A Guest Post by Russell Leak
Since ancient times music has been used to alter states and rouse nations. There’s something in music that goes way back in us, back to the shamans and the drums – back to the first person who worked out how to string a hollowed out log.
Music has been a powerful and transformative part in my life and I used to believe it was the same for everyone. However, as I was vexing passionately to a friend about a new album from my favourite band he said “I’m not really into music…occasionally I just buy a tape for the car!” What??? I could hardly believe his total lack of interest in music. Then I remembered that he was also a football fan and that he used to sing his heart out every Saturday on the terraces!
So I guess music really does touch us all – in one way or another…even if we are blissfully unaware of its powerful effects.
Maybe because it’s wired in us in some way – woven into our DNA. Getting briefly technical; the Pentatonic scale consisting of 5 notes that can be heard in pretty much every culture of music including Chinese, Arabic, African, Blues…everywhere in fact. In those ancient caves, the ones with the animal paintings made by men from 20,000 years ago they found flutes made from a vulture’s wing bone, and low and behold; the scale is Pentatonic. Natures’ natural rhythms…the beat of the wing, the rhythm of the waves and the delicate chimes in the wind.
Life itself has a natural rhythm too. It goes up and down. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes it throws us around so much we start to feel a kind of motion sickness. “I want to get off” or “I just want some stability,” we find ourselves saying. So we choose something quiet or gentle, we settle for less until the rhythm becomes a steady hum. At this point we might choose to get back on the ride and find a little excitement again. As one of my favorite song writers said “if their lives were exotic and strange, they would likely have gladly exchanged them for something a little more plain, maybe something a little more sane.”
So through this chaos of life’s ups and downs, we start to look for a sign, a reason and a strategy for coping. We follow the wise words written by the ancients. We meditate knowing that we are searching to find ourselves. We remember those wise cracking gods who thought they’d have a laugh and store the secrets deep within us. How can we go looking inside for ourselves when the whole world is distracting us? It throws us daily emails, glowing lights and 3 minute videos! People start to say “With all this science and technology I don’t believe in God, I believe in matter, I want what’s solid, but I’m sure I have a soul somewhere…I have to have something more within me. Don’t I?”
If you spoke to someone, just as they were turning off their bedside light at the end of a busy stressful day, and asked “What was your absolute best moment of the day?” I’m sure most would enthuse; “Well I had a real laugh working with my colleagues” or “I hugged my man as he realised he’d made a mistake” or “I kissed my sleepy child as she gave in and let the dreams take her” …or, some other wild and crazy act of love. Love is a mysterious and wonderful expression of our existence that makes us question, write, sing, express and confuse ourselves on a daily basis.
With all these conflicting thoughts it’s sometimes hard to find calm in the chaos of our minds. Perhaps a song can transform us, maybe a book, a poem, or a smile.
Or maybe a talk from a couple of crazy guys who have been around the block, learnt a bit about life – and want to share it with you!
Russell Leak will be sharing the stage with Andy Dovey at Naked Dragon on Wed 15th Feb.
For further details and to book your ticket, please click HERE