Getting started

Much as I’m used to writing without a direct sense of an audience – the occasional essay at uni, editorials in Go-Set, grant applications and acquitals, press releases – I’m finding it weirdly difficult to write in the blog context. I have begun reading other peoples’ with great interest, and I presume I’m just one of millions that wander across the musings of the multifarious web authors. Nevertheless, I’m betting that absolutely no-one will read this.

As part of my research on the function of music in human development, I invented (or perhaps discovered) a distinction between expression and communication.

One can make a noise simply for the pleasure/need of making it. There needs be no communicative intent. (Some) musicians may make music simply because they enjoy making it – no grand idea/emotion to pass on; no desire to make someone else feel in a particular way; no desire to have someone understand the way one feels; no need to be appreciated – no message. That is, ‘expression’ pure and simple.

So, at least at this early stage in what I’m hoping will be this blog’s long life, perhaps I can relax into ‘mere’ expression. The Hawkes Library has plenty of communicative material, so, if anyone looking at this is really looking for meaning, you can go there.

And in the meantime, while no one is listening, I’ll just talk to myself. Why am I doing this?
First, I have what I believe is a very common obsession – I love making lists and inventing patterns. The desire to shape one’s reality, to transform chaotic and random experience into a meaningful narrative appears to be something we all want to do.

This may be an existential need (I can only ‘be’, if I’m a character in a story) but I don’t think that that’s where I’m coming from. I think my desire arises from an aesthetic dimension – framing chaos is satisfying – I recognise that it may be futile but it is fun.

I now have to go meet my daughter in the city so this meander will be continued.

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