I can safely say that I was no child prodigy – in fact, I am terrified of them, to be honest (go out and play for God sakes) – and neither do I come from a musical family. I only started playing an instrument (the guitar) when I was in high school. However, I do believe that even though I wasn’t a precocious child, I grew increasingly aware of a ‘musical prescience’ that seemed to exist within me, as the years passed by.
Intuition has served me well, in all aspects of my life. I believe it has made me the man I am today, and I depend upon it, dearly. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. In music, I believe I have always been guided by this ‘inner voice’, that in a certain manner, tells me where the music should go and what it should be. I do not mean that angels or demons were speaking to me (or maybe one of them is writing this, and I can’t control it, who knows?). I am an artist, but that doesn’t mean that I romanticize everything; I truly believe, that in some sense, I ‘knew things’ before I knew them.
One of my first experiences with the guitar was on a school trip, in a train. A friend had brought his guitar along, and out of boredom, I asked him to teach me something. He decided to teach me how to play a few basic chords from a popular song, so he began by attempting to explain what a chord was. Just as he said ‘hmm, so what’s a chord? A chord is…’, I said ‘any combination of two or more notes’. I suppose this was my train of thought – I could tell that he was playing some combinations of notes by listening and seeing him play. I thought to myself, why should the combinations of notes be limited in any manner? Why not play all the combinations and see what they sound like? Hence, I assumed that a chord would be any combination of notes. My friend smiled and nodded, and I went to learn a couple of basic chords. How would I describe a chord today to my students or my non-musical friends, after studying harmony and music theory for years and applying it in my compositions? You guessed it.
Of course, a real and practical understanding of harmony (for non-musicians, harmony can be roughly understood as chords over melodies, and melodies over melodies) requires a lot of serious study, and that rudimentary definition will not suffice. However, the point I’m attempting to make is that although I knew next to nothing about music then, I am discovering the depths of that nascent definition to this day, and the more I learn and compose, the truer that statement is proving to be.
While it may take longer for some of us to do so, and it may not come as easily to every one of us, this intuition still exists and comes to the fore upon maturity. Of course, some people are too caught up in trying to mimic others to ever find themselves; I’m talking about the people who truly give it a go, and those who are interested in finding themselves. I firmly believe that everyone is born with an Intuitive Harmony, that is waiting to be expressed: one that is revealed only to those who look into themselves, and just as no child is ever born with any malice, hatred, bias, or contempt, this harmony applies in a greater sense of the word too, in it’s non-musical sense.