Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: VIII. “Looking Forward to Tomorrow”

There is always hope after emotional turmoil. While I am always unsure of whether or not I will wake up the next day, I always believe there is something beyond the here and now, something to look forward to. The future looks bright indeed. I suppose there probably is no better way to tell that story than through the power of the electric guitar.

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: VII. “Shattered”

Being heartbroken is sad and difficult to deal with. I gave it everything I had. No matter how hard I tried, it just wasn’t meant to be I suppose:

Now that I’ve expressed it on the piano, time for me to move on. On to the next story at a later date, folks!

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: VI. “Mind Over Heart, Heart Over Mind”

After two weeks of what was an emotional roller coaster, one would be apt to resolve the conflict between the rational self and the emotional self. By the time things were about to come to an end, I was doing everything I can to prove myself, pushing out every ounce of strength, resources, and the mental resolve that I will be different from all those other people from her past. Unfortunately, none of that would help settle her own internal conflict. I ask why can’t we be together. Seems like there is something wrong with me or something wrong with my present situation that will never make it happen. I had difficulty processing the thought that no matter how much mutual admiration, respect, attraction (if you will) that we had for each other, it just wasn’t the right time. Perhaps her own situation would also prevent her from completely loving me or meeting my needs while I might try to do as much as I can for her (that is if we had the chance to be together).

The themes using the symmetrical octatonic and whole-tone scales represent the mind while those based on major diatonic scales represent the heart:

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: V. “It Must Be the Rain”

The wet season in the Philippines is usually associated with major disasters, flooding around the Metro, the inconvenience it brings to city dwellers, disease, even death. Where I live, I encounter problems where it looks like it is raining inside my house. However, there are occasions when cloudy, rainy weather will remind you of a wonderful experience:

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: IV. “Waking Up From a Dream of Grit and Gravel”

There is a time when all of those feelings and emotions coupled with complicated situations and the lack of sleep will leave you feeling frustrated:

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: III. “Quid Inenarrabile Musica Voluntaris”

Part of living life as a single guy would be numerous attempts to meet women in many ways, shapes, and forms. In such a pursuit, there is a time when all of the sudden, you find this person. It’s as if the stars aligned themselves i.e. the person you have found thinks in the same manner as you, completes and compliments your thoughts, having similar struggles as yourself. I felt happy having found someone like that within the last few weeks. We knew each other back in the ’90s, and even back then we had this connection. I met her again recently, went out with her a single night that I probably will not forget. Two days later, we realized that this mutual attraction was real, was so intoxicating that there wasn’t a single day where we weren’t talking to each other. It was on the verge of a whirlwind romance yet for some reason, it was a romance that would never see the light of day. Such emotions are rather difficult to describe in words. When words fail to express, the music will:

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: II. “Is That You, Eve?”

It is natural for man to look for that other half, “katuwang” in the Tagalog language. Living as a single guy can be rather difficult emotionally. Erik Erikson identified eight stages of human development, and apparently I still fall under stage 6, intimacy vs. isolation. I struggle with the fact that I have lost 14 years of my life in a relationship that didn’t work out in the end, and I felt the need to search for that someone, my “Eve” so to speak. Here is a reflection of that state as told via improvisation on the piano:

Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: I. In My Solitude

Ever since I got separated from my ex-wife and started living the life of a single guy/parent, I have gone deeper and deeper into my musical activities. An almost everyday routine I have established is to record various musical ideas and improvise on them, mostly using the piano. While I have been doing this for the past few weeks, something about them was revealed to me. I then realized that as it turns out, they are actually reflections of how I felt at the moment or whatever it is that I experienced within that period of time. As I have previously written before, my current life in solitude can be lonely yet it is an open road where many opportunities have sprung up. Here is one of my musical stories from my current status, as told on the piano, called “In My Solitude”:

Living in Solitude Is…

…probably one of the loneliest things I have ever experienced. However, it has become one of the most liberating.

Not too long ago, I was in a marriage that lasted close to 14 years. It had to end. It had run its course. Safe to say although I worked and fought hard to keep it together, it crumbled down. It fell apart like a house of cards. I will spare you the details because obviously it’s very personal, but the very root as to why it came to a bad close was it ceased being a marriage at a certain point in time.

Marriage is supposed to be an agreement between two people to share each other’s worlds, to live life together, to be faithful to one another and collect memories over a lifetime. When one of these two people cease to believe in this, the marriage ceases to exist. It is not a marriage when one of two would believe that everything around him/her is the center of the universe and that everything else, including his/her spouse exists only in support of his/her existence.

God knows how I loved my former wife. I had been blind to everything else around me. I put a wall around myself, set myself apart from everything else that had defined me, almost cut ties with friends and family she had come to revile so much, even cut off God out of my life so that I would be able to love her, support her, and nurture her. Yes, it did take a toll in my soul, but I did it all because of love. She had become an idol I worshiped.

Years ago, I started to rediscover myself once again and I had started to go back to who I was. This was the least of her desires and she decided to cut me out of my life. Although we lived under the same house, we ceased to be husband and wife. I still tried to keep it all together as I tried to make memories and share more experiences with her. It was clear, however, that she wanted none of that, to the point that she even cut off our son from her existence. She wanted to be the star of her movie, and she would never tolerate anything else. It became as if I was just her employee; she paid some of the bills as a form of remuneration for my services. She simply became a tenant in my house. The relationship was dead, and I didn’t realize it until later.

A certain event made it clear to me that from her perspective, it was all about herself. She doesn’t want to be involved in my life or in our son’s. This made me furious, angry. That was it. I ceased loving her. All my fidelity and all my effort came to nothing. I said to myself this is not the life I’m meant to live. I ended our almost 14-year relationship. It was painful but it had to be done, thinking that it was for the kind of happiness she wanted and for the kind of life I desired.

My eyes had been opened to what my family and friends had seen years before. I did not listen to what they had said to me in the past. I regret putting up that wall around me in order to cease hearing their good advice. I can never take back the years that had been lost. All I can do now is rebuild my life.

While living in solitude is rather lonely, I do not regret setting myself free. In my heart I know that this is temporary, that one day I would be able to find someone to share my life and my world with. Until that day comes, I will keep on picking up the pieces of my shattered soul and look forward into the future.

A Few Words Regarding How I Composed the Music of Eskalets

For some reason I will never find out, I was chosen by Chrissi Villa to write the music for her video/audio book “The Eskalets”. I was in a pinch back then, being busy with other projects, but then I recalled a number of themes from previous compositions that would fit well with the story. Like beads in a necklace, I strung together a number of themes from my old compositions coupled with newly written material and improvised passages, signifying how some elements of life are known while some are unpredictable. It was a gamble of sorts, very much like the little birds of the story who tried to take their first foray into flight. I felt happy that my old themes and new arrangements for solo piano was a nice fit for “The Eskalets.”