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"Let me inter//rupt you there!" Monday January 5, 2015

Growing up, the major way to buy our music was to go to a Record Shop and purchase vinyl. It was tangible. It was expensive. It was something I highly valued.

There is something magnificent about the scale of an LP. Not only was it big, it also offered a broad canvas for cover art. I loved the music. I loved the art. I loved the experience.

There is, however, a couple of problems with vinyl. Firstly, it is sensitive – it can warp in the heat (so you never left it in the car on a hot day). Secondly, if scratched, it never plays the same way again.

I am vinyl.

Well, my mind is like vinyl.

Often it is warped through being (over/hyper) sensitive. My perception of 'reality' can become twisted, distorted, bent out of shape in the heat of the moment.

Also, just like my first Album purchases, I can play the same old tracks over and over, over and over, over and over again. Some of these tracks are rubbish – bad compositions, badly recorded.

What do to? I seem to have little power over what to play. In the dead of night, the Jukebox of my consciousness chooses the same old tracks, coming back to haunt me with their accusing or fear-filled lyrics. I know they are warped. I know they are not reality. But they still torment and disturb.

One way to deal with them is to deliberately scratch the recording – to violate the vinyl! I can face my fears and challenge them with powerful questions such as, "According to whom?" or "What would happen if I did?" Or I can dig into the groove with a blunt needle and turn the recording into a parody of itself. For example, changing the quality of the accusing tone into the voice of Mickey Mouse. Somehow an accusational, "Why did you do that?" doesn't sound as intimidating on the lips of Mickey Mouse.

Some people call this a pattern-interrupt. Once you've messed with your 'pattern' the record will never ever play the same way again. It's a bit like standing up to a bully – once you've done it, the relationship will never play out the same way again either. Something has changed forever.

If you find yourself troubled by your thoughts, interrupt them! Interfere with them! Scratch them where they irritate! Interrogate them! Demand that they present evidence to support their statements! The very process will change the way you experience them.

Behind the distorted reality is often a better recording to be discovered or created – something beautiful can be learned. So record a new album…

And then, from your learning, on the cover, make great art!

A Moodscope member.

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Di Murphey Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 1:00am

Dearest Lex ~
I am recording a new album with fabulous art on the cover as fast as I can! Your post is deeply moving & has the ability to totally reshape our freedom in changing perceptions. Thank you, from my heart.
Di Murphey

crafty wee midden Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 5:22am

I........LOVE.......THIS.....! Thank so much

Hopeful One Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 7:12am

Hi Lex- I enjoyed reading a welcome post but I have problems.On a practical basis I wouldn't scratch my vinyls.They are getting rarer and increasing in value because of this and many aficionados insist that they play music with better fidelity than digital.Me being an analogue person in a digital word find this quite satisfying!You might interrupt your 'old vinyl' with the thought pattern disrupt but I suspect the fragments will re-emerge as they find their disrupted fellows and form a new pattern.In the jargon they say 'the thoughts you resist will persist'.Far better (and less expensive) is to let the thoughts pass by teaching oneself in the stillness of the night that if you let them in without any reaction you also let them out..That way you will let them and in the process they will lose their power and you can continue to enjoy your vinyls..Sorry to be the party poop today .

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 7:30am

Hi Lex,
I very much enjoyed reading your words. I agree about the precious nature of an L P. The 1st one I ever bought was ""Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. Which I simply loved and wallowed in.

The second part of your post is trickier, for me at any rate. Because if only I could RECOGNISE the pattern, I would change it! Far too often I am just not self aware enough, I feel.

Julia Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 8:21am

Bonjour Lex. I love the vinyl analogy, the jumpy needle and scratches on the surface. Deep down those vinyls were perfect just as we are, were it nor for superficial irritants, bullies and other baddies which or who try to stop us whirling around with happiness.From the title of the blog today I thought it was you but when I read the first line,I wasn't so sure. Not knowing you, maybe I don't imagine you as THAT OLD! Ha ha.

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 12:44pm

Ooh Lex, I'm a vinyl lover! Love today's blog...I actually tried it out in the shower. Not having the most positive of wake ups the record played in the shower "this is rubbish, I'm rubbish, what a rubbish day". I remembered what i'd just read and merely added the word 'today'. Scratched the vinyl! Rock on. Love from the room above the garage x.

p.s. Hello everyone x.

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 1:19pm

Hello Hopeful One! I sort of agree with you, as I have read many times recently, that we should let the thoughts come and go...I'm not sure how to let them pass by, without a reaction! Is there a technique you can divulge, maybe? Please? Karen :)

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 3:59pm

DJ RATG is in da house, in da shower, and in da Room Above The Garage! Glad it worked for you, dear friend. And you can record your own new album too... create some vinyl! x

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 4:03pm

Hi Hopeful One, I didn't think your comment was a party poop at all. Best to have many techniques at our disposal... and I wouldn't dream of scratching real vinyl! A professional DJ years ago let me have a go at 'scratching' - it felt SO wrong! I've never done it since. What I'm seeking to do is change the pattern of the associations so that they become recognised in a new way by the brain. You've managed a different approach where you are not associated with the thoughts - equally powerful.
At the moment, most of my bad recordings hook my emotions in every time, so 'scratching' works well, but I will try your suggestion too. Reminds me of my favourite quote from 'Dune' again!

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 4:18pm

Bonjour Julia... nice development of the metaphor too - the perfect record with only superficial irritants.
I hope you're spinning "right round, baby,
Like a record, baby
Right round round round..."
In happiness today.
As for being 'THAT OLD' - I prefer 'mature'!

