Although nowadays I tend to spend more time on the computer, music has always been important to me. I love it, and I travel with it, and I write with it.

I studied music at high school but I excelled at music history far more than I ever did with practical music, which is one of my laments. Now, at my time of life, I’m resigned to listening to other people or to playing other people’s music, and although I’ve got a son who is tone perfect, I’m afraid I’m pretty much tone deaf by comparison. I barely sing in the shower, but I do like to sing loudly and heartily in the car when
I’m traveling through the bush.

Ray MartinRay Martin. Photo © Nick Samartas

Like many people, popular music was my way in. I came from a working-class background and as a child I was there at the birth of rock and roll. I saw singers and musicians like Elvis and Bill Haley come along and sweep over everybody.

The first record that I bought my mother was a Bing Crosby, but the first one I really bought for myself...