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Danger Music
Danger Music: How teaching the cello to children in Afghanistan led to a self-discovery almost too hard to bear | Eddie / Eadric Ayres
7 posts | 4 read | 3 to read
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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review
Joanne1
Pickpick

Eddie Ayres was teaching cello in war-torn Afghanistan when his gender dysphoria led to the brave decision to finally transition to the male body he knew he should have had. It‘s an incredible tale, of his students, the country and ultimately himself. Like with many memoirs I did find it lacked a bit of the narrative arc the story needed and became bogged down in parts but it‘s also a unique and truly fascinating story.

Jeg Amazing person. Amazing story. Love listening to him on the radio. Loved listening to her too. 1y
Joanne1 @Jeg I went to hear Eddie talk about this book earlier this year. He was the best author I‘ve heard. Compassionate, funny, and simply fascinating. 1y
40 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
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I‘ve got one day off in the next two weeks as well as a short course to finish. There won‘t be a lot of reading for pleasure time so I‘m making the most of my train commute today.

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Jeg
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Finished this morning. Loved it. I thought it was well written. I listen to him on the radio so I had his voice in my head. Loved the last line in the book. I seem to be reading a few true stories lately and this has been the best one. All very recent. @MrsMalaprop Another good Aussie story. 🇦🇺

Joanne1 I saw Eddie speak at Clunes Booktown in may. He was mesmerising, and really funny. I have both his books to read now. 2y
8 likes1 comment
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Jeg
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Heard a lot about this book. Saw it in the new books at the library. My next read. Love listening to him on the radio. @MrsMalaprop

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TheDoubleLetterThief
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Probably the best author talk I‘ve ever been to. Can‘t wait to get started on this.

CarolynM Did you see @Joanne1 there? 2y
TheDoubleLetterThief @CarolynM sure did! We‘re in the same bookclub and currently sitting together drinking wine :) 2y
Louise Your post got me curious, so I've just watched an hour-long interview with Eddie at the Wheeler Center in Australia. Such an interesting story. Adding the book to my TBR. 2y
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TheDoubleLetterThief @Louise yay! Will have to go and find that interview. There is also a half hour Compass episode on ABC iView. 2y
CarolynM Nice to know the connections between people on Litsy! 2y
tournevis I'm all kinds of incomfortable to read him being misgendered in the *damn book blurb*! Geez! 2y
Louise Thanks for the heads up. Never heard of ABC iView. Learning a new thing every day! 😆 2y
TheDoubleLetterThief @Louise where are you? If not in Australia, then ABC iView won‘t be accessible to you. 2y
Louise Ah, that's why! I'm in the USA. 2y
42 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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Joanne1
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Booktown festival in Clunes this weekend with my book club buddies. Just went to THE most amazing author talk with Eddie Ayres.

CarolynM Nice to see Eddie looking so relaxed and happy. I see to listen to him on the radio and was a bit concerned there for a while. Did you see @TheDoubleLetterThief there? 2y
Joanne1 @CarolynM @TheDoubleLetterThief and I are very good friends. We're here together. Her stack was considerably bigger than mine - I'll have to see if I can match it tomorrow. But at least I'll know I'll be able to borrow all her books as well as reading mine!! 2y
54 likes2 comments
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4ravens
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This is the second memoir I've read this week. I can't even begin to imagine what Eddie experienced both in his personal life and while teaching in Afghanistan. This book was both funny and heartbreaking.

CarolynM I used to listen to him on the ABC breakfast program and I started to feel concerned that something wasn't right. I'm so glad that he seems to have come to terms with himself and got himself to a better place. 2y
4ravens @CarolynM I hadn't read his previous book or, listened to him on radio. The book details his downward spiral and coming back from that. I was pleased to see that he will be back on ABC Radio National next year. 2y
CarolynM I hadn't heard that, good to know. 2y
2 likes3 comments