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 4:27pm

Hello Anonymous... I was excited to hear what your first LP was. It would be great to hear from other folks what theirs was... though I recognise our blogs last for a day, then fade like a firework! What a wonderful album you began with... I hope you listen to it today.
As for the second part, beginning with the feeling is the key. If you are not feeling OK, there's a pattern there that would benefit from a change. So, changing anything at all will cause a remix. If you sitting down, feeling low - stand up. If you are stationary, move about. If you're hot, cool off. If you're cold, go and warm up. Any change changes the whole web of connections going on in your mind.

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 4:28pm

Hey Crafty Wee Midden... I.......REALLY..... LOVE....... THAT........ YOU....... LOVE..... THIS!! xx

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 4:55pm

Dearest Di.... I am excited if you mean this figuratively or literally - either way is a win. The thought of you experiencing more freedom to change the way you want to is fabulous art in and of itself. I can see an album now, "The Art of Change"... but what would be on the cover?

You also got me singing a Sting song to myself, "That's Not the Shape of My Heart" - choosing the shape our heart takes.

Lovingly grateful for your encouragement

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 5:16pm

Really useful image this one, Lex; thank-you. Hubby calls my internal dialogue "talking with Harvey" - which can help me to recognise when I am rehearsing conversations which never take place ... Something to do with "knowing your enemy" I guess; in this case the enemy being repetition of rubbish tracks.

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 6:18pm

Yo da traina man, s'up? (This is so bad...and I mean bad bad not cool bad, I'm sending myself to bed early for this!!!)

First album Tug of War, Paul McCartney, 1982
First single, Don't You Want Me, Human League, 1981
Love ratg x.

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 7:56pm

Oh, oh, oh!!! Those are "Oh"s of excitement... "Don't You Want Me Baby" - that's cool... and I think Paul McCartney shows sophistication.
Album, Rick Wakeman "Journey to the Centre of the Earth"
Single, 10cc "Rubber Bullets"

The Entertrainer Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 7:56pm

Get scratching, Dear Frankie, get scratching! x

Hopeful One Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 8:57pm

Hi Karen-thank you for your interest. The technique is called meditation. Oh no ! not again I hear you say but please bear with me.When practised correctly there comes a stage in the meditation when awareness and concentration are in perfectly balance. At this point something strange happens.There appears' space' in our minds which allows us to take a seat and watch our thoughts and feelings as if they are a screenplay.The trick is to remain in balance and to stay in one's seat and not be tempted to be judgemental or in any way to try and rewrite the script or direct the play. It then becomes apparent that the thoughts and feelings we have are simply mind events and transient and provided you do not do anything they simply pass by. If you do get up from your seat and start getting involvedvbthen the thought or feeling becomes 'alive' and gets a life of its own.In fact at this point one has stopped meditating and is just thinking. There is a technique of medication to suit everyone's lifestyle. Unfortunately you to try them all before you find one which suits you. The breath as the mind target( all meditation techniques have one like a candle or orange or a mantra ) suits me fine as it has the advantage of not requiring any equipment, is portable and costs nothing.Asuitable introduction to this technique is in Andy Puddicome 's book 'Get some headspace.' is need a certain amount of dedication and determination. Do it everyday without fail please for at least eight weeks before rejecting will experience what I've described.another book I can recommend is 'Buddha's brain 'by Rick Henson.This details the neurobiological basis of what happens t in medication in our brain . Being of a scientific bend I like to know and I find that very satisfying as it explains to me what is actually happening in my brain.sorry to be so long winding the subject is not simple.Hope this helps.

Hopeful One Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 9:01pm

Incidentally there was a program on radio four at 8 o'clock this evening which covered this topic with all the eminent people in this field contributing. You can hear Andy himself!

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 10:24pm

The Headspace app is another good starting point. Andy talks you through ten x ten minute sessions to give you a taster for how it should feel. Love ratg x.

Caroline Ashcroft Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 10:28pm

Thanks for the blog Lex. Haven't stopped thinking about all the old records I loved and will definitely now get on Spotify - if only they were still available on vinyl! Caroline

Anonymous Mon, Jan 5th 2015 @ 10:32pm!
Rick Wakeman I know but I'm ashamed to say not well. I may give myself a mini project.
The only music I struggle with is jazz...

The Entertrainer Tue, Jan 6th 2015 @ 5:07am

Hi Caroline... may I invite you to enjoy "The Joy of Charity Shops"?! One of the great things about our High Streets becoming filled with Charity Shops and Coffee Shops is that you can often find what you want on Vinyl! I'd buy them just for the covers!...

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, Jan 6th 2015 @ 9:31am

Ah, why didn't I read this yesterday? Totally brilliant as always darling Lex! First single (embarrassingly) "How About Us?" by Champagne. First LP (much more indicative of musical taste) Queen's "News of the World". I still have my old vinyl (smugly) and my lovely hubby bought for me last year a machine to play them and record them to a memory stick. Haven't done any of them yet (Time, Time Time - and that's the beginning of Paul Simon's Hazy Shade of Winter, made famous by the Bangles), but it's great knowing I can do!

The Entertrainer Thu, Jan 8th 2015 @ 8:24pm

Hi Mary, just checked out Champaign - How 'Bout Us... if that's the one... oh yeah! Of course, Queen gives you Street Cred, in a Cycling Kind of Way. Plug that machine in, turn it on, spin it, and record them!

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