The Point of Distraction

Book Launch: The Point of Distraction
Will Eaves author; Richard Uttley piano
Sat 14 Sep 2024, 1.00pm
(ticket required)

This concert will be approximately 1 hour in duration, without an interval



  • Will Eavesauthor
  • Richard Uttleypiano
  • Lucy Dallasspeaker


To mark the launch of his new book, The Point of Distraction, this event comprises a short talk by author Will Eaves about the inception and creation of his piano suite ‘Four Diptychs’, the score of which is reproduced in the book; a short Q&A moderated by Lucy Dallas, Arts Editor of the Times Literary Supplement; a piano recital by Richard Uttley, who will play the whole of the suite and other music discussed in the course of the book.

The event will be followed by a book signing downstairs.

Notes on The Point of Distraction by Will Eaves:

A memoir by the 2019 Wellcome Prize winner Will Eaves that looks at the creation of eight piano pieces.

Will Eaves, author and musician, shares his experience of writing eight new piano pieces after many years away from the keyboard. Some of the music is found in old notebooks and teenage enthusiasms, some of it is caught on the wing – a response to the resurgence of the natural world during COVID lockdown. None of it is what he is meant to be doing.

But then not all artistic interests are primary or professional interests. Sometimes it’s the second-string activities, the diversions, that bring work – and life – into focus.The Point of Distraction is a unique account of music-making that embraces Bach, film, jazz, literature, neuroscience and the mystery of will power in its search for meaning. At its heart is a love of skill, an openness to self-doubt, and a belief that we are all more than our declared aims.

Will Eaves is a novelist, poet, screenwriter and musician. He has been Arts Editor of the TLS (1997–2011) and Associate Professor in the English department at the University of Warwick. In 2019, his novel Murmur won the Wellcome Book Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Fiction. He co-hosts The Neuromantics podcast with Professor Sophie Scott of the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience.

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