As kids some people read. I listened. I absorbed not the word and its way of encasing and exploding, but music; The way it sounds after its made, encasing and exploding ideas I had and were yet to have.
My world was defined by the feelings that music promoted. Through endless hours of listening I began to understand that which my meager, sheltered existence had not been exposed. The chaos and safety of humanity.
Both listeners and readers are voyeurs; absorbing ideas after the genesis of someone else’s moment. Someone else’s time. However, through a lack of motivation in my young body and the safety of solitude, it took me years to enable my body to begin replicating these sounds and feelings for myself. Making my own music. Thus my ears worked better than my hands. It took many years of slugging it out in shitty gigs and later the rigor of university to get my body up to speed with my ears. Too many years.
*note for future musicians, do them together; much easier that way.
The ears work in mysterious ways when not associated with your body. They can allow dreams that your body struggles to unfold from the physical realities of gravity and touch. I learned too late that I was actually a physical being having a dream as opposed to the other way around. But over the years, I have delighted in explaining these dreams in great detail to my body and encouraging it to employ and retell them. Had it gone the other way, the limitations of my physical understanding may have hindered my imaginings and thus, made them smaller. I suppose I’ll never know.
But now my work is leading away from the physical again in that I am writing for larger ensembles that don’t contain me. I’m back to imagining music without making it, but I’m on the other side of my ears. Instead of hearing music made by someone else from the outside, it is my own inner ear (if such a thing can be understood) that is making the dream and initializing the experience for others.
Now others hear my music like I used to hear it exclusively; without being in it.
For anyone who does not yet play music but is hearing mine; dream it, hear it, take it, learn it, play it, make a mess of it, do whatever is necessary to put it into your hands. There can he no greater understanding of music than when you play it for yourself.