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Showing posts from 2012

The Library

Part 5:

I've been with the same job for over 16 years now.  I'd never have dreamed that I'd be looking down the barrel of sixteen-plus years when walking into that job back in January of 1996.  Just couldn't have conceived it.  Even 2000 seemed a long way off back in the mid-nineties.  And here we are, spiraling towards the finish line of 2012..

January 1996.  I hadn't heard of the word 'internet'.  Paul Keating was Prime Minister.  I was living in the Cross.  And I scored a job at a reputable theatre training institution in which I'm still immersed, still enjoying.  The aim of undertaking library work was to do something 'professional', earn enough money to pay the bills, and to have the time and energy to pursue music.   Today, there's a less time for the music, but I find the job to involve a good level of stimulation or creativity nonetheless.

I suppose I had three jobs in all the time I've been there: there was the 'old' lib…

Ludwig

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Part 4:
1988.  New university, new freedoms, new experiences, new friends.  New learning curves, and plenty of mood swings.  Yet amidst all this exciting new activity, in a strange way I realised I missed playing the trombone.  Not so much the trombone itself, but more the experience of sitting in with ensembles and reading charts and being part of a larger group of musicians.  So I started learning clarinet and taking lessons.  And sure enough, I was soon back into it, rehearsing with concert bands and starting to do the odd gig or two.
By 1989 I decided to change my degree from Social Science to Arts to which I readily took up music again.  Luckily, thankfully, in 1989 one could study music at this institution without being particularly good at any instrument, which I wasn’t.  I had dabbled and spread myself around musically, but I was no trained monkey.  And just like at school, I enjoyed having a base where I could feel at home and be myself amidst a wider institute of anonymities a…

Cracking

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Part 3:



While 1985 may have been the year of ‘Choose life’, 1986 seemed altogether more subdued.  It was an auspicious year for me as I, at 16 and in year 11, found myself seeking, discovering, and then assimilating more enduring, character-shaping influences.  I’d made a decision during the previous year to give up on the sciences.  I kept on with maths but my study load otherwise delved around the humanities.   I needed the succor of the arts to nourish a being thirsty for muse, for inspiration, for love.

My favourite subjects were Ancient History and English.   I topped Ancient History at my school and believed that it was teacher bias as to why I didn’t get the Ancient History prize.  I loved Ancient Greece in particular and took great pleasure in dissecting Cicero’s speeches and writing essays about them.
English was another bombshell.  Having not been much of a reader as a child I came to love reading and exploring all this new literature handed to us in class.  It was an inspiring…

Hey jude

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Part 2:
I laboured with viola lessons throughout 1983, guiltily aware that my parents were forking out their precious work-for-a-crumb (beer: dad) income for an instrument I found onerous to play.  Alternately, as an antidote to this tedium, and being terribly bad and bored by viola, I discovered pop music with all of its refreshing charms. Simple, contemporary pop, straight from my little transistor radio I kept at my bedside table.  I’d taken scant notice of pop music in earlier years.  I did recall the video to ABBA’s ‘Fernando’ closing Countdown for about upteen weeks in a row during 1976.  There were other songs that may have come through my brother’s radio that I’d taken some notice of – the one that went “…January, sick and tired you’ve been raining on me…” but that was it really.  No real interest in pop, and no demonstrable facility either.
I enjoyed the Top 40.  Luckily, in late 1983 into 1984, Top 40 music was plentiful and – for a 13 or 14 year old kid - enjoyable.  It was p…

The Recorder

Part 1:


Music for some is a means to making money.  For others, it attracts fame, or a steady job.  In many ways music has been a saviour to me.  Sometimes, a stress and a strain.  But mostly, music has been a joy, and my life’s journey has been a series of ever contrasting and changing musical scenes of different varieties and colours.

As a child I demonstrated zilch aptitude for music.  I didn’t particularly demonstrate an aptitude for anything in fact, and nothing was encouraged of me in any way either.   I recall loving geography books and maps, and I still enjoy maps to this day, but in hindsight I see that my childhood interest in maps stemmed out of intense boredom – aside from my summer trips to my cousin’s farm in the country, my parents weren’t that interested in going anywhere, so maps were a lonesome substitute for my travelling imagination.  Any outing however small was always a major event for me.  My natural childhood curiosity mostly remained perpetually snuffed in the h…