Musical metamorphosis

I'm reading a book called "Are you actually going to write a book or just talk about it?"

This is assignment no. 1. Start a blog. So here we go, I'm writing about the first thing that comes into my head. Music.

Why do I love creating playlists so much? It's the one thing that came out of me being a yoga teacher that was so purely positive and joyous for me.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. From early mistakes where I thought playing the cello was a good idea. At 5'2", I'm a tiny human, even more tiny when I was 8, so why I thought playing the cello was ever a great idea I'll never know. I used to shyly lug that thing on and off the school bus along with my satchel, straw hat falling off the back of my head, elastic string strangling me, coat hanging off my shoulder, while the bus driver would sing, "Tell Laura I love her" and the older girls would call me cute and want to pinch my cheeks. I took piano lessons with ratchety old Ms. Hill in a cold, tiny loft room in my primary school - she was an absolute nazi of a teacher, drilling me on scales and slapping my hands for not holding my little fingers high enough off the keys, she didn't exactly assist me on my path to the rockstar life I was imagining.

You know when you look back on your life and think what you should have or could have been or the people you should have been around... I always imagined I'd be around musical people. Like part of a band, probably not a musician or a groupie, but someone part of the team with musical and creative vision that just got it. They would be my people, that's where I would fit in. I imagined myself sitting in a dark New York bar on old leather couches, smoking those cool thin black cigarettes, drinking Espresso Martinis, lost in deep conversations with other misfits about life, art, music and politics.

At 12, I switched my cello for an easier to carry clarinet, which my grandma brought for me as she loved Acker Bilk, I joined the school orchestra and went to Band Camp in the summer. I would play the couch with drumsticks to Bon Jovi and heavy metal CD's. I was an only child and spent a lot of time on my own, with a love of books and a big imagination, music was a place I could get lost and found. I would sit in the garden room, just me and my dog, blasting out Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson and Phil Collins. Feeling alone and misunderstood but also so, so connected to this music that I knew one day I'd be fine. I'd know who I was meant to be. Books were the promise of adventure and freedom. And my animals were my best friends.

When I hit my teens and rebellion took over, I got heavily into the dance/ rave scene, which came along with mind-opening drugs and I was broken open and broken down all at once. In my early twenties, my house was always the party house. I was always on YouTube DJing till the early hours. I was friends with DJ's, I worked in clubs and would always be in the DJ box totally engrossed in the beats with total admiration for the music mixers and the incredible energy they would be able to create. One song can change the whole vibe of a room, it can change someone's mood entirely in just a few beats. I'm not sure why I never tried to be a DJ during those years, I think maybe I was too self-conscious. I wish I'd tried.

Then came the festivals and just wow. That energy, thousands of people bouncing, smiling from ear to ear. Collective joy. I get butterflies in my chest just thinking about it. Elbow at V Festival getting everyone low on the ground then leading an enormous Mexican wave. Chase and Status at Glastonbury... impossible to put into words.. the utter elation and freedom you feel as those lights illuminate the darkness of the tent to the beat of the bass. Turning to face your friend and feel like you're both flying. Once in Cream night-club, I did actually fly. I had an out of body experience where I watched myself walk through the crowd in the courtyard (this may have been assisted by some rather strong love hearts.. if you know you know) - it was 20 years ago and I still remember it vividly.

I don't know that everyone feels like this about music. But to me, its the most important thing. I could live without TV, but never without music.

I want to play piano beautifully, I want to be able to sit down and just bash out a tune from the heart without reading the notes. My Grandma could do that and I wish she'd lived long enough to really teach and encourage me. I spent hours as a teenager while Mum was at work, on my grandmas piano listening to music and trying to figure out my favourite tunes. Sometimes I did ok, but as my usual perfectionism crept in I would eventually give up.

I know now that a lot of genius comes straight from the heart and soul, it comes from less thinking, not more thinking. I learned that from teaching yoga. As much as it's important to be prepared and to care, if you overthink something instead of being guided by your intuition, it's never as fluid or as magical. The best musicians don't follow the rules. Tash Sultana, Led Zeppelin, Bon Iver... their music is transcendental. It does not come from following rules and reading sheet music. It just doesn't.

So this is my first blog post assignment, I've waxed lyrical about something I feel strongly about with no intention other than to start creating good writing habits.

Over and out.


P.S. I didn't realise my website would actually notify anyone when I published this post, but sod it, if I want to be a writer I have to be brave and write in public so maybe it was a happy mistake. If you're not interested in reading my stuff, please feel free to unsubscribe, I won't be offended ;-)

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