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Why ‘Shaking Out the Music’?

maracasI’ve called this blog ‘Shaking out the music’ for two reasons. The first is literal. I sang in a band for around three years; a little local band on a local scene, something that should have been fun and no big deal in terms of anxiety. Only it was, to me. It was such a big deal that I used to have to shake the voice out of me and I’d hear myself, a petrified child, suddenly exposed, in every trembling note. The anxiety has revisited, with regards to the novel. I’m going to have to get used to to ‘being in the spotlight’ at events. I will be speaking about my debut novel more and more, something raw and brutal and based on my own childhood experiences. It’s important to speak out and I want to talk about the healing power of creativity. And one day, I want to sing again, because under all that fear, there was something that moved in my very soul when I sang.

The second reason is that music, for me, has taken many forms; the music of friendship and love, the music of reading and writing, the music of those ‘little happiness’ that jump out and surprise you when you most seem to need them. I love get-togethers and good company, belly laughs and acting the goat and swapping stories. I love community and collectives and people coming together. Writing the Wacky Man means that I’m fortunate enough to be even more a part of such wonderful events and long may this continue. But slipping out of the shade into the full light is, for me, exhausting  I am at once elated, alive, sociable, chatty, over-vigilant, hyper alert, nervy. My soul sings but it shakes.

I’m on the brink of something that is exciting and slightly terrifying. I’m going to be shaking out a lot more music in the months to come. I like to think of myself as a human maraca.



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