Personal Musings: The Core of the matter.

So when I started this blog it was mostly a place for me to offload my tech wafflings that I have. After all I love talking about technology and to a level which bores most human beings to tears thus I could get out all my geekery and if no-one read it that was fine ‘cause I wouldn’t have the urge to grab the nearest person and scream “THE R9 290X HAS 2816 STREAM PROCESSORS AND 6.2 BILLION TRANSISTORS BUT USES A 28nm PROCESS!! WHY DON’T THEY MOVE TO 20nm AND STOP DROP THE TEMPS!! WHHHHHHY?!?!?!” but thankfully I don’t need to because of this blog!

However, I have moved a little away from tech recently (in the few times I’ve actually updated at all) and it’s all become a lot more personal… That isn’t changing today I am afraid. At least I’ve thrown some waffling above so that I don’t feel so bad about it but anyway, I’m doing a PGCE in Secondary Music –which is rather tough- and as part of it there is a lot of reflection and thinking. For anyone that knows me the two things you don’t want me to do is a. Reflect, and b. Think! However, much of this has been done and so I’d like to share some thoughts on my thoughts.

Music. Why music? This is the question I’ve posed to myself a lot. Why do I want to teach music? I feel as comfortable teaching ICT as I do music. Hell, I have a better understanding of ICT even though I don’t have any formal qualifications. Then I realised then reflected a lot on the answer…

Music is at the very core of my being. While I am not an especially open person (surprisingly maybe!) when I play music what comes out is Pure me. Even if everyone else does it better, what I play is mine and it is very much baring my soul. Every so often I listen to my dissertation I wrote for undergrad and I am incredibly proud of what I wrote. Every note is me –even though it is roughly based on Beethoven’s works- and is a snapshot of my life at that moment. I can hear the joys, and sadness, within the piece. I can hear the happiness of the memory of my little sister, and I can feel the pain of the breakup with my ex. I would write it entirely differently now –as I am in a different headspace as well as well as being a much better composer too!- and every so often I look at the score and consider updating it, but then realise that no, doing so would degrade the purity of the emotion I put into the piece.

That phrase ‘the purity of the emotion’ is a phrase I’ve pondered over a lot and concluded that, actually, that is at the very core of my core (after all, we have octo-core and hyper-threaded processor cores and as hyper-threading is kinda like having a core within a core I am allowing myself the technical wizardry to run with this metaphor!) and as I am a very emotional person (again, surprising maybe!) having a way to share my emotion in its most pure and raw state is important. This is where my musical being and my physical/mental/spiritual being combine to create a Meta-Darren. Sure anyone who has seen me play can’t say that I don’t become enthused and love being a part of the music.

However, at the same time as all of the above it means that I am massively exposed when I perform or write music. I am fortunate enough to have a band where I can be 100% relaxed and know that I can be open an vulnerable, and the music that I’ve helped write in the band is super important to me. It’s helped me deal with many things. I remember when the woman I was engaged to left me, the next band practice we played Eyes of the Soul which Pete wrote the music for and I wrote the lyrics about her. It hurt to play it but during the guitar solo there was so much of the emotion that was pent up released, that solo screamed and at the end of it –once wiped away the tears- I felt stronger somehow. When Rach committed suicide and I was just filled with sadness I sat down and wrote a song, that song (Song for Rach) is an incredibly personal song, and now since losing my little Sister we’ve added an extended introduction which is a guitar solo which I play for Louise. Every note is hardwired directly to my heart and my soul –and I admit there are usually a few tears when I play it-, but every note helps me deal with and work through something which I still cannot comprehend even now.

I know that I can show this with the band though as Severed Head are my family ‘cause we share our music together and I am so, so Proud of what we’ve done over the years and I hope we continue for many years –even if it’s been really difficult the last year- as that too is a part of me. Just like teaching. Teaching is a part of who I am. I want other people to understand the joys of creating music, to show their own souls and to share their emotion and I am always proud when people want me to work with them to create music, to collaborate our musical passions to create a piece that can be far greater than the individuals. I am incredibly picky about who I choose to make music with, however, when it comes to my own projects as I need to have a very deep connection to the person/people for it to work.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this too! I believe it is because I am a passionate person who needs to feel that connection. I am going to use the term relationship but only because it is much more personal connection for me and the relationship I have with the few people I want to write music with/for is more powerful than anything as letting other people shape and develop music is really letting them have complete control of my being (scary metaphor!) and if there isn’t a bond of trust and –dare I say it- love then it all falls apart and that is like a very hard punch in the chest.

As I have already broken 1,000 words I think I’ll leave it there, although a very wonderful person said I should talk about things that are weighing me down, but I figured I’d actually talk about some things that lift me up. Even if no-one reads this (and if you are reading this line, well done! Here’s a digital cookie!! *COOOOKIEEEEE!!*) I have at least put it out there and because this is all about my music without any music, here’s a link to four tracks which are direct links to Me!


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