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This week (3/4) is the final show for Nightscaping Radio, and for this special extra-long "With A Little Help From My Friends" edition I’ll be paying tribute specifically to the various artists I’ve gotten to know over the years
[ editors note: originally posted June 11, 2011 ]
not many of the people i know actually have any idea about what i do musically, at all. they may know that i dabble in a bit of sound engineering, but few know that i also dabble with music, now and again. i tend to keep it, and myself, quiet on the subject, as i've found in the past that there's little to be gained from even "trying" to explain it (and even I have trouble myself trying to explain it sometimes). i don't really mix with other musicians, or creatives (well, maybe one or two, now and again), because there are none where i live, so i'm pretty much in isolation with it and all... i digress.. one of my friends, however, does know what i do - even if they don't fully "get" most of my stuff - they do get my quieter pieces....
in 2009 i was asked to do a bespoke piece for another friend of mine's daughter, who was having a home water birth (i've mentioned this on here before), and in november of last year i found it had been used again for the birth of her second child, another baby girl. a couple of days after the birth, the new mum rang me to thank me. it was very emotional, to know that these things are possible, and sometimes, what we do, can make a difference. even if our own lives are in the darkness/wilderness (or, of course, if we are in a happy place), we cannot control what goes on on the "outside", or legislate for it - so...
about 3 weeks ago, 2 friends of mine got in contact with me, who knew that i'd done a water birthing piece for my other friend, to tell me that they were fostering a newborn baby girl, who was only 3 weeks old (at that time). the thing was, they said, was that the baby had been born to a mother who was an ex heroin addict, who'd been on a methadone programme, and the upshot of that was that the poor little girl had been born addicted to methadone. "can you do anything, pete, that might help her?" they asked... i will admit to being way out of my comfort zone - this is an area i've never really looked at before - individual sleep problems, yes,- but this was difficult, as it could have really backfired, and indeed could have made things worse. after a long conversation about the history, and the problems the little girl was experiencing i decided to try something out, from an idea that dropped into my head whilst talking to them, just to see. with no idea if it would "work", or not..
i created a short piece, only some 25 mins long, as i was conscious of not wanting to "overload" anything - took the cd down to my friends house, and was introduced to the baby. the foster parents explained some more about the issues she was having to deal with, which were horrendous, and heartbreaking. they put the little mite into her moses basket, put on the cd, very quietly, and she slept. until it finished, upon which she started to cry, so they put it on again. and she went back to sleep. when it finished again, she started to cry again.. i was astonished. they had it on loop all day, apparently, and said it was the most peaceful she had been since they'd taken charge of her. at night, when she started to get into difficulty again, they told me they took her back downstairs, put on the cd, and she fell peacefully asleep within minutes..
why do i tell this story? perspective. no matter at times the doubt we have in our creativity, or ourselves, sometimes what we do, or even who we are, the kind of people who "we" are, can make a difference - even if it's only slight, it's a difference none the less. we can use negative experiences to go on and create positive one's - we can use our own dark nights to maybe help illuminate others'. if we keep doing it from the heart and soul, no matter what, and keep it "true", success isn't important. if, on some level, your art can touch someone in such a way that it makes a change, seeds a thought, inspires another fellow human being to create something new, send someone to sleep, or helps a little one rest peacefully... it's all good. nothing bad. keep on creating. keep on looking forwards, no matter how hard that may seem at times. we can't predict the future, because it hasn't happened yet.