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Beethoven’s life and music are among the great inspirations in my life. This year in celebration of his birth I am keeping my own Beethoven Sketch Book – a gathering of things seen and heard, visual fragments, thoughts, drawings, lettering and ideas, exploring the life and compositions of Beethoven – I’ll see what emerges. So far, I have made a frock coat with a lining printed with yellowhammers on grapevines, inspired by stories heard on BBC Radio 3 about how these birds found their way into so many of Beethoven’s compositions. He is said to have considered the yellowhammer (Goldammer) his ‘heavenly composer’. The thought of him seeing and hearing the birds and weaving their song into his music as he walked through the vineyards around Vienna cheers me immensely. I wore the coat on a trip to Vienna last month, and thus wandered along Beethoven’s route to Heiligenstadt surrounded by yellowhammers.