My Composition Story
Part 3: Grief, and Success
Anja's Departure and finally passing a degree
Let's fast forward to 2009. I've just passed all my term papers and I'm in the middle fo a different era having left Cologne Conservatory I studied languages and linguistics primarily at Cologne Uni and had another girlfriend for two years then returned home in 2007 and signed up for an MA degree in English Linguistics and Language teaching which I'd gone into as a student job in Wuppertal and Cologne and I'd done professionally alongside music for seven years.
Anja and I had got back in touch for a final showdown. I was doing some therapy into why I couldn't form normal long term relationship and why my sex life was so higgledy piggledy. I wrote out a long list of all my friends and lovers and saw Anja's name on it and identified her as my favourite. So, I thought I'd ask her over to England one last time. Anja was doing rather well at the time having just sung at Neuschwanstein Castle for Bavarian State Opera and having been involved with a production of Die Meistersinger which she asked me to listen to on WDR3. I was star struck that she'd performed with Jonas Kaufmann as well as having been an opera babe for André Rieu, but I got involved with her life again and she had me translating her CV and liasing with Dame Emma Kirkby for her in English regarding an MA in singing at RCM London. I must have got myself involved with several geniuses that wanted to stab me in the back then. I told Anja not to bother with the MA in England because I was afraid her character would have been completely assassignated as mine was at GSMD. She was MY type and they weren't. They always turn up on time for everything come hell or high water and she and I quite frankly don't. I advised her against getting involved with those guys like her best friend Hannah Morrison. I argued very strongly that she was too much of a character for the American tenors especially like me. I also didn't think she'd get degree standard English in that time, because I was doing my final dissertation as an ELT teacher. We fell out because she was annoyed with me and though I valued Hannah more than her. I said Hannah was more Robin Bowman and Eugene Asti's type and she argued "Yes, but why can't I have what Hannah has?" I know that kind of sentiment doesn't go down well in the GSMD fraternity form bitter experience. Robin tried to put me off in that audition and I know I got my place for getting the better of him musically because he didn't know me. I was 19 years old disorganised cup winning genius and I didn't know what I was doing with a senior genius like that I paid a very high price indeed. I made the mistake of my singing career not sticking to lessons with the great Ashley Stafford becuase he really cared about me. I beat people from the Yahoudi Menhuin School, Purcell School, and Cheethams specialist music colleges to a place though sheer intelligence some of whom must have already been friends of theirs. People like Kath Jenkins who was in my year at RAM. They didn't get her. I don't know whether that's because of me. He hated me for it because I wasn't quite ready to take him on neither was she. What is more I was the only Classical musician in the family which says something for me I think. I lost my place to an American genius because I was too innocent as to their intellect. I'd never met an American genius before and Robin beat me up as well politically. I didn't want that to happen to her at all.
So, we had a massive bust up and I lost her for good. I did give her the right advice though because she got her job as a PAYE Opera Singer in Halle an Der Saale and got herself pregnant there with her daughter. She made basically because of the decision to stay in Germany. The greedy guys and girls in London, I know it. It's all the people from a London college want is to work in Germany, she had that ticket and those girls and guys who murdered me when I was 19 would have pillaged her voice and left her for dead as well for the opportunity. Those guys are so ambitious you really have to know what you're doing in a top five world college form day one GSMD is number 2 in the world and I went there. It's a very, very tough school indeed. Barbara Schlick cared and nannied her and loved her they wouldn't have done and I lost her for having really cared about her that much. They might have had a say in my career but they never will have a say in how famous she is and I feel very proud of that indeed that was a 1-0 to the Waldock.
She left me half way thorough my master's dissertation at Essex though so I was walking wounded. Mum was also stressed at work and nagging me half to death. Despite getting over 60% in the coursework with 3 distinctions I limped over the line with 55% in the dissertation. I'd never written anything of that length before of course I was doing the MA without ever having completed a BA and I got it but only just. I was totally incapable of working in that last week to get that extra 5%. As a consequence I couldn't get the job as a tutor in ELT I wanted a decent PAYE job myself. Depressed and isolated I started to have a second breakdown but went into creative overdrive and in to a truly genial phase of my life. It was a Genieschlag losing her. It was a beautiful artistic and emotional experience. I started to write at first 3 novels of over 50,000 words New Leather Jacket (2009), Germain Potential (2010) and Your Knight in Shining Armour (2013). During this time I started to improvise and write songs and this led to other forms of composing such as piano sonatas.
It was like being in the film Happy Gilmore and the other golfers sending you to the ninth green at nine o' clock and turning on the sprinklers. That's partly why because I wasn't a singer or Ice Hockey Player I thought I might be a composer and they hadn't noticed it.
It was around this time just before I went completely mad for the second time that I entered into a relationship with Reem a Dr of linguistics from Aleppo in Syria. It was a friendship that lasted about six months, we went out for dinner and to Al Hambra Restaurant in Shepherd Market and I got an insight into her culture just before it tore itself apart.
I wrote her this little Bach like song Op.8 Reems Valentine's Gift and later Op.9 Reem from Aleppo. They are her songs from me. The second song contrasts with the first written 2 years later but part of the same set I was worried about her saftey after the univeristy where she worked was bombed by the Syrian government. I didn't have access to information as to her personal safety. the bass is from Schumann's Grillen for Fantasiestücke for piano which I arranged as a broken chord sequence and then played with to make it my own at the end.