It's a well known fact that music is great therapy. For me personally I would have music playing 90% of my day if I could.
Actually what am I saying - I do.
I ride an e-bike every day, everywhere - and I have a small bluetooth speaker attached to my handle bars. When people see me coming, or hear me coming, I love that it puts a smile on their face. As it's not a common sight to see. There are the odd cyclists out there that choose to have headphones in. Madness if you ask me. For starters we need to hear what's going on around us out there, and why not share the sounds.
One of my favourite past times is making up playlists...this used to be on i tunes, but I'm hip now and use spotify. Click the link, as they are there for the taking. There are playlists for every occasion - hours spent making sure that each track is right for the event. A little obsessive but that's just me.
My childhood was spent reluctantly playing the violin. I say reluctantly because I really wanted to be out there doing other stuff. Saturday sport for starters - but not for this kid. I would bike 7km into town with my violin on my back for Saturday orchestra. For my entire childhood.
If I sound annoyed about this I was - but I'm not now. I wish I could call Mum and Dad up right now and say thanks for the sacrifices all those years to pay for my music lessons, my instruments. Because it was a huge sacrifice for them and such a gift to me.
Or course, when I started at age six they had no idea I was Mozart reincarnated! High self praise I know - but there was no doubt a former musician had taken up residence in my being. No matter how many tantrums I threw - how bad my attitude was - what a complete little shit I was - I was just bloody good at it. I passed my ATCL at 13 years old. And as much as every presumed music would be my career path it wasn't to be. I was a square peg in a round hole. If jazz or rock had been an option things may have turned out differently, but classical was the only real direction on offer then and it wasn't so much the music, as classical is stunning - it was more the conservative environment I found myself in that I rebelled against.
By the time the teenage years came - and with it that terrible teenage girl attitude - I was out of there in search of boys, sport, and rock n roll. Probably a huge relief to many in hindsight.
Now though - in my maturity and wisdom - playing music is one of my favourite happy places. This week, I had the pleasure of playing in the orchestra for the St Pats College production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Weeks of rehearsals, four nights of performances, and you know what? There was not a moment that I thought I don't want to be here. When you pull it all together, and become part of something like this it's a real high. Something that's hard to describe. It's at times so exhilarating it brings tears to my eyes.
Our family go to Womad most years - the kids are all young adults now but they still prioritise it as one of the highlights of the year. Several years back Gotan Project were opening on the Friday night. It was one of those magical evenings at the Bowl of Brooklands - warm with just the most gently Zephyr blowing. They were on the main stage and had the most incredible Audio Visual team with them. The DJ was up the back, and down at the front were three women in long white bohemian style dresses - gently fluttering in the breeze. Two playing Violin, and one playing Viola. I remember turning to my husband Max and whispering "that should have been me". And then in that moment the bigger realisation that if that had been me, I wouldn't be sitting there on that hillside, in that moment, with the man I love, my three incredible children, living the life I was meant to be living. Cest la Vie.