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An unashamed self plug

You may not have seen my website. If not, here it is. http://www.wix.com/hypwnage/karselimusic#!composer. There is a new track on it. I quite like it, although it is a work in progress. I'm trying ambient-floaty-stuff in my free time at the moment, in contrast to the quite stark electroacoustic stuff I'm writing for uni. Massive learning curve. On the plus, at the end of the day at the moment I'm able to look at what I've written and say hey, look how much I've learnt today, this is how I can improve even more on these skills. It's nice to feel like knowledge is becoming... not quantified but, observable. 3.5 pages written today and it's only lunchtime! :D Anyway, check out the new track and any feedback would be really appreciated.

Also, if you have free time, listen to the tracks under the session violinist section and then check out Fred and Tim. Two wonderful musicians with some great music on their sites too :)


(oh and also, it's mine and Matt's 10 months today. How Time Flies :) )

Sep. 26th, 2011

So feel like, it's been a while (in fact, I think the last post was the end of last term? Yikes, a whole summer ago!) and it's time for a cheeky update just in case anybody, well, cared.

Tomorrow (today? Today now.) is my first day as an official postgraduate here at the University of Birmingham. Hard to think about how 4 years and one week ago I'd just met some not great people that I had to live with for a year. And 3 years and one week ago, the night was spent watching Farmer Wants A Wife (the best reality TV show on channel 5, about farmer dating. Believe.) And this weekend last year, where suddenly all the things we thought about life and possibility and what people were like were suddenly torn out from our chests and we were left gutted, on the floor, unable to move but forced to get up and process because someone in the room had to be strong and it had to be us. This year, I spent this night getting to know my new housemates whilst organising a gig (features include a gun and a massive bong). Who wants a normal life eh...

Little update on the house sitch- as most of my mates have moved away from Birmingham now (which is odd- I'm still in the same old places doing the same old things and the familiar faces I expect to walk round corners no longer come around. Strange feeling.) I have moved in with 6 people who, if not exactly strangers, I certainly don't know well. So far they seem mad but great. Suits me pretty well.

So postgrad. Bit massive. Bit scary, frankly. I have no idea what I'm gonna write. At the moment, potentially a portfolio of songs? Or maybe a portfolio of pieces exemplifying different bits of the Bible? Just some feelings I have at the moment. Tomorrow is Planning Day where the year will be Planned and all will go According To Plan. I hope. Dubstep definitely has a place in that Plan. I love Dubstep. I also love bed, and I don't really know why I'm writing this because hardly anyone uses LJ anymore, I just felt in the mood for writing something and... yeah. And on that note, I shall block out the screaming of some house party down the road (Sunday night? You're not in first year any more guys, bed time at 11) and sleep and get up and Plan. Planned. (see what I did there? Yeah? Good, it wasn't very clever.) (x)
Hold on to your hats kids, this is an end-of-an-era post so it'll get a tad thinky.

I was chatting with a mate yesterday when I said something about not having achieved everything I'd like to by 21. He asked what and I muttered something about not having lost enough weight. But instantly I thought, that wasn't really what I meant. I meant, I wish I was more comfortable in my own body by now. Yeah part of that is losing weight, but it's also a massive acceptance thing. My friend said back- you've done school, you've got a degree, you've got skills- pretty good for 21 years.

Yeah, yeah I guess those things are great. But I had a bit of a mope in my head, thinking about all the things I haven't done. I haven't been outside Europe. I haven't written enough music, or enough songs, or enough prose, or enough poetry. I don't journal every day any more. (that is mostly due to not having enough time to buy a new journal over the last few months!) I haven't befriended everyone I'd like to, and don't spend enough time with the friends I do have. I haven't kept in touch well enough with friends from home. I'm not going to be a concert soloist like the little girl in me always wanted. I can't make carbonara (tried the other day, turned into a really gross omlette!) I still can't sing. I don't know enough about the Bible, or live a love-filled God-filled life enough. I don't tidy up very often. I still don't manage to go jogging every day, despite great efforts.

More than all of this stuff, I guess by now I assumed I would be better. Next year will mark the decade of the first time I became ill. It's been nearly three years now since moving to uni and becoming severely unwell. I think I always thoughts adults had it sorted, y'know, they don't get ill unless it's cancer or man flu, and suddenly I'm an adult and I'm ill and the doctor said to me a while ago that I am almost definitely going to be on medication for the rest of my life. That scares me. It's going to affect my life. I can never move to a country where the medication is unavailable. When I want to start trying for a baby, it's going to make things very complicated because I don't want to be stuffing a foetus full of drugs but to come off them will make me ill again. It's always going to be hard for Matt to be with me because sometimes I can't function like a normal person, and I know that hurts him. I'm always going to have to spend a chunk of income upon prescriptions.

