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Music is at the very heart of everything we do, it’s where LTL was born. Read this extract from Dave’s book “Stepping Into The Dark”. It tells exactly why music is fundamental to what we do.


  1. “Music has always been so much more than an interest to me. It’s what keeps me sane in this crazy world. It often provides me with answers to questions which I don’t even consciously know I’m asking. People often talk about music as the soundtrack to their lives. For me it’s even more fundamental than that: music has been my life’s road map. It influences all my decisions and guides me to new places – often places I’d never have dreamed of going to otherwise. For me, to be a spiritual being, it must be possible for a person to be affected by music. After all, music is the language of the soul. This is why it can often convey what would otherwise be unspeakable. For me, music can often express what’s in my heart far better than words alone.


  2. Actually, I even have a theory about this. I have no real evidence to back it up, but nonetheless I believe it whole-heartedly. My theory is that sight impaired people make special use of music and explore its deeper meanings to an even greater extent than sighted people. Since we can’t read facial expressions or body language so successfully, we pick up all our nonverbal clues via sound. Nuance is a language we’re fluent in. Inflection and tone are our currency.


  3. In the sighted world, I often feel at a disadvantage not being able to pick up on cues that are purely visual. It’s even easy to feel inferior or paranoid because it’s like trying to conduct an argument when only your opponent has access to the full facts.


  4. In the world of music, on the other hand, I feel I have the upper hand. This is my home ground, a place where I feel the odds are more stacked in my favour. This is largely why music remains my favourite art form. I prefer music to literature, art or movies. With music I’m on more than just a level playing field with the sighted world… I feel like I’m the one with the upper hand. Music has always been a safe haven for me, a kind of sanctuary and a place of retreat. Whenever I feel sad, lonely, upset, depressed or in any way troubled, the chances are I can be found listening to music or playing my guitar. When I feel like shutting the world out and telling mankind to go to hell, it will be music that brings me back out of myself. It provides me with the resolve to carry on.


  5. Denise has sometimes accused me of being a musical snob and to be totally fair to her, she has a point. But in the sighted world where I miss out on all the other nonverbal cues, it’s nice to feel that sometimes I’m gaining insights that sighted people are missing out on. You have access to people’s facial expression and body language. Meanwhile, I have all the nuance, inflection and tone of music. It’s my true domain.


  6. Over the passing years, many other interests and even passions have come and often faded away. Their remnants are stacked in boxes in the attic because I try to kid myself that one day I’ll take them up again – even though we all know that’s not going to happen. Music has always remained, though. There’s no thrill greater than rushing home with a new CD and popping it straight into the player. I still love to hang about in guitar shops, dreaming of owning their many treasures. I surround myself with musicians too. Last night I mentally compiled a list of my mates and I discovered that only three of them were not musicians.


  7. There has always been something about the setting of words to music for me. Words set to music become more significant, their meaning stronger. Words in song embed themselves in the mind, reverberate and echo. Loudon Wainwright III, one of my favourite songwriters and a well-known hellraiser and teller of the tallest of tales, once said: ‘I cannot lie in a song.’ In fact, I often find Loudon’s songs just too painfully honest – I find myself feeling embarrassed as if I’ve overheard something private. It’s like reading someone’s diary.


  8. The music of songwriters such as Allan Taylor, Jackson Browne, Ray Davies, Dougie MacLean and many others has often been the only thing I’ve been able to cling to. Songwriters such as these have kept me sane at times when I was closer to the edge than I’d have cared to admit. I use their songs to relate to things that are generally unspeakable, not just focusing on the lyrics but also on the backing track, which can often speak to me far more deeply. The arrangement is very important to me… it’s what conveys the artist’s smile or frown. Because of the secret messages which I feel are communicated, I like to think of music as a secret language to which only a chosen few can have access.”

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