Thursday, March 29, 2018

The story of E1

It was 1972 and I had been supplying music to young wind players and their teachers for about a year. Teaching wind instruments in schools was still a fairly new thing, and there was very little music written that was suitable for young beginners. I paid a visit to the British Music Information Centre and looked through random boxes of manuscripts, searching for a style that looked fairly easy. That was how I discovered the name Raymond Parfrey. He seemed to have written several pieces that were tuneful and uncomplicated, so I got in touch with him. He was very interested, but at that precise moment he was doing a commission for alto flute. How interesting! Not exactly suitable for young beginners, but there was very little published for alto flute. Why not take it on?

I had been listening to advice from established music publishers for a while, with the idea of doing some publishing myself. The first sensible thing to do of course would be to publish something that would be popular and sell well. Another suggestion was to number your publications with a numerical prefix of some sort, so that it looked as if you had been publishing a large quantity for years.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm not very good at taking advice. This is why I began with E1 - Lyric Moment for alto flute.

Innocent and undaunted I took a copy into London and started calling in to some of the major music shops to see if they would buy one. On the whole they were encouraging and gentlemanly (yes, all the buyers were blokes then), patting me on the head and taking a copy. I was a music publisher, and over the moon!

Raymond Parfrey 1928 - 2008

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