My relationship with music started at age five when I began learning the piano. I would go to a place called The Music Shak after school, and learn which letter corresponded to each note. Back then the music itself was simply a code that I needed to figure out in order to get a scratch and sniff sticker. I had no real connection to the sound or tone of the notes as I hit them. I moved piano teachers and although I began to enjoy music more, I played too fast and loud despite frequent suggestions to the contrary. Around the same time my sister and I used to get up before 6am on a Saturday and watch the Rage top 50. We’d eat mini wheats and bop along to White Town’s ‘Your Woman’, get annoyed when Ricky Martin’s Cup of Life was number 1 AGAIN, and always wonder what the video clip for Chris Franklin’s ‘Bloke’ was like because they never showed it.
Whilst loving the lights and sounds of the professional video clips, I still didn’t totally enjoy playing music myself. Dad forced me to practise 15 minutes in the morning and in the night. I’d do about 12 minutes and round it up. It wasn’t until about year 9 when I heard a song on a commercial for the movie Peter Pan and wondered what it was. It turned out to be Clocks by Coldplay and I went out and found a piano book that had the music. The same book contained Robbie Williams’, Feel and Seal’s Kiss from a Rose. Suddenly music had taken on a different meaning. These publications were closely followed by the Rush of Blood to the Head sheet music, whose songs I ended up loving. I would wait til everyone was out of the house then sing my own improvised words over the “The Scientist” to suit the girl I liked at the time and wanted to hook up with. It ended up having 100% effectiveness. I’ve never told anyone that.
Since then I’ve discovered even more intricate and amazing bands and musicians. Radiohead. Arcade Fire. Sigur Ros. The importance of their music on my life can’t be measured, and I’m not sure how different a person I’d be without them, but I do know that with all of them I’ve felt a connection, and that’s all anyone is trying to do in this world. Music has the ability to penetrate deep inside you when you’re least expecting it, and it’s totally in the ear of the beholder. And I’ve never enjoyed a wet willie so much.