Emotion dump // music.

Ooh, brace yourself. I think this is my most personal (and long-winded) post yet.

I used to channel my emotions and feelings into music. Something bothering me? Turn it into a tune. Something making me angry? Take it out on the piano. Feeling sad? Write it into some harmonies. Play some Debussy. Improvise something.

This was a habit for as long from pretty much as long ago as I can remember until about 5 or 6 years ago – although channeling my emotions into writing music was something I started doing when I was about 12 or 13.

I suppose it was a good way of getting those feelings and emotions out without having to vocalise them, but I still dealt with them in my own way. It was my form of therapy, my coping mechanism – and for the most part, it worked.

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When I stopped enjoying writing music, one of the ways of channeling my emotions was essentially closed off – but at that stage, I still had playing music for enjoyment going on.  When that stopped back in 2012, another way of channeling feelings was gone.

Not playing music still feels alien to me – it was a huge part of my life from the age of about 4 until I was around 22. Hell, it WAS my life. I have so many musical instruments around the house, and I barely touch them. I think there are even people in my life who don’t know I can play the violin and piano, can strum a few chords on a guitar or once had dreams of being a film music composer. And yet, because music was part of my life for most of my life, there’s a good handful of people who can’t get their heads around the fact that my work isn’t anything to do with music, or the music industry.

Sometimes I forget about it. Then I remember the joy I used to get out of playing violin in an orchestra, quartet or band and hearing the sounds come together. The thrill and adrenaline rush of hearing something I’d written being performed for the first time.  The excitement as I would hit on the right sounds to fit whatever was happening on screen.

Lately, it’s been bothering me more than ever that I don’t have that outlet anymore, and yet I physically don’t know how to write music anymore. People used to ask me how I did it, and now I really wish I knew the answer. Sometimes it frustrates me to the point that I want to scream, and yet the thought of actually trying to write anything absolutely terrifies me. I sort of touched on it back in 2014 in a post about creativity, and whilst I have found ways to be creative since then, they’ve all been a bit fleeting.

It’s something I know I need to get back to somehow – and I’m taking steps to try and get back to it. I sent out a couple of emails to orchestras to hopefully join, and maybe from there I can eventually get back to writing again. I do hope so. Ironically, I’m now surrounded by friends who are making short films, so I should be in the best position ever to be writing!

This post has mainly been a bit of a feelings dump for me, and maybe a bit of a motivator for myself to try and work this out, but if you’re still reading…here’s a piece of music I really like. I think I associate it with the time of my life when I was enjoying music the most – just before I went off to university. It never fails to make me cry, though.

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January & February throwback

Back on New Year’s Eve, I posted about my lack of New Year’s Resolutions – apart from that the resolution to keep track of everything that I”m proud of, month by month so that I can look back on it at the end of 2015.

Some bloggers write “monthly favourites” posts – this is my take on it.

January

This month I read…

– The Drowning of Arthur Braxton.  Much darker than my usual choice of book, but it had been recommended to me by a few friends, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I really loved it & was pleasantly surprised!

This month I listened to…

– First Aid Kit. Lots and lots of First Aid Kit. I went to see them live in this month too, and they most definitely did not disappoint!

This month I watched…

– Pretty Little Liars. I’ve been absolutely hooked on this since I saw a trailer for it, and I’ve been binge watching it for the past couple of months!

This month I am most proud of…

– Completing a jewellery course- 4 full Sundays in the back of a little local bead shop. I’ll do a full post about this with a few pictures once I’ve got my mess of a desk sorted.

And my favourite things of the month…

These two candles. I’ve never really bought myself scented candles before, but now I don’t know how I could not have one burning when I’m making jewellery, or watching Netflix!

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Lily Flame candle – Fairy Dust
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Muji – Winter Berry & Black Tea

February

This month I read…

– Grace’s Guide book. I’ve been dipping in and out of this all month, but haven’t had a huge amount of time! It’s a great read, and has been keeping me amused on the odd train journey or lunch breakwhen I have a moment to myself!

This month I listened to…

– Katzenjammer. I’ve liked them for a while, but have only listened to a few of their songs more than a few times. However, I tend to listen to Radio 2 on weekend mornings (I know, I know!) and they’ve been playing their new single, “Lady Grey” a LOT. Needless to say, I’m hooked!

This month I watched…

– Pretty Little Liars. Still. I-just-need-to-know-who-a-is-and-then-I’ll-be-happy.

This month I am most proud of…

– Starting my journey to being that little bit healthier. I may not have had time to go to the gym, but I’ve gone 20 days without chocolate. Not a huge amount of time, I know -but for a self-confessed chocollic like me, it’s a big step!

And my favourite things of the month…

– The “Happy Goals” app. I’ve had it on my phone for a while, but it’s been dormant until now! I use it as a tally of my chocolate-free days (I’m on target for 25!) and I’lll besetting myself new targets and challenges soon too. I want to set targets for reading, films and…perhaps blog posts and video posts over the next year!

Until next month!

L x

I miss CDs!

Last night I somehow found myself on a ‘nostalgia spiral’.  I found myself staring at my old CDs that have been sitting on my shelves and in drawers gathering dust for the last few years.

Amidst all the memories that listening to old music brings with it, I realised how much I miss buying CDs.  I found myself sitting up on my dressing table with my feet resting on my bed,  reading the lyrics and sleeve notes of each album.  This is how I used to listen to music – learning it, immersing myself in it  (spot the music geek) and getting to know each and every song.

Aside from a handful of folk and independent artists’ albums, I haven’t bought a physical CD for a very long time – I tend to buy off iTunes, or more frequently listen on spotify. But I’ve come to realise  that I miss the excitement of pulling the plastic wrapping off a new album, carefully pulling the CD out of its case for the first time  (and hoping it didn’t snap because it was held in so tightly!) and putting it into my CD player.  I miss listening to the CD whilst reading the lyrics, looking through the album art and reading the artists’ acknowledgements and thanks.  I miss getting to know who wrote which song, finding who played on each track…and I miss trying to sing along to songs I don’t yet know.

Maybe it’s time I dusted off my CD player and started buying physical albums again.  Mind you, I’m not sure I have the space…

Creativity is hard

Creativity is hard.

There are so many things to get caught up on, to trip yourself up with and to use as an excuse to just hide behind Netflix and ignore the bit of your brain that’s trying desperately to kick into gear. I know this because it’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 2 and a half years.

I left university (well, music college) with an undergraduate degree in 2012 after 4 years studying composition – that is writing and creating music. Rewind to 2007 and I was a fresh-faced, enthusiastic 18 year old starting off on what I thought was going to be a journey towards writing film music and eventually seeing my name on The Big Screen. But skip forwards again to 2012, and I’d become somewhat dissolutioned with the idea.

I’ve spent the last two years essentially fighting with my own thoughts, with what seems like one half of my head saying “go on, do something creative, you know you want to….” whilst the other half sits there asking “Why? Who’s going to care?”. And so, before this turns into some great sob story, to the present. I’ve decided to say a big, resounding  “f*** it!!” to the reasons why not to start being creative again, because what better answer is there to “why” than “why not?!”

I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most amazingly creative and motivated people I’ve ever met in the last year or so, and as far as I can tell they all upload, blog and post because…well, why not?

Creativity is hard. But if it was easy it wouldn’t be anything special, would it?