'I Remember When Rock was Young.'

And I remember when I was too! Last night, by chance, I came across a live version of Peter Frampton singing and playing his song 'Show me the Way'. I used to like him but was never, particularly, a big fan. 'Frampton Comes Alive' was often played at folk's houses/bedsits/rooms I visited. Anyway I was listening to and watching his performance (with the famous 'talk box' tube) when suddenly I was taken right back! I was taken right back into my youth – almost as if I were back there both in time and place. It was a great feeling but also uncanny and somewhat sad. Truly, for a moment, I was 'right back' – I was living again at that time as if the future (the now) did not exist. Well it's quite difficult to put all this into words. But I was grateful I had this wonderful insight into my youth. They say the past is another country. I guess it was – and is. As with Frampton's LP at the time – I was 'coming alive'. Full of hope for the future. And the world felt good. This says something about music – it can transport you. Music is abstract. It is sound-waves entering our ears. It is magical. How can sound-waves take you back in time – thump you in the abdomen with its heart-wrenching emotions? How can it make you carry on in a foreboding world? How can it make you want to LIVE! But it does. It does all this and more. Music can make us joyous or sad, and yet even when sad it is a cathartic sadness. And it can bring us to 'spots of time' as Wordsworth wrote about in 'The Prelude'. We have 'spots of time' in our lives that have affected us and continue to affect us. And, I think, when transported back in time last night I must have been close to touching a special memory – a special moment. Music has such power. It is an alchemist – turning our feelings from sadness to hope; anger to joy. It is an other-worldy power that we – as musicians – should be careful as we both serve and translate. We have a duty to create the best possible music that interprets and shares emotions. That's why I don't necessarily trust machines making music. Well, I was transported through time and space last night and it had a fairly profound effect – enough for me to write this blog. I celebrate the mystery of music. I came to making music late in life, though I was always singing! I used to make up whole albums in my head (and simulate the sounds too) when walking to school. Music was in me but took time to formulate itself. 'I got the music in me' as John Miles sang. And I am very grateful. I have had low level fame and fortune – but that's NOT what it's about. I always say – if you can touch just ONE person deeply through your music – that's enough.

Tim Bragg

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