I see music as a vehicle for a soul's expression of itself. And I think that musicians and artists innately know what it means to bare their souls. More than that, that they know how to do so without judgement.
That's why I love my music clients.
Take any true artist performing their art. Actually, wait - let's take drummers. I like drummers. Have you ever watched a really, really good drummer, like Taylor Hawkins or Carter Beauford? John Bonham, maybe? Have you ever noticed how completely happy they seem to be after they've finished their set? The pure smile they often wear after the show? (I'm using drummers only as an example - it's the same with all true musicians and artists)
It's this feeling that interests me. This feeling which comes from a deep sense fulfilment gained by consciously putting oneself and one's art out there for all to see, without caring, in any way, what anybody thinks or says. You put it out there because that's what comes out. Because that's who you are inside.
I know something about this feeling. From the age of 7, I began playing classical piano, but soon taught myself guitar and also played saxophone in several school bands. Anyway, from the age of about 13 onwards, I would sit and play at the piano for hours on end (guitar, too). Hours; as if time would have no meaning. Jamming away, writing and improvising my own music (it's so much more fun for me to improvise than play covers). Often, when I would play, I would go into a trance - eyes closed, moving with the music as my hands fly over the keys, sometimes landing softly, other times hard. And it wasn't that the piano itself was so dear to me (although it is my favourite instrument). It was how I felt when I played. I felt free. I felt powerful. I felt tuned-in with my essential self. Sometimes, I would cry as I played - not because I was so unbelievably sad all of the time, but rather because, when I played, that was just what came out sometimes. My mind would turn inward and uncover the pain and suffering I felt inside; other times, I would really concentrate on composing to get a melody just right, and I would feel purposeful and fulfilled for having written something. But more often than not, I would just sit down and play what I felt, and whatever came out reflected what was inside; vibrations flowing from my soul, down my arms and onto the keys, only to return by the same route. Taking in, and sending out.
And I didn't care who witnessed this vulnerability. On many occasions, after playing for a while, eyes closed, I would open my eyes to see my mom or dad standing there or sitting on the couch, watching, listening. And maybe I was, very visibly, in an emotional state at the time. But I never cared. Because I played for me. Only me. And, whether happy or sad, playing just felt fantastic! I always felt much calmer and more in-tune with myself afterwards.
It was a release.
The release is...I can't find any words to describe how it feels. 'Free' comes close; but somehow, it is more intense than that. I fantasize about wrapping myself up into the feelings I get from certain chord progressions, vocal intonations or drum breaks of my favourite songs, like when the sixteenth-note hi-hats and orchestra comes in in "Ain't No Sunshine". If I could capture that feeling, live in it, throw a blanket around it and protect it, well...that's light.
Nowadays, I don't play as much as I used to (...hmm). I'm pretty busy with work and community obligations, and I run my own business. And that's OK for right now. But that just makes my music clients that much more important to me. I want to be surrounded by this raw, pure creative energy. I want to be surrounded by truly artistic people who express their soul through music. I want to talk with them about their art and go to their shows, work with them to reach their goals, and protect what they do so they can keep on doing it. I want to get as close to that emotion and energy as I can. Because that's light and authenticity; tiny moments of freedom dolled out as drum breaks and sustained middle-C soprano vocals. And I want that on a full-time basis as much as possible.
So thank you, music clients. You are soulful. And I love you.