Today I woke to the sort of cloud where you wonder what has happened to the colours. The tiles on the garage seemed blacker than usual; the bricks on the houses seemed paler than usual. I could feel this sense of imbalance right through me.
I tried to take solace in my computer screen and do a little internet shopping but the more I scrolled the worse I felt. I became quickly hot and agitated. I then thought of my kitchen cupboard sorting I had started the other day and thought it could be a good day to finish that but I took one look at the dull yellow of the pasta in its new jar and thought ‘No, that isn’t going to work either!’
Ruling activities out, I guessed it may be a day for music making. This way I don’t have to confront colour – only musical colour. Having rigged up my guitar, looper pedal and a massive network of cables (or so it felt!) I started to play a poignant chord progression. It felt right for the cloud. Once recorded, I started to play my tune over the top. It seemed too quiet so I fiddled with the volumes. I felt the volume was right but somehow now the resonance of the guitar had started to rattle me and so I had to turn it down again.
The loop I ended up with may not be the clearest most balanced loop but it is the loop that matches my feelings about the cloud so it was the only one I could create today!
My eleven year old son is even more light and colour sensitive than me. He has been saying that he ‘can’t do’ music for a few years now because of the pattern and the sound. I have continued on my own musical journey without my kindred spirit by my side for 3 years, hoping that he may feel my passion and change his mind.
When I bought my looper pedal, 3 months ago, he wan’t that impressed and said he didn’t want to try it out. I continued to make my loops and sing the praises of my looper pedal and yesterday he started to ask me about it. The more I told him the more interested he was! He started to talk about pitch and tone and sound quality And then today he was insistent that he helped me create some recordings. He is such an intelligent boy and could see potential that I couldn’t see in the pedal. He inspired me to explore the presets on my new amplifier and managed to identify the battery flat symbol which would have confounded me for hours had he not!
I could see the cogs in my son’s brain whirring as he helped. He doesn’t ‘get’ Blues like me. It feels too much clutter. I could see him trying to work out how he could access music in a way that feels right to him and I feel deeply touched to witness this.
I went on to create my loop that has the most feeling so far – ‘Lost in the Colours’. For a moment as i created it, I forgot about my issues with the colour and the light and was just lost in the layers and the colours!
Playing music for me isn’t as easy as just deciding i am going to play something. First I have to look out of the window and see how the light is that day.
On the day I created this loop it was cloudy! So I thought maybe I should play something very simple but when I just tried to play single notes they seemed to echo in my brain in not a good way. So I started to strum chords quite quickly and suddenly felt better hearing more sounds at once with less resonance.
Once I recorded my strumming loop I found I could play a simple line of music over the top because somehow within the context of many notes, the single notes sounded OK to me. I felt like I was able to break through the cloud!
Being colour sensitive I can’t appreciate colour as I would like. If I try to paint, the colour of the paint may disturb me. It could be the colour of the paint in the tube, on the page or mixed with other colours. And even if I could navigate this, the sun may suddenly go in and my perception of the colour would change quite radically.
For this reason I have decided to work with sound and using my looper my pedal, to my delight, I have discovered that I can layer up sounds as if I was layering paint. I can feel the colour and the texture of the sound and it gives me a feeling of creating something whole which makes me feel complete.