersed with violent powerful outbursts. Nearly an hour later I was emotionally drained. Tears ran down my face. I had never experienced music like this before. I called my friend, barely able to speak or express myself. He was not surprised by my reaction, I guess he knew all along what would happen!
A few weeks later we were fortunate enough to catch Piazzolla perform in London at the Wembley Conference Center, his last ever London appearance. I still tear up every time I play his music, and I save those listening sessions for times when I won't have to speak to anyone immediately after!