Preserved Ginger

Preserved Ginger is a kind of loose biography, being the life stuff of a retired orchestral musician. (Old enough to know better and too old to give a s…)

I’ve developed some reasonably firm views over the years, and being utterly unknown I enjoy the complete freedom to have a stab at anything I feel like - right or wrong

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About Barry Johnstone

I got divorced from my first wife, (Sheila) in 1986, who then (sadly) died on July the 28th, 008.I got married again in 1993. My daughter Emily died on September 11th 1998 (there is absolutely nothing in the human experience that messes up your head more than losing a child!) which is why I have complete sympathy for people trying to live in places like Iraq or Afganistan etc. As if losing Emily wasn’t enough, my step-daughter Lauren died May 10th 2009! The only thing positive about these awful and tragic events is that ones attitudes are sharpened, re-defined and made more definite. Not necessarily militant, abrasive and opiniated! I’ve now retired from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (September 2007) and after 40 years of playing the double-bass sitting in front of the loudest trombone section in the known universe (John, Tom, Niel and Heinze - bless their hearts) I no longer play anything! Through-out my career in the NZSO, I have composed music. Now that I have retired, I can devote more time to this addictive and challenging pursuit (an activity that gives me great pleasure) and this does NOT mean that what I compose is of any great shakes. I write music only for the sheer hell of it, and generally only for me. My interest in composition doesn't necessarily make me a composer for much the same reason that my interest in physics does not make me a physicist. I have not formally studied i.e. counter-point or anything, so what I write tends to be quite vertical and quite boring, however, like anything else, it’s much easier to judge on what it isn’t, rather than what it is. The other thing is that I don’t actually care what is thought of any music that I may compose, because I’m only concerned with the very first stage of the process – that of actually writing it! (I have to reiterate – I’m only writing for me) If it’s any good – fine. If it isn’t any good – equally fine!

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