It was interesting. I applied for the Sonology program. I travelled twice to The Hague. I jumped through the hoops. And I was rejected.
It was a useful episode. Useful in the way that painful things can be good teachers.
The first effect was a week of blindingly intense jaw pain. I had been having TMJD spectrum pain for over a year while I sorted out some old fillings and new cavities in my teeth. My excellent dentist had levelled the fillings in two molars and, through yoga and chant, my jaw had slowly been releasing. I had already had some episodes of jaw pain, notably in February of 2015 when I spent about a month hardly sleeping due to the shooting pains in my face and skull, on the left side.
After the rejection from the Conservatoire in The Hague, I experienced practically the most devastating pain I have ever known. Despite copious pain relief, treatment with the HIVAMAT 200 Deep Oscillation device, icing and deep breathing, I was sleepless for four nights and five days, crying in pain, pacing the floor. It was a useful experience as I learned, firsthand, about that special kind of pain that doesn’t let you lie down, that propels you to pace and move and rub and do anything, anything, to distract yourself. Finally, on day five, my jaw slipped into place and the trigger points of my right sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle settled down and I recovered.
The net effect was a massive settling down in my sternum and clavicular area. And a huge change in my singing voice. What I found most interesting about the rejection was it’s nature: “we did not see a connection between your music, your field of interest (therapy) and the artistic objectives of our programme.” Effectively, they didn’t understand what I was trying to communicate.
Throat chakra alert!
You see, the Vishuddha is about what comes out and what makes it way in. I had been working Vishuddha since 1999 and was still holding back and not getting my point across. Wham, bam, ouch.
I decided to re-double my efforts, show them how they were wrong. I sat down in front of my workstation, Ableton Live at the ready, lots of cables and interfaces and microphones, and spent the summer making digital music.
And nothing came of it. So I abandoned the project, unplugged everything, boxed and stored my kit. I no longer have a home studio set up. I have my piano, my guitar, my voice. I am going crazy listening to jazz and 60’s-era European pop and finding a voice that had gotten stuck somewhere in between my heart and my head. I chant like a muthafucka, but I actually GAVE UP music for a while. I keep thinking that, perhaps, I have to show myself willing to let everything go in order to let everything come in. I don’t know. Maybe my ego is still hoping for glory as a singer on the stage. I don’t think so. I am not even thinking about it. I am just going on one day at a time, as a non-trained musician, a dilettante who consistently scores highly on listening test, a passionate lover of music, with a music memory that spans nearly four decades.
Singing just comes naturally to me. The songs in my head and my soul have been there since day 1. I can’t stop making music, even if I try. I just won’t be making it at The Hague.
Rejection hurts. Failing hurts. But, if I am brave enough to sing about loving my pain and cherishing my mistakes, I have to walk the walk. So, rather than delete my earlier post about the Sonology program, I chose to say, yeah, I failed. And I learned. And I didn’t die in the process. So, hare hare Krishna hare.