'Stuck in the Middle with You'

With the world seemingly gone insane this year – and it continues – I look to music for stability and escape. More than that, I look to music as a counter-part to 'ordinary life' – a spiritual abstraction from the concrete, mundane world. Music is a strange being – and so highly comforting. I mean you (in this case ME) bang things: bass drum/tom-toms/snare and cymbals; you pluck things: stringy stuff – guitars of various sorts; tap keys thereof: various keyboards; blow across or into: flutes and saxes; shake and rattle things: tambourines, 'eggs', inside of cowbells and triangles; and SING! Of course. Letting a direct emotion fly from within to without – care of various biological components most notably: your lungs, throat and mouth! Not forgetting the MIND behind all this too. Our minds is where it all begins and ends. The idea, the execution, the result. The creativity and the response and analysis. The appreciation – at times. Do we like what we have done?

Music can calm. It can release frustration and anger. It can teach independence of limbs (and thus really stretch the brain). It inspires and translates creativity. To learn an instrument is to be tenacious and diligent. To apply time and discrimination in the use of your time. It brings its own rewards of course. Music is a lone occupation and a team one – it can be done for one's own satisfaction or for a small or large audience. I've heard it said you can make money out of music too! (Never!) But the main thing it brings is satisfaction. Satisfaction both as a listener and a player. Well you have to CHOOSE of course – you have to find the music you resonate with (pun accepted). When you have found your musical home you will never be alone again. This is your piece of peace in the world. To escape under headphones to listen or to hear a (direct injected) bass perhaps. You can tell what I've been doing.

When the world is dangerous – it is music that can heal. Maybe even fight against tyranny in its own 'quiet' way. Well not so quiet maybe. Music might well be our salvation. And I want music (as I sing on backing vocals for a band I play with once or twice a year): made by human beings not machines. I'm not knocking machines if humans are in control but we must always remember we are BIOLOGICAL and SPIRITUAL beings. Music is at the core of our soul.


Tim Bragg

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