Just Me, Nobody Special

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"Music Expresses That Which Cannot Be Put Into Words And That Which Cannot Remain Silent"

Those words from Victor Hugo express a truth about music that many of us can relate to.  Music has been an aspect of my life that has held great importance.  

Yet I did not come from an especially musical household.  Neither of my parents were especially musically gifted, there was a pianola at my Grandma's house and a piano at our house which my Mother declared "Learn to play it properly or it goes"; it was not a house where the radio was on constantly, nor were there many times when records were played.  From the age of about five I had piano lessons, being taught the strict rudiments and theories of music, practicing endless scales, arpeggios, chromatics and so forth to turn those little black dots into an emotion.

I was allowed to watch 'Top Of The Pops' and occasionally get a magazine.  I did not have my own bedroom hi-fi until I was thirteen.

By what ever means, maybe osmosis, music has been a constant, faithful, true friend; whether I was belting to my sorrow and black moods at the ivory keys, or singing along to musical films or just toe tapping to the tunes, through learning classical pieces for numerous pianoforte examinations, hymns for church choir or light hearted pieces for pleasure, I developed a very eclectic mix of likes and a very definite group of dislikes.

In 2009 my best friend and I travelled for an extended weekend to Vienna, Austria.  Not only to visit the beautiful city and see its amazing architecture and palaces but primarily to see David Helfgott perform.

The feature film "Shine" is about his life, his schizoaffective disorder and his music. The actor Geoffrey Rush won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of David.

David's resilience and brilliance is often slated by the critics but his ability to overcome and produce such moving, articulate and enthralling interpretations of some great classical composers and pieces is remarkable.  We met them after the show and I will forever hold dear his hugs and kisses and mini mantras.

In the early 2000's my best friend and I began researching and cataloging the work of Stephen Gibb for a web home page, which quickly grew into a dedicated web site  Why him? We felt that he had talent that needed to be promoted and fans outside that is his Dad and Uncle's fan base, he was not just a 'Gibb Kid' but a creator of sounds, composer, well respected guitar player in his own right.  He has done some astounding work with people like Nikki Sixx, Zakk Wylde, Pat DiNizio, as well as working alongside his father.

When the band he was performing with in 2004 gigged in Berlin, Germany, we took a flight and met them all. Took our place at the front of the crowd and rocked our socks off. A memorable night indeed.  This photo was taken backstage after the set, Stephen is far right of the shot.

During their UK tours of 2005 and 2006 we attended the gigs we could, all enthusiastically received by the packed crowds.  

In March 2003 during a trip to Miami Beach Florida I had an invitation to visit Middle Ear Studios, the private recording studios that belonged to the Gibb family. 

Seated at Maurice's grand was spine tingling privilege, I shall have to dig out the photo of me at the keys.

Stephen was currently using the studio to record a couple of his early compositions.

As a pre-schooler merrily playing at the keys of the upright piano at home, it was my Sisters but she had no room for it at her home, Mother declared that I was to learn it properly or it would go.  I could not let it go, it was my big sisters, nothing of hers could be gotten rid of. Thus is was emotionally blackmailed into piano lessons.

Miss Wright was also the church organist and I was shepherded into the choir as well.  Across the next decade I was given weekly lessons, entered into numerous practice and theory examinations, took part in bi-annual recitals, carol concerts and garden parties.

For many years I performed on the grand piano shown here in the ballroom at Somerleyton Hall.  In my final year my chosen piece was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata snd I can vividly recall the split second of utter silence as the final chord faded before the room erupted and a wave of applause hurtled forward.  The only other time I had felt such terror was when I had performed the National Anthem and feeling everyone's griped attention to every note and every notes timing.

I ceased lessons and exams when I reached fifteen and concentrated on my academic studies. I had reached the stage where I could comfortably play any piece put before me and for years it was a pleasure, a release, and a help to be at the keys.  Now sadly my dexterity has deteriorated so much i cannot even play chopsticks; and I miss it greatly every single day.