A moment of inspiration…

Last Friday I was asked to be guest speaker at the National Dorothea Mackellar poetry awards and my ensemble Ilythian were invited up to perform my music.  I’ve presented and been a part of many many different shows, concerts & festivals for a number of years now, but this one for me is one that I can’t get out of my mind.  At the conclusion of the performance of several of my works for violin & piano (performed by Sonja Schebeck and Van-Anh Nguyen) the entire crowd stood up for me as I walked on to stage.  It was such an incredible feeling considering the majority of the audience were all school students.  Such a moment – one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

The talent of the winning students absolutely blew me away – the depth of emotion conveyed in each of the poems was phenomenal.  There was one poem that I am going to say (now I know this is a big call) is probably the most inspiring piece of literature I’ve ever read in my life.  This is a poem that came from Ben Kingston who was the winner in the Special Education category.  I found it very hard to contain my emotion as Ben’s carer read his poem.  I heard a poem from a young boy who’s life is constantly controlled by music as it circulates throughout his head and will not stop.  If only I could hear the music that was in his head – I would score it out for him and try to make music become his friend instead of his tormentor.  Part of Ben’s disability is that he cannot speak so he communicates through a special devise by which he is able to deliver his exceptional poetry. Below is this poem by Ben that I have read to the point that I think I know it by memory! I will be setting this to music for Ben as I will a number of his other poems – these will all be finished hopefully within the next couple of months – something I will be working on whilst I’m in Europe.

‘I Hear Music’ by Ben Kingston.

When I am in my world
I can hear music
I hear it at night
I hear it in people’s noises
I hear it in the places I go each day.

When I talk to people I hear music
When I sleep I hear music
Music is my constant companion.
My life is ruled by the music in my head.

Music is my friend but also my enemy
When you can’t stop the music it becomes an obsession
I can hear the music now
Playing, playing.
Over and over in my head.
Like the waves continually lapping the sand and
then getting louder and louder as they crash.

Music is such a comfort.
But it can be such a horrible thing.
Music in my head. Playing over and over again.

People say that love is like a song.
Not for me. Love is not about music for me
Not a song, not a symphony, not a band playing, not a national anthem.
Music. Music. Always playing.

Such a distraction to a happy life.
I wish the music would go away.
But probably it never will.
Music, music. Always there..
I think music needs to become my friend
as it’s always my companion.

Like a companion who never leaves your side.
Who stays with you everywhere you go.
Day and night.
Night and day.
How can you become my friend?

Music in my head.
Like a house is not a home
Until you make it one
So I must learn good things to do with the music.

Music, music.
Please be my friend.
I need you to be my friend.
Like a mother needs her child
after being separated at birth.

Music, music.
Please, please by my friend
Music, music, music.
Music in my head.
Over and over and over again.
I hear music.
Music in my head.

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