But then I decided to turn all this on its head. Last Easter I started meds, and I have been on them (with the excpetion of a month last summer on the Doctors' recommendation, which didn't go well) for over a year now. I've been through all the side effects (and there were a lot), and compared to literally this time last year where I almost couldn't sit exams and couldn't be around anyone for any length of time and couldn't sleep or think or even be, I feel like a different person. Yeah it's always going to be an uphill climb, I'm never going to be totally well, but look how far I've come! I should be proud of that. And yeah, my illness has affected every part of my life far more than I'd like to think about or admit, but who I am today would be very different without it. It's increased my capacity for compassion. It's made me stronger. So as hard as it is, maybe, I should be grateful for everything that's happened and armed with the experiences I have, walk into the future with my head held high and the knowledge that I have friends and family and a God who will always look after me.

And let's flip it all on it's head. I've been inside Europe, more than once, and it's a beautiful beautiful place! I've learnt to write music since coming to uni, and have a masters in composition lined up. I've written some songs, and some poetry, and some prose, and every time I do I learn a little more. I've got time to buy a journal now. Maybe I haven't befriended enough people, but I've got some amazing mates and some incredible memories. I'm so blessed to have such wonderful friends and good times. Maybe I won't be a soloist, but I'm leading orchestras, I've played at the NEC and Symphony Hall and the Barber Institute and The Royal Albert Hall and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Portsmouth Guild Hall- I've also played hundreds of tiny pubs all over the country, in front of thousands of people! Screw carbonara, there's always the chippy! I can still learn to sing, and y'know, I can play three instruments well enough for them to be part of my degree. I'm learning how to be a better Christian and more about the Bible every day, and God is patient with me and helps me to learn (and sometimes to fail) in my own time. Who needs to tidy up when I could be in the park or watching the Apprentice with my mates. And as for my body, I'm more comfortable here than I was 10 years ago, so yeah it's a slow process and my energy levels are never enough any more but I'll keep trying and maybe one day I'll be as fit as I'd like and be able to live in my self satisfied and well.

So I think what I'm trying to say is boomshanka 21 years and end of degree. It's just a beginning. :)

Apr. 3rd, 2011

That boy's got a way with words and a smile for the tired and a heart so big I think I'll make it my home
He's got a holdable hand and a humorous style
A penchance for folk and grime and
That boy's got a way with me and a smile for my frown and a heart for me to make my home
I think I'll stay here awhile.

This is the life that slipped between our fingers as you rise on my fall
Hit myself till I'm black or blue as you rise on my fall
Frame your face to fit the shape I need to make
Align your body to my curves as your breath falls in where mine goes out
Watching opposites attract as you rise where I fall

Mar. 25th, 2011

Hey guys,

So some of you might know that I've been doing a lot of stuff with a band recently, namely, my friend Rosie and I in a band called the Jesse Dansons. It's actually getting quite serious; we're currently competing in a competition called Live and Unsigned which will be on Channel 4 in a few months. Next round of that is playing at the NEC in Birminghm on the 10th of April. If any of you guys would like to come the support would be so appreciated. Tickets are £7.50.

Anyway, thought you guys maybe might want to be our friend on facebook? http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/thejessedansons Just trying to spread the word as much as possible so that, well, we can do well in this competition (we could get signed if it goes well). No choons uploaded as yet because we just haven't had time (/money) to record but hopefully there will be some Up Soon.

And lastly, if anyone is in Exeter tonight (looking at you Dannyboy) we're playing at the old firehouse, late. Just sayin'.

Love and peace. x
Naked. Again. Common theme, no? It occurs to me that it feels like I spend half my life getting dressed and undressed, and the other half trying to keep clothes on. (That sounds worse than it is. Clothes don't stay on me well, they just fall off all the time. Feature Of Life. Quite funny, really, once you learn to laugh at it.)

So, naked. But this time, things are different. I've peeled off the clothes from the day before; it wasn't a walk of shame home, not even a train ride of shame, but of contentedness. A lot of people won't know how that feels, I guess. I'm lucky. Or blessed. I prefer blessed.

The body feels... better. I feel happier in it. Still recovering from Christmas, but, still, more comfortable in skin. I guess that's partly because of you. Partly because of this learning curve. Partly because God is good. It's going to take a long time to love this body, but this is a step in the right direction.

