by Rob Sheppard
As somebody who enjoys making music, I often find myself getting lost in a series of questions when writing and producing. The overriding thought being “What value does this have?”.
It is easy to deter ourselves from creating art, and putting ourselves in a vulnerable position, simply by talking ourselves out of finishing or sharing a creation in fear that it doesn’t add anything of value to the world, or worse; detracts value.
Due to these thoughts and conversations within my own mind, I haven’t shared an entire song or idea for many months, perhaps even years now.
Listen to the song while reading the text.
So, to break this hiatus from creating and sharing, I have chosen to find something that even I can’t talk myself out of doing. Setting myself a challenge to write and produce at least one finished song, in four days, in support of a local charity looking to help young sufferers of mental health. And with “World Mental Health Day” being on Thursday 10th October, it seemed like the perfect time to commit and finish something, without fear that it would worsen the world.
A “justgiving.com” page has been set up to help raise funds for this appeal. I genuinely believe that all artists and creatives have the power and value together, to eventually change the world for the better. I have put the link to the fundraiser at the bottom of this post. Before you (hopefully) go check it out, I would like to share a few more thoughts with you.
Ever since memories began forming in my mind, I have struggled a lot with thoughts. Whether they be anxious thoughts, self deprecating, over analysing, or even just a noisy and unsettled mind. I remember the first time I truly felt real freedom from them was while playing guitar. Not necessarily learning, or writing; simply playing. Sitting in a quietened corner of the world, gently sending vibrations out and letting my ears hear how they would sit and sing together in the air around me. This carried through in my life.
I started to find freedom by sitting and listening with real intent to music, and eventually, just the sounds of the surroundings. Finding rhythms and melodies everywhere. I’ve been reflecting on this a lot recently. The power that sound has to redirect our thought processes, and also the power playing music has over a busy and noisy mind. I guess after all, a lot of meditation has been aided by vibrations through gongs and bells and such for thousands of years. I then realised that surely if I felt this way, out of the other 7.7 billion people in the world, maybe just a few others did as well. And you know what, even if no one else did, does that really matter?
The value that music has added to my life is unquantifiable. The freedom and peace that it brings to my being is undefinable. If someone else manages to even get 1% of that feeling from listening to what I create, then I have added something to this world that is unique to me, and a value that cannot be numbered.
Thank you for taking the time to read this brief story. I hope to follow this post with one that details the creative processes that went in to writing and producing the song. If you are able to spare some more time to check out the fundraiser and possibly find some spare change to donate to help. The link is www.justgiving.com/robshepmus.
You can also keep up to date with how the challenge is going by checking out my instagram page “@robshepmus”, where I have been posting updates of progress in my story and hopefully will have a video posted to the page. If you would like to get in touch with me regarding anything, then please follow the link to my website below.
For World Mental Health day (10.10.19) I am hoping to create a selection of musical pieces to help raise funds to support the Sowenna appeal. It is a project aimed at helping young sufferers of mental obstacles in Cornwall. To find out more about this great cause and the impact it will have, continue reading down below.