I recently put a blog post on my other blog that has a new piano recording in it. I wasn’t going to reblog it, but you can read it here if you want to. Today I only wanted to focus on the music.
My dream from very early childhood was to compose the most beautiful music in the world. A childish dream but never forgotten. I didn’t play well at the age of 7, but I could hear it inside me. I just didn’t know how to get it out. Even as an adult, through years of playing professionally and practicing every day it still wasn’t there yet. I have stacks of songs I wrote and lyrics and piano arrangements but it still wasn’t what I heard inside.
Then I lost it all. I thought I was done. My piano gathered dust for 12 years. I lost my identity. At least I thought I did. I didn’t know who I was. I had always known, “I was a musician.” I felt I had lost the right to call myself a musician. I felt like a part of me had been amputated and it was a painful blow to my life.
Then Jamie Cummings entered my life – the man in prison from my other blog. Through years of knowing him, his pain was stronger than mine. Then I nearly died in need of a liver transplant. That pain was like none I’d ever felt before. The recovery was very long and some of the damage done is what it is. Pain and I are good friends. It let’s me know every morning, I didn’t die in my sleep.
But something changed. I needed a way to express the pain. Not what I was feeling about me, but the pain I carried for Jamie – his pain and his loss. No one who should was recognizing his pain. It is a horrible pain when you realize that the people who should have cared – didn’t, and you are left to rot. Because without any love at all you begin to die inside. People told him, “I don’t write to you or help you because it hurts ME so much that you are in there.” That doesn’t make any more sense today than it did the first time I heard it. He and I understood our pain. Even through the hell he lived in he worried more about me than about himself. Where does a friend like that come from? How could I let him down, no matter what people thought?
I started to play again. I can’t really explain it, but instead of creating music from the outside by developing a cord structure and building a melody around it, I crawled inside the music and let it play itself. My fingers know what to do like a typist knows a keyboard. I knew what I was feeling so I mentally got out of the way and let my fingers express it. I don’t listen while I play. I just play. I hear it in the background like it comes from somewhere else. I record everything I play. I sometimes don’t listen back for days so I can hear it as something new. I can never replay anything because I improvise as I go. After that it is gone.
When I listen to music I recorded 2 years ago and those recorded recently, I can hear the progress and it is getting closer to what is inside. I’m not done yet. Where is it going? I don’t know. The process and progress is exciting. There ARE advantages to aging – experience. The more I immerse myself in the emotion I want to convey, the more that feeling emerges. Yes, there is, technically, an occasional wrong note – but are they really wrong notes?
I enjoy sharing my music with people who want to hear it. I know it may not be everyone’s style. Even listening once means a lot to me. You sharing it from soundcloud or anywhere else puts it out to new people. More people hear it. Leave a comment. Add a like. Stats are the name of the game. Who says a 62 year old woman is too old to keep creating something new?
Put your head back. Close your eyes. What does it make you feel? Play it again. Where does it take you? Can you do that for me?