Tony Dawson — «The Smoker» :-)

Anthony Dawson — Anglo-Canadian composer, pianist, organist, teacher, and anti-multifunctionalist.

Tony Dawson

Anthony Dawson was born in England on the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Beethoven. He studied at the Royal College of Music before joining the Army in 1945. Promotion came quickly, and by the time of his demobilization in 1948 he had risen from Private 4th Class to Private 3rd Class.

He emigrated to Canada in 1949, and taught at various private schools in Ontario, as well as playing the organ at a number of Anglican churches.

He has written for orchestra, for voices, for organ and for chamber ensembles. He is notable among 20th century composers in that his works have never caused riots in the concert halls in which they have been performed, nor has be ever received an unfavourable review in the press.

His Piano Concerto (1973), written for his own performance, is perhaps the only piano concerto in which the solo part is written entirely in half-notes and quarter-notes (though there are two pairs of eighth-notes in the cadenza to the last movement.) The 3rd clarinet parts of his orchestral works have received critical acclaim, while the 2nd violin part of his String Quartet was singled out for especial praise. He belongs to that admirable band of composers whose works are rarely performed.

He has done valuable work in the field of musicology, and he seems to be the first to have made a scientific study of the relationship between smoking and musical composition. His paper on "Some Aspects of the Influence of Smoking on the Compositional Process" was enthusiastically hailed at the Annual Meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of America.

Dawson was the first to think of dividing composers into smoking and non-smoking groups. His Index of Comparative Achievement has been greeted as a major breakthrough in the field of musicology by the tobacco industry.

J.S. Bach Buttstedt
Handel Sperontes
Schumann Petzold
Brahms Steibelt
Liszt Gurlitt
Sibelius Gedike
Bartok Gounod
Dawson Linda Niamath

More pipe smokers

Smoking pipe Pablo Casals, cellist
William Primrose, violist
Albert King, blues musician
Andres Segovia, guitarist
Dan Locklair, composer
Sir Edward Elgar, composer
Sir William Walton, composer
Oscar Peterson, jazz pianist
Samuel Barber, composer
Healey Willan, composer
Godfrey Ridout, composer
Henry Mancini, composer
Stanley Solomon, violist
David Zafer, violinist
Lorand Fenyves, violinist

Honourable mentions (not musicians)

Popeye, the Sailor-man
Sherlock Holmes, detective
Albert Einstein, Physicist
C.S. Lewis, writer
J.R. Tolkien, writer
Mark Twain, writer
Greta Garbo, actress

Pipe Smoking, by J.S. Bach

Whene'er I take my pipe and stuff it
And smoke to pass the time away
My thoughts, as I sit there and puff it,
Dwell on a picture sad and grey:
It teaches me that very like
Am I myself unto my pipe.

Like me this pipe, so fragrant burning,
Is made of naught but earthen clay;
To earth I too shall be returning,
And cannot halt my slow decay.
My well used pipe, now cracked and broken,
Of mortal life is but a token.

No stain, the pipe's hue yet doth darken;
It remains white. Thus do I know
That when to death's call I must harken
My body, too, all pale will grow.
To black beneath the sod 'twill turn,
Likewise the pipe, if oft it burn.

Or when the pipe is fairly glowing,
Behold then instantaneously,
The smoke off into thin air going,
'Til naught but ash is left to see.
Man's fame likewise away will burn
And unto dust his body turn.

How oft it happens when one's smoking,
The tamper's missing from it's shelf,
And one goes with one's finger poking
Into the bowl and burns oneself.
If in the pipe such pain doth dwell
How hot must be the pains of Hell!

Thus o'er my pipe in contemplation
Of such things - I can constantly
Indulge in fruitful meditation,
And so, puffing contentedly,
On land, at sea, at home, abroad,

I smoke my pipe and worship God.

The Primrose Quartet warming up for a game of cricket

Primrose Quartet warming up for a game of cricket