I AM…MUSIC , the spice of life

It’s quite mesmerisingly amazing to think how intricately and efficiently the human being has been constructed. A perfect structure suited to cope with the challenges of everything around him. The ability to think, reason and work things out, our perceptive abilities, our cognitive faculties, our conscious and subliminal worlds of wander, thought-processes, imaginations and a miriad other traits…in essence, we humans are magnificent creatures.

Sometimes in my wild imagination I ponder how it would have been had we been constructed otherwise – a funny sight, don’t you think? And then what we see around us is even more profound. From time to time, when the occasion presents itself, I stop and actually listen intently to how birds communicate with whistling sounds, each unique to it’s own species. They don’t converse in a human language, so how, in my mind, do they understand one another with chirping sounds only? Take a closer listen and you will discover how the one responds with high, middle and low pitches to the other, back and forth, and it comes almost as a surprise that one as a human being can “buy” into their frame of communication and draw understanding in some weird way from the musical sounds they produce – astounding, to say the least.Equally impressive is the way they construct their nests in their own way with only one beak and two claws! Watch them work it out and you could be on your way to writing your next song!

All in all, with all the fascination that abounds, we have the profound ability to set almost anything to music! Joys, tears, wins, failures, relationships, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, babies, nature, the dance, birth, death, virtually anything one’s mind can conceive, has come under music’s spell at one time or another – even music itself – much respect is in order to those who birthed lyrics and melodies with this ultimate tool: the musical mind.

And here’s where the muzo’s thing comes in: when something excites you, put it to music! The non-musician can’t. Try as he may, it’s just not possible, so he’s actually counting on you, the musician, to bring to life what hé can only conjure up in hís mind.

There are a few things I don’t do. For example, every Sunday half past four, these group of friends are always on their way practicing at the golf course, because golf is what they do, what they love. Almost every evening at six thirty the guy with the fishing boat on his canopy will drive past on his way to go fishing and be back later – it MUST be his passion otherwise he won’t be so diligent about it!

I must confess I will never be a carpenter!(doesn’t mean I can’t knock a few pieces of wood together, though). It’s just that everything I saw and knock together ends up skew or improper, doesn’t fit, to the ire of my wife – but ask me to sing at a venue, write or play a song / poem about a topic, or even be a speaker or MC an event, and I’m in my element! I know what I can do and what I can’t.

As a musician you need to make work that which is strong in you – it’s no use you stand on ladders every weekend, trying to paint properly while risking falling off the ladder when you can leave it to someone who can actually paint! Well then, the painter you hired has just become marketable! Likewise, you got to make your music a marketable commodity!
It rings bad when you STILL can play only the basic chord structures of the G, C, D, E, and A keys (…you loathe too many tough chords in the B-key). Not only will you play “under the fig tree” till old age, but you will never get out there! Get out there!!! Maybe taking your next step standing on the corner with an upturned Stetson hat as collection box could pave the way for your future musical livelihood, who knows!

Let me tell you: your musical talent will make room for you where your lack of other talents / attributes may short-wick you. Yes, you would love to have blue eyes, James Bond’s physique, Chuck Norris’ determined will or The Rock’s iron frown (can you smell what he’s cookin’?), yes, if only you can melt every young girl’s heart and weaken their knees – pronto, you reckon the world will be your oyster’s pearl, golden mountains your playground and the skies your ping-pong board – but most of the time these things unfortunately only play out in your mind.

Take heart then, music has one-up on them already! You can let all these fantasies out through music. Serenade all those mind-concocted, fictitious “girls all over the world”, send them all flowers donning just your pen and your instrument…music is clever, eh!!

We’ve been blessed creatively – just think about the different music styles and genrés the world over, and you’ll need 1000 pens and 20 trucks of paper and won’t know where to start!But then, Barry Manilow’s ode: “I write the songs” sums it all up in a nutshell and makes one fall in love with music over and over again.

Well then, as the magnificent Denzil Washington would say to all of the above: “I concur, captain”.
Till next time, let ‘do re me fa so la te do’ be your standard of living – cheers, HTN.