Diary of a Cruise Ship Guitarist
How did I end up in the North Pole?
By following my dreams and finding my sea legs.
With a little help from serendipity.
London 2013. I’m sitting in my tiny studio flat with no windows, freezing cold outside and a very weak internet signal. The entrance to my studio is round the back of a row of shops overlooked by grim tower blocks with dodgy looking characters on the dimly lit street. The cost of living in London has narrowed down my choices of accommodation and I find myself and my guitar in a damp basement wondering how got here.
The one saving grace to this place was the complete transformation of scenery once you turned into the alley round the back of the shops leading to the entrance of my studio. It was like you had space warped to another world. A courtyard of trees and cute converted stables with children playing and laughing. Quiet and calm seemed to pervade this space.
It was in Maida Hill that I received on offer of a six month contract as a guitarist on a six-star cruise ship and it was the memory of Maida Hill that kept me calm and peaceful while playing alone at the highest point of the ship in The Midnight Sun Lounge in four metre swells in the North Sea on my way to the North Pole.
Being at the highest point you felt strongly the rocking motion of the ship.
One day I was playing and remembered a piece I had composed in Maida Hill entitled ‘Maida Hill’. I began playing it and quickly found that the rough seas and rocking motion no longer disturbed and actually began to enjoy myself.
The memory of my time in Maida Hill seemed to imprint on my present reality with all the emotions felt at the time. But now as I write this blog in the busy, bustling hot and humid city of Bangkok, Maida Hill holds yet more memories and emotions. Footprints in South East Asia.