After visiting Gallipoli 2 years ago (nearly to the day), and the Canberra war memorial last year, this is never more true. The tune is haunting, desperately sad and intimately bound up with a remembrance of Australian and New Zealand troops (originally) but more recently with all armed force personnel from all wars, police actions and conflicts.
I am always, oddly, extraordinarily anxious when it is played live. I feel for the trumpeter as the tune has no where to go – when the note is wrong it is so terribly uncomfortable. I am particularly in awe of the students that play it in front of the whole school. James did it proud yesterday at a school assembly. I get goosebumps thinking about it, but I always have.
Age will not weary them, nor the years condemn. Lest we forget.
This is Maarten van Gelder’s Trumpet, designed in 1989. To be fair it is more closely modelled on a bugle or coronet, given it has no valves. getting controllable noise out of any brass instrument is a minor miracle. Folded from an approximate 8:1 rectangle of gold Lokta, it is a simple but hopefully fitting tribute.