Start With The Blank Page

Hmm, I think I understand a little bit what writer’s block must be like. Looking at a blank page is a pretty daunting way to start something off and that’s what greets you when you write your first blog. Suddenly everything that has happened to you throughout what little of your life you seem to be able to remember at a time like this, seems incredibly insignificant and surely of no interest to anybody. This of course inevitably leads you question what you are doing this for in the first place and then you remember, that you can’t remember.

Maybe I should start a little more closely to the beginning?

My name is Stephen. Hello there, how do you do? I am not particularly interesting or anything, I’m in my thirties, married and I’ve never even owned a particularly exciting pair of trousers, some epic shorts, but trousers, no. The thing is though, I really like music. I love listening to music and I love going to see it performed live. However mostly I like to make music myself.

I come from a very musical family. Mum, Dad, Brother, Uncles, Aunties, Grandparents, Cousins and many others that I never seemed to work out what my relationship to them was, they all loved to make music. Growing up it was pretty inescapable, not that I ever wanted to escape, I loved it. Looking back all my childhood memories seem to be be crowds of people crammed into tiny living rooms, singing harmonies and playing guitars. There are still plenty of songs that I can sing word for word in a variety of different harmonies and I have no idea who they were originally were by. All I know is that it is the song that so and so does when they’ve had one glass of wine too many.

So I guess it’s no surprise that I grew up loving to sing and play instruments as well writing and recording music. For Christmas one year my Mum and Dad bought me a little acoustic guitar. I’m looking at it right now. I can see all the little scratches and chips in the neck where I made marks when I found a particular note or fret that did something that sounded nice or I thought was interesting. With a little help from my Dad and my brother I worked out how to play well enough to accompany myself.

However the turning point came when I discovered how exciting it was to make music when technology came into the mix as well. I would get my hands on anything piece of equipment that I could.  Sequencers, samplers, keyboards, computers, effects, electronic guitars and drum machines all passed through my bedroom at home at one stage or another. They were either borrowed by Dad from work for a few weeks or I took them home from school during the holidays. I was pretty much the only person at school who could figure out how to use them, so I don’t think there was much competition. I always seem to be the technical wizard at school. I used to get pulled out of my lessons to go and reprogram the video player or TV after somebody had turned them off at the plug. Stupid 1980s and it’s lack of permanent memory storage! I remember that I even did my English GSCE Oral exam on the use of technology in music and why having tools to help you accomplish things quicker and easier doesn’t necessarily means that it makes it easier to produce better work. I’m pretty sure that I then said something about giving Shakespeare a word processor, but I can’t remember what for.

Anyway I guess the point is that I’ve built a little studio where I record music, sometimes my own and sometimes other people’s.  It has a skylight in it and the view is of the park behind our house.

This blog is for me to talk about that, as well as anything else that bubbles up from my brain.



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