One of my favourite pieces of music is this …
No, it’s not Queen, nor is it Def Leppard … it’s Chopin’s Nocturne op.9 No.2.
I love it.
I love the melody.
Whenever I listen to it I find my eyes close and my head gently swinging side-to-side … literally lost in the music.
It makes me wish I could play the piano more than any other piece of music … even Van Halen’s Jump.
But what gets me is this piece of music once never existed.
It was just something that sat inside Chopin’s head … waiting for him to let it out.
Did it come quickly or slowly?
Did it have many iterations or could he hear it before he played it?
I remember Paul McCartney being interviewed about his song ‘Yesterday’ – apparently the most recorded song in history – and he said he wrote it aged 15 on his bed, in his bedroom.
Put aside the obvious talent and maturity it would require to write a song like that at 15, just think about that for a second.
A kid, in Liverpool, is sitting on his bed strumming a guitar and out of his head comes one of the most iconic – and recorded – songs in history.
What did he think at the time?
Did he know he’d written something that would outlive him?
Did he know he’d just created something that would change the course of his life?
[And yes, I do know he has now changed the story behind the song, but he said this on Michael Parkinson and no one is allowed to question what is said on Parky]
It’s like Sir Ken Robinson said in his speech that talks about Shakespeare.
We all imagine Shakespeare as this entity who created things that became pivotal stories of our lives … but once upon a time he was just a kid who went to school and took English lessons. ENGLISH LESSONS!!!
That’s mental even though it shouldn’t be.
We have all this stuff around us that seems to have been there forever.
Of course, a lot of that is because it has been there throughout our life hence we can never remember a time without it – but somewhere in our minds, we forget there was a time when they didn’t exist … when these things we either take for granted or just simply love were nothing.
And that’s what blows my mind about that piece by Chopin.
Because while I wonder how he created the piece and what he thought when he wrote it, the fact is, if I could travel back in time to 1829 and ask him to play Nocturne op.9 No.2 … he would look at me and wonder what the hell I was talking about.
Because it didn’t exist. Not even in his mind. Not for another year.
And that fills me with wonder and excitement because it means there are people walking around who may one day write or create or think of something that could evolve to something incredible … something that people will still love 200 years from now or maybe just end up viewing as their new normal … and that is why I think we should stop pissing on the dreams and hopes of those who have ideas, because without them, we might not have half the wonderful things that make up the tapestry of our lives.
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