So I have been on school break for two weeks. It’s gone by way too fast because I’ve picked up a new hobby, playing the keyboard! This notion started on a whim from me accepting I enjoyed ‘making music’ (aka. horrendous fart sounding tuba things) in free webapp called BeepBox. I’ve been disillusioned with musicians for collaborations, as I’ve had a chick bail on me when she promised she’d make music for Rubble and Rust, and her music kinda sucked balls. So, I decided, I will give it a shot.
Like any other endeavour, it takes time and practice and more time. Sure I’m not some genius multitalented person who can do high quality programming, art and music, someone rare like ZUN, but I do what I can. I get discouraged only when I think that maybe I should have tried it far earlier, maybe back when I first fell into depression after my psychosis in 2020.
So on with the piano/keyboard subject I impulse bought a cheapo Novation LaunchKey Mini midi controller keyboards for $140 from JBHIFI, and got it the same day. It lights up all rainbow and everything and fits in my new bag (I might take it to the UK in 3 days). Then only hours later I finally went into the formidable junk-barricaded guest bedroom where my mother passed away. After jumping across a sea of mattresses found, laying on the same side she had faced in her final moments, our old silver Casio LK-100.
It’s like it’s a sign.
So wait I’ve had a keyboard all this time and never played it? Bingo. I mucked around on it once or twice but never learnt how to even recognise any of the keys without the tacky light-up guidance mode.
I’m finding recognising the notes quite a challenge as they all look so similar, It’s hard to be acquainted with the keys as well as reading a new language as well as the reflexes and hand-brain coordination. It’s a lot to take in for 5 days of practice! I’m sure it’ll take way more to be able to ever do this!
The reason this endeavour is important to me is because music has guided me through hellish times, and good times. It’s always been a companion. I’ve never damn even given it a shot, but it’s never too late to learn. As seen below, the baby book is still intimidating when you haven’t memorised the stupid black nobbins with tails on the 5 lines which all look the same.
I am trying an app called Melodics which you pay monthly for, just to try it out and keep me at least boop-beeping on the keyboard every day. The songs are a bit eh, and not engaging me as much as playing the first iconic 7 note from ZUN’s ‘Alice in Wonder Land‘ or anything else Touhou (which are my aspirations). I started by writing down some tunes from Hooktheory although I didn’t know how to write the notation properly, it helped me start playing and just enjoy the rush of hearing distinguishable sounds.
I am not saying I’m a sudden musician like my aunt who plays ukulele, piano accordion, horn and piano. I’m not one yet. I’m sure if I keep it up, there will come a day I can play one of my favorite songs on a keyboard in front of someone. I’m sure someday I’ll look back and be proud I had the courage to break into the forbidden territory I had once thought was ‘making music’.
Because I’ve been visually focused for so long and grieving over multiple things in my life, people and parts of me. Despite this misery, I have been fuelled by magical music which compels me to dance, but never even once thought creating it was within my grasp. This is a sign of healing, a sign of being mentally flexible and sound. A sign of being whole again. Even if it’s just recent, it’s made me stay up till 3am in a wide-eyed frenzied mode.
I’ve also been doing some GameMaker as evidenced below. It tends to do my head in. I followed a farming sim tutorial up to part 11 all week and my collisions are broken, the crop planting is done for, the day night cycle glitches. I struggle to understand the code the creators are using. I feel embarrassed for even trying but hey….I got it where the character can enter a hot tub.
Above all, with these hobbies, and even with the act of blogging, I am trying to practice self kindness. I am trying to say, I am more than any one thing but instead, a creative soul. It’s harder than it sounds when you’ve had your favorite medium and abilities stripped from you but hey I wont go into that.
It goes without saying I’m not focusing on visual art for now. This blog is a safe written place I turn to every now and again, which makes me feel more in control of this crazy life I’ve led. If my posts are all over the place, it can’t be helped. I’ve endured some obscenely wacky and surreal states of mind (or more?). I would like to create a game with some aspects of what I’ve experienced these last few years.
I’m flying to the UK in three days and have to go through 3 airports by myself. My autism-excuse is flaring up but I know I’m very capable. I’m going to take the Novation keyboard with me, how can I not! Cheers to a somewhat grounded blog post!
Over and out.