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Danger Music: How teaching the cello to children in Afghanistan led to a self-discovery almost too hard to bear

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Eddie Ayres has a lifetime of musical experience - from learning the viola as a child in England and playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for many years, to learning the cello in his thirties and landing in Australia to present an extremely successful ABC Classic FM morning radio show. But all of this time Eddie was Emma Ayres. In 2014 Emma was spiralling into a deep dep Eddie Ayres has a lifetime of musical experience - from learning the viola as a child in England and playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for many years, to learning the cello in his thirties and landing in Australia to present an extremely successful ABC Classic FM morning radio show. But all of this time Eddie was Emma Ayres. In 2014 Emma was spiralling into a deep depression, driven by anguish about her gender. She quit the radio, travelled, and decided on a surprising path to salvation - teaching music in a war zone. Emma applied for a position at Dr Sarmast's renowned Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, teaching cello to orphans and street kids. In Danger Music, Eddie takes us through the bombs and chaos of Kabul, into the lives of the Afghan children who are transported by Bach, Abba, Beethoven and their own exhilarating Afghan music. Alongside these epic experiences, Emma determines to take the final steps to secure her own peace; she becomes the man always there inside - Eddie.


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Eddie Ayres has a lifetime of musical experience - from learning the viola as a child in England and playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for many years, to learning the cello in his thirties and landing in Australia to present an extremely successful ABC Classic FM morning radio show. But all of this time Eddie was Emma Ayres. In 2014 Emma was spiralling into a deep dep Eddie Ayres has a lifetime of musical experience - from learning the viola as a child in England and playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for many years, to learning the cello in his thirties and landing in Australia to present an extremely successful ABC Classic FM morning radio show. But all of this time Eddie was Emma Ayres. In 2014 Emma was spiralling into a deep depression, driven by anguish about her gender. She quit the radio, travelled, and decided on a surprising path to salvation - teaching music in a war zone. Emma applied for a position at Dr Sarmast's renowned Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, teaching cello to orphans and street kids. In Danger Music, Eddie takes us through the bombs and chaos of Kabul, into the lives of the Afghan children who are transported by Bach, Abba, Beethoven and their own exhilarating Afghan music. Alongside these epic experiences, Emma determines to take the final steps to secure her own peace; she becomes the man always there inside - Eddie.

30 review for Danger Music: How teaching the cello to children in Afghanistan led to a self-discovery almost too hard to bear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Diplock-Storer

    I don't think I have words. I read Eddie Ayres first autobiography, as Emma Ayres, Cadence, & was drawn into her world of musical passion, confusion, generosity of spirit but misunderstanding of self. Danger Music brilliantly brings us the epilogue of this particular journey as Eddie Ayres faces the unenviable task of living in Kabul, Afghanistan whilst teaching & gifting the Afghanistani children musical lessons on the cello or viola. He teaches everything from Beethoven to Bach, from the Beatl I don't think I have words. I read Eddie Ayres first autobiography, as Emma Ayres, Cadence, & was drawn into her world of musical passion, confusion, generosity of spirit but misunderstanding of self. Danger Music brilliantly brings us the epilogue of this particular journey as Eddie Ayres faces the unenviable task of living in Kabul, Afghanistan whilst teaching & gifting the Afghanistani children musical lessons on the cello or viola. He teaches everything from Beethoven to Bach, from the Beatles to ABBA. And as the children grow & learn from him, so he grows & learns from them. Children growing up in the most oppressed conditions also contending with almost daily bombings or shootings by the Taliban. Yet still able to be children. I learnt a lot from this book, always a gift. I certainly learnt more about the daily life of Kabul & something of the reality in which these children live. But I also learnt about the universal truth of music. How it transposes into any culture. How it helped transpose Eddie Ayres.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clare Kelly

    A challenging life. Such a good read. After reading Afghan history it was good to read a personal perspective of the lives of people of Afghanistan and their passion for music amongst so much hardship and tragedy. It was a powerful revelation of the live of the author who is also well know to me for her contribution to radio music. A brave person who had the courage to tread a difficult path.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lynnezone

    A special and highly personal read about teaching music and finding oneself among the tradegy and chaos of Kabul.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Jade

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ching Lim

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Parsons

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Martin

  8. 5 out of 5

    Velvet Z

  9. 4 out of 5

    trish

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael T Sanders

  11. 4 out of 5

    Petra Suttle

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Schwartzkoff

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jill Jones

  14. 5 out of 5

    William R.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  16. 5 out of 5

    Renata Ratzer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tina Morrison

  18. 4 out of 5

    veronica

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Joy Lee

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dartnell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mornington Library

  24. 5 out of 5

    Iraina M Hofsteede

  25. 5 out of 5

    Petra Mross

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Anderson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Laschon

  28. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn Townsend

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Uden

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

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