My story by Ian Martyn
I am a songwriter about the emotions and experiences we my encounter in our lives. We can all go through stormy weather, bumpy rides, deep traumas, wonderful moments, achievements.
Throughout my life whenever something occurs of emotional consequence, I seem to have a need to write about it and somehow capture this ‘happening’. Just like a photograph but for me a musical and lyrical composition. Maybe this is a managing of emotion, a method of coping, a way to deal with the trauma. Whatever it is, a song is created, a story told and archived. My stories are not so different from many other people’s. So I share them with you and hope they give you some support or comfort, as well as enjoying the ‘love songs’.
From an early age I found music became a part of my life for so many reasons. A great song comes on the radio and you listen intently, find out who is the singer or band, maybe buy the song, take it home and play it regularly, sing along to it, read or do some work with it playing in the background.
I more often play songs in the car, walking with an mp3 and earphones, training and running with music on. All these times of constantly finding ways to include and involve listening to music as part of almost every aspect of life. Each person will use music in so many different ways in their life. Not only hearing music as suggested above, but to play music themselves, be a part of the music, watch bands and artistes play in pubs, clubs, stadiums and other venues.
Music influences, dominates, is part of everyday life for many of us.
Why? What does music do to us? Why are we so affected?
The reasons are so many and personal to us all, individually, collectively, privately. We seem to turn to music for support, for reflection, for energy, for managing our moods, for opening up ourselves. When we are sad we may play a song or songs that offer us a time for reflection, or thinking, for supporting our moment. When we are happy, we use music for similar and other meaningful reasons.
So we use music to support our needs at the time – challenges, motivation, passing time, managing, developing……
When I look back I have found that from a very early age music excited me and allowed so many feelings from within myself to be discovered, enjoyed, used, and shared. In my early years I was so privileged to have The Beatles, The Kinks, The Stones, The Hollies and so many more incredible bands actually being a part of life. Although much more of a Beatles fan than a Stones fan, I found the whole time was so exciting, eventful, dominating.
Even then at such a young age I could not imagine life without music. Music influenced me in every way, every day and time of my life. Such was its effect and impact. When bands like :- Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Supertramp, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie,The Doobie Bros., Bread (could go on indefiniteley) came on the scene, it felt like life was incredible with these sounds blasting out. Conversation was and is frequently about music, bands, artistes. It seems all ages, male and female, all over the world, are influenced to differing degrees, from easy listening to infectious idolatry.
Writing a song can be so frustrating. It can be like the most difficult jigsaw imaginable. You can see the picture, where you would like to get to. However, describing it, putting down words where every word is so important, where you can’t just throw in a word or a line ‘cos it rhymes, or fills up a space. It has to come from the heart, be felt, meaningful, a real part of the story. The music also has so many similarities for complexity. What style, key, chords, melody, instruments, the structure, the timing, the arrangement? The vocal consideration. It goes on. Trying to write ‘the moment in time’, capture the very essence of the encountered experience, summarise, formulate, put it to music where the music feels the very presence of the lyrics, or indeed the other way round. This can be a painful process in itself. It can seem impossible, a mountain to climb. A goal that can’t be achieved.
But if and when this succeeds, wow !! What a feeling, a pleasure, an achievement, a sensation. You have managed to capture the very moment of a part of life. Just like a camera with a photograph, a book, a picture. The feeling can be so immense, enlightening, precious, fulfilling, draining even.
A song can be like a painting. A scene in life is captured, held, can be looked at when you like, be put away, enjoyed, reminded. It means different things to different people. It can make you smile and make you cry. Some won’t like it, for some no significance or identifying with it – just a painting. Others can be touched by it. It can depend on the mood, the time of day, an experience, or just to enjoy. Listening to music has helped me through my life, good times and desperate times.
with my great friend Max in the 90’s
My songs have been written based around life, experiences, ‘happenings’ both personally and observing other people, topical issues., themes we encounter. I hope you find they support you in whatever your need may be.