After all, everything has changed. Before, when it felt like words and feelings and anger and sadness were so rampant that they were tatooed on my skin and everyone could see them... all that's gone. It feels like they've been washed off, like I've got in a warm bath and someone has cleaned them for me. I'm not sure who soaped them away, but it certainly wasn't me. There's gratefulness for that tender act.

Good year? Yeah. This is gonna be a good year.
Now this is what I'm talking about
When all the people in the place rise from their seats and don't just dance to the beat
But to the rhythm of their feet and the rhythm of their hearts, don't you hear it pumping boom-ch boom-ch boom-ch?

And you shut your eyes and you're lost in a crowded room with the music,
Feel it running through you, you could dance all night and never open your eyes again
Live in this one moment as the club plays music so loud it shakes you, think the sound is enough to break you,
Let it take you away as you forget about this week till all you can think of is the beat
And where it's taking you, you can sing along but you don't need to know the words
All you need to know is the way the sounds reverberate inside you

And then the song ends and you open your eyes and, you've lost your friends.
You've been dancing alone in strangers but you've never felt more connected.
The club moves on to a new track and you head back but you know that's been the best moment of your night, the one that will make you smile tomorrow morning.

And as you go
You make a pledge to music.
To never lose it, to move through it,
To never take it for granted, to always seek it out, in all its forms.

To go to clubs, hear a track you love and dance like mad in front of people you've never met before and will never see again because you're too caught in a moment to care what they think.

And most of all, to always, no matter if your feet are tired and your heartbeat is slow and everything in your life seems to scream the opposite... to always stand up and dance to the beat.
So this is now the State Of Life I will grow old with, grow accustomed to.
I will begin to develop a horizon of expectations
And every day with you will help it to expand and shift and grow.

I should be terrified
Knowing that looking into your eyes is looking into the rest of my life.

But it's not scary.

It's actually quite peaceful.

And when I see your face and laugh with you and watch the light shine in your eyes
Everything that feels wrong with the world isn't made right
But I know that we - you - can, for the first time, make a difference.

You've changed it all, really. For me.

I can stop cowering under a rock and stand up straight and face things,
Begin to make a dent on ignorance and the piled up heap of bank letters and outstanding correspondence because
You're right there. All the time. And that gives me a confidence I've never known,
You've shown me how to walk paths I've always wanted to but never had the ability to step onto before.

I don't know how this took so long but finally hands off has become hands on
And things submerged in shadows have raised their dark heads to be annointed into light
With you I can fight the good fight and when all is left stand side by side and hand in hand
Having a peaceful heart and a perfect end and
I know right now we're young and idealistic and chasing dreams but
We're never gonna be tied down to middle class ideology because we're too aware and too keen to avoid. That's (one of) the thing(s) I love about you.
It's like someone somewhere else is reading the pages that are inside my mind and I'm not quite sure how they've got out of my head and then I realise, you're not reading my words, you're writing your own and they just happen to be the same.
And that's more than ok.
Understanding is the first step.

Now we move forward.
I once had a dream I laid an egg.

In the dream, I was having a normal day.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, I'm squatting and... out comes this egg.

Now, don't read too much into this. Freud would have a field day with my imagination.
But the thing I love about it- the reason I remember it- is creation. Flesh of my own flesh.
Out of me comes... something. Life. If this is what laying an egg in a dream feels like, how amazing is having a baby in real life going to be one day? More than an egg. More than sixty seconds in my sleep cycle.

Time spent asleep feels more productive when you dream
I watch unimagined corners of the universe unfold scene by scene like a private movie theatre in my head
Films no one else will ever see and even I won't remember half the time but I still love them,
Love recalling a forgotten fragment during the next day and remembering how good that dream had been
Longing to get back to the place of sleep and
Rest. Wanting to lay another egg, as it were.

Maybe my life is all about the gaps between laying eggs, the
Seconds between creations and nurturings.
The more I study the more I know the more I want to act,
To develop, to grow.

I think this life is about laying eggs.

Oct. 10th, 2010

the hands that should be holding mine are quietly absent. they are
too busy cupping their own problems and

i try and find them to graze knuckles with, to brush fingers
and make things right again but they
are not forthcoming. searchsearchsearch.
the dark is a friend. i feel the flood of liquid and follow it to the source
and suddenly a soul is no longer lost but instead

that's why I was scared. your hands went missing.
if your hands go missing how will i know what to do?
how can you be there without them?
all is held in them until all seeps through fingers,
flowing down the lines of the palm.

see, the hands are more than the lifeholders. those gaps,
those tiny gaps where finger meets finger;
they are the exit of the soul.
no matter how you close them, somehow spirit
comes through.



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