Monday, 1 July 2013

My Music, My Rules

A bit of background, as to how I actually decided today to write about this -
From my journals:

ugh, I just found out that one actually study music composition..... haaaa! ?? I cannot believe it, I honestly thought that its something that just comes naturally. gosh I'm happy I DID NOT study it, how would I ever have understood it all if I had to go through such channels - imo each composer has their own style which can only be mimicked by others. Its the perception of the composer, e.g. Schubert Die Forelle, he paints his own picture of how the fish darts through the water, I can see it, I hide in the mysteries that Strauss paints with Tales of the Vienna woods..... so then, I learn my compositions the same way, its what I see. Nature teaches me. I couldn't even read a friggin note when I started, at least a know a bit more now coz I've got to click it on the correct lines.... shoot. —


okay, so I just climbed out of me headphones, was falling asleep while putting BACK a good old Free State (South Africa) cloud burst and thunder, those minutes of rain so heavy, it weighs your eyelids down and you can hardly see through your eyes while running home. You folks that grew up in the FS will know what I mean. Those days of drought, and then the rain comes, I'd be happy, I'd dance, breathing in the fresh moist air, feeling how all are nourished. And then the rain goes on and I'd fall asleep, feeling how Earth is nourished. Gosh, that's a nice feeling.

It was therefore not easy to put back those parts after I split the Prelude and Morning rain, it was too relaxed, not even remembering thunder would keep me awake. And I feel like I have been on a very long holiday.

AND I don't care about the protocol of music at all. HA! (who made those rules anyway?) Inspired all over again after listening how BAD Stravinsky make the bad one to sound like in Firebird, I throw a sign to all those who cannot hear. tee hee, I love my music, my way. Educated as it IS not as others suppose it has to be. (I'm researching a lot of it now, but I don't have to use another's rules. my music, my rules)

Music is as a forever changing kaleidoscope. I appreciate any music for what it is, whether I enjoy or like it or not. Maybe I am blessed then with a wider perception? But it works both ways. I see, taste, smell and hear music, and some music can make me see, taste and smell. Its all about whether one can hear the story. And I found that I can 'music' the story much faster than painting it, and much shorter than writing actual words. A word is a word, a measure is a paragraph, one painting.


The luxury of a total lack of music protocol rather have me constantly analyzing my music compositions. I am an analytical character, always curious about WHY. And to get to know myself 

With knowledge gained in researching music on the www, it was indeed a bit of a surprise to learn that one study how to compose music.  With knowledge gained in researching music instruments, it was a VERY big surprise to learn that all concerts are always played with the music instruments in the same order. Okay I can understand that musicians can be grouped together to the instruments they play, in a way to support each other. The program I am using to compose and arrange, also uses this system.

Some of my mu just didn't sound right. I discovered how I could change my digital players around in order to hear my music exactly as I hear it in my head. And presto! it was good. So of course I was  taken aback tremendously when I read about how the musicians must be place.

I decided then, its my composition, its my rules. Another's rules cannot be applied. I realized then whilst remastering Morning Rain, that its the depth I want to hear which just didn't come through with THEIR system. Its like seeing the difference between 2D and 3D. I hear my music in 3D. Well, I see it in 3D so I'm sure I can use such a term.

We've come quite a way from mono to stereo and then surround sound. The latter of course nearer to 3D.

I was then wondering that if I take something of Strauss and arrange it in 3D - that is how I want to hear his music. So whoever plays it, I close my eyes and I tune my ears to tens and tens of channels to absorb the sound and give me e.g. the woodlands, all its secrets, all its stories as he intended with Tales of the Vienna Woods in 3D. I don't just hear music, I live it. I become one with it.

And we must not forget that Beethoven was going deaf. So, how did he hear? But he could compose. At least he knew the music language very well to know where on the staves to place each note. He heard it all the time without ears. Sure he would have loved to actually hear the full spectrum and I can relate so much to this.

I played a few instruments but music was not allowed for me. I always wished for it to be played in its full glory. I could sing it poems and all, but that was about it. It took me so many weeks to sit and jot the 'notes on the little lines' just one instrument, using a paper drawn piano keyboard and counting. I knew where middle C is. I managed to 'write' quite a lot of my 'melodies' down.

I thought someone somewhere could help me but without my capability to use all those fancy terms, it took me just nowhere. I remember way back ca 1992 a Lector at a University told me that my music is okay for nightclubs. One bit of positiveness came from a youngish chap at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation... he was reading through my goodies and wanted me to perform some of it. I just could not. I was so frigging nervous and then the whole batch of papers fell and I was feeling so stupid, it was not nearly fancy scripts at all. Just my type of stripes, words, and goodness knows the 'language' I use to remember when these compo's rush through me.... However, this chap still asked me if it was possible that I could write a human type of story, operette style to depict a bit of  history of Nam and its people. Oh yes, that I could. But I did not really persue it.

Being a single Mother with a daughter in her mid teens was my biggest priority. I had to keep many wolves away from myself and from her. So, I'd just play guitar and sing with the kids. Those were really rich days.

But also 'ear deaf' days. Mono music. Flat. 2D. That's why 'I wish I was a King' came to be. Since I was little. I'd make up my own' ununderstandable' words to my own music and sing. Gosh, I loved opera and couldn't understand a single word and thought one just make up any words and open your mouth. Oh boy, and the biggest imaginable orchestras played with me. All inside me.

