When music was mightier than the penThe hollow pit in my stomach convinced me that somehow I was grieving over my father's death. There were no words to describe the lack of feeling or emotion that I felt. Not a single tear welled up in my eyes. There was no lump in the throat or even a small inclination of sudden loss. All I could translate from the hidden depths of my repressed emotions was a sense of emptiness.I knew my father had been terminally ill. We had expected, perhaps, a sudden decline in his health followed by a period of incapacity before he died. It did not happen this way. It was sudden and unexpected.In the weeks that followed I could not understand why I could not bring my emotions out into the open. Somewhere, I knew, buried deep within myself there was a part of me that screamed to get out. There was anger and loss so deep within that it was as if it were trapped in a cavern several miles underground. A thousand words could not describe the feeling, the loss or the battle that I had raging within me to release the inner torment. Nothing that I could say, or feel, expressed adequately the need that I felt to find an outlet for my emotions. Nothing, that is, except music.My father had been a musician all his life. He could not read a note but in his head he knew over a thousand songs. At the age of 14 he played the accordion in public houses and only stopped when his fingers became too arthritic to move. As I was born into a musical family it seemed inevitable that I too became a musician.I was classically trained on the violin and the piano but what is more I learned how to write music. I composed my first piece of music at the age of 14. Creating music was a passion but it was slow going with a pencil and manuscript. My efforts were limited to what I could play rather than what I dearly wished to compose. And then the age of the computer arrived. Before me I discovered new possibilities and ultimately the opportunity to compose the kind of music that I really wanted to write.I was ambitious and loaded with potential. When my father could not express his feelings he turned to music. I suppose I followed his footsteps in this manner and I could do no less. I sat in front of my computer and started to compose my first full orchestral symphony.Where mere words failed to express how I felt, I took my rage and my sense of loss and channelled it into the very heart of my symphony. With each note I purged myself, so it felt, to the very depths of my being. Where words would not come, where my feelings would not show, the music flowed until finally 'The Magic Symphony' was born.
by Shane Ward