I’ve come to the basic conclusion that I’m better at absolutely everything when I don’t think about it. This is, of course, a surprise, utterly unsurprising and completely liberating.
I just royally effed up a piano piece by making the grave mistake of paying attention to what I was doing. It was right at the end – I literally had to freestyle an ending in an entirely different key. This happened because I started thinking about the fact that it was quite incredible that my fingers knew exactly what they were doing and if I was asked what notes I was playing I would have no particular attachment to any particular answer. Muscle memory; gets totally messed up when you notice it’s happening; when your inner voice start remarking that your brain is possibly redundant. The ego kicks off and wants some appreciation, so it slaps down the bigger part of your brain that already knows what it’s doing. Continue reading →
Nursery rhymes. Utter abandon. Twinkle twinkle little star. Then Disney (every single word to the Sing-along Disney video cassette with my older brother). Later, Nintendo 64, and idle humming – the soundtrack of concentration when zipping along, jumping for coins and racing racing racing (I always came second; I think this was my most relaxed). My favourite was Goldeneye, best game ever, though I don’t think I sang along to that – too scared; my younger brother could jump from behind a wall and shoot me at any moment if I didn’t hold my entire body taut or if I blinked.
Singing in the chorus of Orpheus & Eurydice. ‘Do not listen, Eurydice; Eurydice stay.’
Relentless a capella versions of Destiny’s Child’s Emotions in Design & Technology (the teacher wanting to encourage, but also wanting us to shut up). A 60s-style miniskirt (so short; I still have it) sewn with wild thoughts of becoming an internationally famous girl group (my friend was posh enough to have actual singing lessons at her house, which I was welcomed to once or twice when I was at her house after school. We sang two part harmonies which I can still remember to the T. She had a deadly serious idea that we could compete for the title of ‘most roly-polys in one minute’ and made us practise on a garden mat. She sucked a dummy. Her Mum served desiccated coconut with pitta bread at dinner time; I thought it was incredibly exotic. She is now, I think, an actual singer.) Continue reading →
On Friday I travelled to Leicester to stay with a good friend for the night and travelled home on Saturday. I spent the train journeys (each punctuated by a jaunt to the horrific metropolis of Birmingham New Street Station – soundtrack: ‘we are sorry to announce…’, whose policy of charging 30 pence and a spin of a turn-stile to use the loo haunts me as possibly one of the most basic acts of inhospitality conceivable*, but there we go…) reading an engrossing book written by a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a little while – I read the first half on the way and finished on the return ride: ‘F**k The Radio, We’ve Got Apple Juice‘, by Miranda Ward.
I’d downloaded it to my kindle a long time ago, then stopped using my kindle, then rediscovered it and found the title pinging up on the home screen, like an idea presenting itself from the depths of my to do list. Continue reading →
One of my characters is a synesthete.
According to wikipedia (because… well, nevermind), synesthesia is:
‘a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.’
It’s quite unarguable that colours naturally evoke particular moods (or colour therapy wouldn’t be A Thing, as wouldn’t such literary clichés as ‘red = anger’ and ‘white = pure’, etc.), but there is a certain automatic and unselfconscious precision with which a synesthete experiences the connection of disparate sensory experiences that, to me, is fascinating. Continue reading →