9 Oct 2019

Joy Cowley shares the music that thrills her

From Upbeat, 12:30 pm on 9 October 2019

Famed children's author Joy Cowley is such a visceral music lover, she listens to music with her entire body. 

She’s had many favourites in her life but the one piece that has stayed with her, and will continue to stay with her, is Debussy’s ‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun’.

It’s easy to understand why when Joy says that “the music crawls up my spine and sets on fire every cell in my body, my skin tingles, my stomach goes weak with pleasure, and I come out of it sighing with pleasure… it always happens.”    

Cowley smiles wondering what Debussy was thinking when he wrote it: how did he feel, what inspired him?

What pieces inspire you? Vote in 'Settling the Score' our annual poll of your favorite classical music.

Joy Cowley

Joy Cowley Photo: Joy Cowley

At the age of 83 Joy is embarking on a new journey because she has macular degeneration, meaning she can’t see films or read books and has difficulty writing, so a lot of her primary passions have been taken away.

“But there’s a new world of music that is opening up and I’m listening to music now more than I ever have.”  She describes music as a new way of seeing for her and being touched by Art.

“I don’t really know how to describe it” she says, “because sometimes it goes so far beyond language, the ecstasy of music, that I can’t put it in writing or words.”    

“I hope that I will always have that.”