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The fabulous counter-tenor Andrew Watts invited me to 'MAX@245'. This put me into a spin - what was it ? I also picked up the word Hammersmith, and dispatched my west London friend Helen up the Hammersmith Road the day before the date Andrew had mentioned. 'It's a colourful new office block' she reported.

The next evening we walked in torrential rain up to no 245. Friendly ushers greeted us, and a fine Steinway and two music stands now sat in the foyer. Soon to be populated by the three wonderful musicians of Trio Balthasar - Iain Burnside, Michael Foyle and Tim Hugh. I was delighted to hear my own Piano Trio played, followed by works from Joan Trimble (a Phantasy Trio in the Vaughan Williams tradition, enjoyable) and Brahms (super interesting, of course). The office foyer accoustic was absolutely fine, with no noise pollution, and we had the added excitement of seeing the rain pour down outside the building's glass walls.

Afterwards, and with some removal of masks, I realised that many fine musicians had been listening alongside us, and I began to learn a bit more about MAX, who were mounting a whole week of very varied concerts here. It's well worth reading about this 'Musician and Artist Exchange" founded during that long period of enforced time off we've all had in the musical profession. It's been my great hope that the bad effects of that period would be offset by the birth of some genuinely new musical structures more suited to our present times - with less of the behemoth managements, monumental venues, flying orchestras etc - and here was some real evidence of that. Long life to all at MAX.





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