Today, as I prepare to travel to see one of the most important – no the most important person in my life – I’m 38, and thinking about the last twenty years, and what the next ten and twenty years may hold.
When I was growing up, my mind was open to much and I had the freedom to learn, grow and explore.
I loved fiction and fact, the histories and stories, and the visions of what’s possible for our technologies, species and global development.
Sometimes it feels like a dream, but I was there, and today I want to talk about a few of those moments, and the ripples they’ve opened up..
I went to University in Durham and studied Mathematics, and the choice of that and being at Van Midlert College changed everything. Much as the sorting hat altered Harry’s destiny, choosing that choice was one of the nexus points. I could have gone to Bristol, or perhaps in another world continued on my own path as other did..
Music and Movements
I’d seen computers from the earliest days of the BBCs and as a child been fascinated by the world of music and dance music especially. Ever since my first CD player and those 10 albums which were a birthday present from M. Those albums were played again and again, and the ability to cleanly hear these soundscapes changed everything. Meanwhile records going back from the early days filled the house and the sound of song.
Uncle I – and I still don’t know why – gave me a gift £1,000. Back then that was life changing and it enabled me to invest in some record decks. They were heavy and robust and real. They were technics and made things possible. I’m trying to remember now the sequence.. but it was a lifetime or three ago.. Was it the mixer or the decks first.. in time my bedrooms in Kent and the room in Durham were filled with mixers, samplers, decks and in time the CDJs..
Yes.. the CDJs.. you may not even know they exist.. or the impact they had.. but we saw it .. and imagined it..
Music was on computers ..
Music was on CDs..
But the DJs and the mixers were analogue..
What if you could combine the world.. real time .. seamless.. smooth..
Well.. somehow the bright sparks made it so.. and here was the catch..
The Pioneer CDJs were expensive, big and the biggest challenge no music..
So, there it was and somehow I got to see the world change.. I remember Rob and Tim and the office in Putney.. I don’t remember how or when I came across them, but somehow I asked and worked there for the summers. Packing CDs and seeing these two seemingly humble men who rocked and shocked the world. They brought together albums onto CDs.. In so doing they changed the game. DJs could get the music, the players had music to play.. and the digital revolution music had a voice.
This is just the broad strokes..
From there.. Purple FM.. DJing and orchestrating from a basement across Durham and walking home at 4am.. never knowing who was listening.. enjoying and wanting the feedback.
The birth of Blue Barracuda and the three musketeers that were Psi Pi, John-B and Roscoe.. For years we had the best club night in the north east – Well I may be biased – but the NME and Melody Maker said it was so at times. and we had the biggest names in the Drum and Bass scene come through our club – Goldie, SS, and more..
Let alone when I was named on the flyers for the deep house night alongside Booker T..
I miss the days.. of seeing a crowd smiling.. happy and knowing that you could move them through emotions..
John continues to rock the world.. and be on the most innovative music entrepreneurs I’ve known .. he’s a quite ninja.. a rocket scientist and many will never know. He had a certainty in himself and his creative vision that I still admire and look up to ..
… I went into the city.. but those days.. still opened up.. The Launch Party.. ( www.VIPlaunchparty.com ) , the start of the next phase of online dating and events in London .. with Dinner And Drinks.. and I’ll remember that phone call to the founders of Gumtree..
Change Makers and Transformations..
Meeting, inspiring, confusing and nudging what have become some of the greatest thought leaders and change makers of the last decade came too, and in time I think they’ll see what was possible all the more.. or perhaps they won’t..
However once you set up the dominos and let them go.. well they will tip.
The client who couldn’t get past what he’d done that night.. and know has phoenixed himself after we shone the light on it.. I know what we did and what made the difference.. even though he will never admit it to anyone else publically.
The client who had given up.. and know is the figure head to millions of a new possibility.. I was there in that kitchen..
Why am I sharing this.. I was there .. and you were there..
and what comes next.. I truly hope will inspire, bring us happiness and so much more..