Of wishes and motivations
I always wanted to write this post, but I never had the courage. I don’t even have it now, but still… I’m going to tell the story anyway, no matter what.
Sometimes there exist only short answers to extremely difficult problems – and a person’s inner motivation is definitely one of those hard questions that can be answered either in a single sentence or in several volumes. Still, I’m going to stay somewhere in between these two extremities. While the answer to the question “why I write and play music at all?” is indeed quite simple, my explanation may consist of a somewhat lenghty description of all the elements of the concise answer.
So why…? Well, my answer in itself is really not that complicated – at least for the first look -: I just wanted to create something really meaningful that truly reflects the essence of everything I am. While I don’t think that my other creative activities lack any meaning – I work as a neuroscientist during the day and have great hobbies to spend my free time -, I always felt that something was “missing from the equation”: the results of my activities always felt somewhat incomplete. Science is basically an intellectual challenge, and I find it cool that I can take part in research activities that may lead to disease treatments. Also, I’m currently writing a book based on decades of research (I’m not exaggerating – I’m really that maniac lol…) summarizing the history of my family with lots of personal reflections and outlooks. But this is also something that basically utilizes the intellectual part of my mind, without substantially involving the emotional aspects of my soul. As I basically am an emotion-driven person, I find it equally important to perfectly express one single feeling as to summarize 400 years of the history of a small Austro-Hungarian family. The manuscript of my book is – of course – valuable to me (otherwise I wouldn’t have put so much effort in those endless research hours in various archives…), but it has always been crucial for me to find something that incorporates both the emotional as well as the cognitive/intellectual aspects of my brain.
And this is where art crawls into the picture. It’s probably not an accident that I’ve always been attracted to art and artists – especially to music and musicians. I have always been quite happy with the scientific papers and poems I wrote (and hopefully I will be proud of my genealogy-based book too, once it will be published…), but if you read my writings, you can get to know only my “rational” side. I, however, wanted to find something more holistic that summarizes both my feelings and my thoughts: something that fully represents everything I am. And this is what I can do through music.
“It’s these words and music that keeps me living, keeps me breathing” – says one of the best Life of Agony songs, and although I don’t use lyrics for my music, even I intend to transmit messages not only through sounds, but also through visual and verbal clues using appropriate cover images, song and album titles. But the overall framework is music – a framework that contains pieces from the essence of my life: feelings, thoughts, emotions, affections, memories, beliefs… and in general: everything. The creative process of this “musical storytelling” keeps me living a wholesome life and breathing healty air – and if things go in the right way, you will hopefully better understand me through my music than words. You will understand not only the easily digestible superficial information, but also those things that I’m unable, afraid or simply ashamed to tell you in words. You will understand the “real me”. The question – of course – arises: what is this desperate urge of self-expression? In a world where identity gets a rightfully increasing attention, I identify myself a music maniac, who condenses and presents his inner self using this particular type of art. But if I try to identify the source of this drive to express and share myself, I often end up with Jack Kerouac’s immortal words: “I’m writing this book because we’re all going to die“. Well, I’m writing my book of music, because we’re all going to die – I’m going to die, too. But before I die, I feel the urge to create something that I think is “really me”. It’s not because I consider myself more talented or better trained than anyone else. It’s also not because I think that my thoughts are worthier to share than anyone else’s thoughts: I don’t feel the need to compete with anyone (only with myself). I just learned the hard way that all my efforts to create something proved to be (at least partially) dead ends – except this one.
Please, listen to me, and understand me. There is something immortal behind the surface of things, and I will do my best to find it, condense it and present to you.
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.