B L E A K 

I kept a years silence though my mind was a fairground

On a circular path headed uphill 

Struggling through a blackout, tunnelling, working

Breaking bones of restless waiting, always onward headed,

Faster, always deeper, further- further helpless wonder

Passed the stand still, pushing, barging past the helpless crying

Running and flying, then falling, dying

Stuck fast in mind with a bleakness headed south-


“Play it like something you hear down by the river”


I believe it is now widely accepted, or at least should be, that the soul of great music and a great artist is not solely created in the practice room. We use the practice room as a place to learn how to interpret a composers emotions though our instruments. The practice room is used to iron out any technical faults that may come between ourselves and the composers music. It allows us to perform with as little of ourselves and technical issues and with as much of the composers emotions. Practice is a guidance tool to our music making and by no means the heart of it.

It is important to remember that these entities go hand in hand. In order to translate an emotion, or at least interpret it, we need to access a part of ourselves that has experienced life outside of the practice room. Our audience connect to the soul of our performance. If we are to encourage non-musicians into classical music, we need to ensure our music connects to them. Observing the way we go about our day-to-day life may be the first step. Observing and relating to what ‘ordinary’ people do could be the key to communicating classical music to them. This being said, it can also remind us not to lose touch of ourselves and of the real world. The practice room holds no value unless we enter with an intention of how we want to communicate and are prepared to experiment. Once the technical barriers are gone, or at least diminished, the world of expression is your oyster.

I suppose what I’m trying to puzzle out here is how we as young musicians can connect to real people outside the music bubble when we’re bombarded with the ‘practice’ mantra? The answer is that I don’t believe we can. Our inspiration is what creates great music. Translating what we see, hear and experience outside our practice is a life long exploration, but it is vital if we want our music to be universal.

Perhaps ‘fine artists’ are the lucky ones. They have a direct line between the images they see and the image they produce on paper, so are used to interpreting nature and ‘real life’. Musicians also need to connect this line. Although it may not be as direct and tangible, it is the most necessary part of our music making.


Which level? Where am I at?


To read

To write

and to cry.

So inspired was I

But then a level passed me by

So I got on it

A level too high.

Stuck on a straight line

To sanity


Who knows?

Grew no more

On a level, falling down

Only below

Decreased and deceased

And falling faster-
Then Bruised

Level 3 from death

I climbed up.

No wall no barricade

No level to wrestle

Only the sky

Limited my view of a level

Below and alone

Dislocated at the seam,

For no one with a curiosity

Of the sky would sit

On a level to dream

Hattie Butterworth