Tuning Up at Dawn

Tuning Up at Dawn

Tomas Graves

Pub date
Harper Perennial
B Format 129x198mm
448 pages
Download jacket

Book Overview

A loving portrait of the other Majorca, and of a blissful life there revolving around the magic of music – a book to savour, perfect for escaping those crowded beaches.

Tomás Graves was born in and belongs to Majorca. His father, the great love poet Robert Graves, famously ended up on the beautiful Mediterranean island pretty much by accident, but it is the happiest accident of Tomás’ life. His love for the special beauties of Majorcan culture shines on every page of this infectiously happy book. This is the real Majorca. ‘Tuning Up at Dawn’ examines both the suppression and renaissance of the ancient native culture – above all, its music.

Graves is a musician himself, and his own musical escapades give the book its brilliantly distinctive tone. A host of musicians – Jimi Hendrix, Kevin Ayers, Bob Geldof, Sinead O’Connor and Eurovision contestants – have stayed in Majorca and provide the soundtrack to this rhythmic, irresistible tour around a magical island and its magical culture.

About the author

Tomas Graves is the son of Robert Graves. He lives in Deia, on the north coast of Majorca. He is a graphic designer, printer, musician and author of the acclaimed cookbook Bread and Oil.


  • Praise for ‘Tuning Up At Dawn’:
  • ‘Modest and amusing, deceptively intelligent and witty…the best book in English on Spain since Gerald Brenan’s classic South From Granada.’ Robert Carver, Daily Mail
  • ‘…rolling, informal, anecdotal, colloquial.’ Daily Telegraph
  • Praise for ‘Bread and Oil’:
  • ‘A book born out of obsession and filled like a scrapbook with wit and wisdom.’ Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times
  • ‘A work of some scholarship. Reading it feels like stumbling upon a nugget of gold among the empty lager cans on Magalluf beach.’ Independent on Sunday
  • ‘A fascinating and well written debut showing a rare combination of passion and irony.’ TLS