My Mom said I must stop shouting, my Dad enjoyed my singing. Dad loved music. It would have been nice if my Dad could stay home and my Mom go to work. Alas. But, I grew up, they got divorced and eventually I had Dad for myself. So many wasted years, but the 'new life' each hour made up a whole year or longer.

Slowly Music returned to me and I became a bit frantic. When Dad passed away October 2010, It became too loud.

I saw in some video footage one day a keyboard thingy is played and then notes appear on the computer screen. I hadn't a cookin clue what it was and started to gOOgle. I eventually found a program which I could try out for 30 days.

Downloaded it, and tried it out. Four days later Benji was born in condensed form. I bought the program. I'm quite tech wise, so it was not a big problem to figure out how the program works. Within another week the Prelude and Morning Rain of my African Morning Song was done. My ears were hurting, I used little earphones I still had from Air France which were at home in ZA and between them and my spectacles, I really suffered.

I thought to buy a juke box to connect to my laptop to give my ears a break and at the shop saw those big soft headphones..... needless to say any more.

Once back at home (now my eyes are foggy) I connected the sound system to my laptop and hit the playback button......

I was deaf no more.

I had more than just a merry piper. I was blown away. With me was an elderly neighbor, retired music teacher, she remained so silent and when she spoke we were both all in goose bumps.

I then wanted to send sound files to my dear friend in Hong Kong, she was a music teacher at the University at the time and though that she'd give me some great cirtics and advice, I really needed her opinion on my endeavors.

Lorraine Mavis Tsang. She plays piano as beautiful as Rachmaninoff, she is music and whatever she tells me I'll believe and follow. Her email back to me took me by total surprise, only comment was that I must share something so beautiful with the world.

I wrote to her, all inspired then, how I see music my way, how I experience it and this great woman wrote back:

"Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful music journey with me. Your insight and vision have been a true inspiration :)"

And yes, I believe her. She also sees music. And considering then all the great musicians she knows, deals with, students she taught and here is little me with zero music tuition and knowledge (oh, I know where middle C is) and she said this to me.... yes, I know now that I have something special. I knew that I will believe her and follow whatever she was going to say about my compo's.

Two years passed after I did those first two, I just jotted a few melodies down but could not 'find' myself in the messup after my Paps passed away. I was tremendously sad that Dad was not with me to hear what I achieved. And the buggers working with his Estate were lying so much, I had to start putting on the gloves to handle them.

Just before Christmas 2012 I got an inspiration to arrange Silent Night and then thought of uploading it afterwards on Youtube. Aaah, I thought, maybe I'd upload my 'finished' compo's. I did then, earlier this year. (April 2013) And music was back. Maybe it was needed then to do as Lorraine told me, 'share it with the world'. There and then my fountain burst.

I'm like a runaway train on my tracks. I live. I can hear.

And learning some music terminology and what all those symbols do, have me remastering everything, they're the commands for my digital orchestra to play like this or like that. But I'll leave the originals ones as is on Youtube, its part of my journey, part of my exploring, part of me. Its my 'growing up'

I do one per week, would spend the whole day on music if I could. For now I have a lot of other things to take care of as well and have to force myself away coz the moment I have those 'little lines' in front of me, mouse in my hand and under my headphones, I disappear.

Music heaped up, the fountain burst and the tap is hard to close so it must run. The train ain't gonna stop at no station.... as I was since I was a little kid, I wanted to see the whole world and would run all possible paths, even game paths (surprisingly no lion or leopard ever felt like chasing me, and there were many on Grandpa's farm)

I share this little story now, unlearned as I am, I know more than many of the learned. I share it now to compare myself in another year.

Because I now hear.

and now.......
2 April 2014....... and many moons later, I actually debuted with "African Morning Song - My Symphony of a Morning in Africa" - a whole album with an unusual 7 movements end January 2014, and another album end February and another end March. I can keep doing this, I'd really compose now as much before I one day decompose, I've seen the half century mark of my life already, nearing my next decade.

I didn't have to wait another year to compare me with myself, either I've mastered this or it has mastered me or we're both masters meeting each other for the first time but we love each other. The New Year saw me still as a child at play, and within days the inspiration came to join the ranks of very poor artists - not so bad, money isn't everything.

I was kicked out of the house with ZAR25.00 when I turned 18 shortly after I finished High School tuition and I had to make a living and I survived, brought up a child on my own and this beautiful woman already gave me a beautiful grandchild, who has as much success at school as one could have prayed for. I am blessed indeed. I kept singing, though lullaby songs which would just pour out and all babies that I held fell asleep..... at least the music went on. Love is what matters.

All I needed to do was close my eyes and remember by tiny kiddie days, 'conducting' trees and birds and any moving thing including clouds if there were some floating by to a very quiet audience of all immovable things which would listen to 'us' in awe..... and I'll bellow at the top of my voice the greatest things I see and hear, smell and taste, all senses alert to absorb the music, pitching nearly three octave at the time with my little big voise. And each moving thing added its voice, we could have been a thousand . Probably the reason why I, as I discovered, has a Fugue style. Hm, all those 'little voices in my head' - how can I refuse them, they've always been singing with me....

The more I become now, the lesser I know I am - this awesomeness, the greatness of what is happening to me humbles me...... I am thankful of my Creator who blesses me with these great gifts.

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