I’m an immigrant kid.
I came to the state in 2001, at a moderately young age of 7. At that time, I didn’t have much to hold on to. I had lost all my friends, family, and basically a daily routine. Everything felt overwhelming and confusing. “This is what a foreign place is like,” I used to think.
Growing up, I became increasing introverted due to the fact that I couldn’t communicate with many of my friends. I suppose “was forced to become” is a more accurate way to depict the experience. I caved more and more inwards, shying away from meeting new faces and forgetting how to express myself solely using my physiological features.
And then this happened. It was around the age of 15 when I experienced a new form of expression.
Two years back, after being told by my parents to pick up an instrument, I chose to learn drums. Everyone else seemed to go along with guitar, bass, piano, and the like, so I wanted to try something different.
Fast forward, there I was. Playing in a band with a couple friends and then-college students. Experiencing something I’ve never felt before.
A new way of self expression.
For someone like me who struggled to speak, I felt like the music we produced spoke for my behalf. It captured all my emotions. All my thoughts. And explosively expressed it all at once.
We played for a good 3 years thereafter. One of the few good years in my life.
Since then, my dream was to become a musician. Not because of fame. Not because of anything else. Just because of the idea that music allowed me to become myself.
But as a natural result of growing up, going to college, and becoming aware of our economical status, I let it go. Money became a priority. Education became a priority. Academic standing became a priority. Social networking became a priority. I felt stuck again.
Maybe about a month ago, my apartment-mate introduced me to Sampulator, a site where you can basically create your own tune loops. Half-heartedly creating my first piece (after his suggestion), I felt a spark ignite in me again. Something I’ve once neglected and forgotten, now revived.
I love photography. I love writing. But I realized I love music even more.
If you’re curious as to what I have created (so far), here is my First Project, Second Project, Third Project, and Fourth Project. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did while making them. I recommend using earphones for the fullest experience.
I know I can’t dream too big right now. There are things I have to do first. Important things I need to take care of before I sort of let go of everything to pursue my heart’s desires.
But I know I’ll return to music someday. After all, it’s the one thing I still hold on to.
I’ll end this piece with a past post I wrote about music once—
There’s something in music that takes me away. Something that makes me just stand there. When someone’s singing. Or hammering away at a bass guitar. When a boy screams his heart out, reciting only three words. Something about the vibrations in the air. Where I don’t do anything… and just listen.
All of a sudden, the words paint pictures. Stir up emotions. Give me a reason to breathe. A reason to sing… Even if the words remain simple, they speak to me, send chills down my spine, and connect to a part of my soul — my living spirit that can not be touched, except by music.
Then in that same instance, it takes me away. And as I immerse myself in the lyrics, I scream them as well. I hear the crashing of the cymbals. The high pitched notes of the synthesizer… And all of a sudden, I pick up my instrument. Or just my voice. Or even just my body. And rock to it. Flow to it. And for that moment. For that one euphoric moment…