Being random

I long since ceased to ask why....

I long since ceased to ask why….

I sit on the floor with my back against the door frame chatting away to my son and itching for a pen. I don’t have one to hand. The voice recorder, obviously, is in the other handbag… it always is. I haven’t managed to remember it once, or set it up in the car before I set off. I despair of me sometimes.

It was a great idea. I drive a lot and when I drive, I think. A voice recorder stops me, theoretically, having to pull over and scrabble for a pen. Unfortunately that only works if I have a) picked it up and b) switched it on. One cannot, after all, continually write life down and these flashes of inspiration are as quick to dissipate as any dream unless they are captured.  The idea was that I could record all those random thoughts and realisations as I drive.

Unless I have music, and then I sing. In which case anyone within earshot probably wishes I was thinking instead.



Music was the subject of the conversation today. Nick, my son, had been mixing. This is a skill he has acquired fairly recently and which has been a bit of a revelation to him. He was always into music, playing the violin as a youngster, singing (sorry Nick) soprano as a youth and then inflicting his particular choice of torture upon my ears through his teens.

Of course, his coordination limits his ability to play an instrument these days, so he decided to have a go with mixing decks. My younger son, Alex, installed his own decks at Nick’s home for a while (much, I suspect, to the relief of my younger son’s partner) and the two played happily, as they had done years before. But her relief was temporary as Nick bought his own decks.

For the uninitiated, mixing very basically consists of blending a series of ‘tunes’ (and I use that term colloquially and so loosely it might fall off), dropping them into each other seamlessly to create a new sound.

I shall not pass comment upon ‘Hardcore’ and ‘Drum and Bass’, except to say it is not all bad. Honestly. Let us be gentle and admit it is not my usual cup of tea and the finer points of it escape me. But as with other passages through musical adventure over the years, some of it I quite like. I particularly enjoy those moments of shocked horror when my sons realise I’m singing along and know the lyrics. This, of course, is perceived as unacceptable behaviour from me. On both counts.

Alex mixing

Alex mixing

Nick and I were discussing the progress in coordination and speed that mixing has helped him to make. He was talking too about the technical aspects of mixing and the musicality required to do so. As is the norm when we get going, the conversation became a little surreal, passing through the breaking of personal limitations and the barriers to progress that we inflict upon ourselves, through to comparing mixing to modern art.

A little while ago I would have scoffed at that idea, but the more I learn about what it takes to produce a good and seamless mix, the more I am inclined to accept that. The music has to be heard on a set of headphones for one tune, while playing another. Bars and beats are taken into account and then you have to predict the future, with a leap of imagination that holds all this in the head and can foresee.. forehear?… the results of dropping the tune at a given moment.

It is, like any other, a creative process.

My sons, it must be said, are a creative pair. Not necessarily in a traditional sense. One could call it the deliberate and creative lunacy of opportunism, otherwise referred to as ‘being random’. And do you know, I am as proud of them for their randomness as for anything else. Seriously.

Nick in a box

Nick in a box

To watch two young men being able to indulge in the general weirdness of being random as a fine art is beautiful. To indulge in their light hearted idiocy with a total lack of self-consciousness takes a special kind of mind-set. They are acutely aware, at some deeply twisted level of being, of the inherent possibilities of subverting their particular landscape for laughter. Rarely there is deliberate planning involved… as in the incident with the remote controlled tarantula, or towing people on rollerblades behind a mobility scooter… but mostly they are seizing a momentary opportunity. They are a constant delight to me.

Nick said yesterday, laughing, that he is sure he and Alex ‘have issues’ when they are together, because of the way they behave, sparking each other to further acts of verbal or physical randomness. Yet they seem to manage perfectly well when apart. The photos I could post and stories I could tell… but they’d probably strangle me…..

Alex.. the face is priceless

Alex.. the face is priceless

They have something that I have found to be very rare, a real joy in living, an awareness of the possibility of laughter that I am not sure they even see in themselves. Their delight is infectious and it is difficult to be around the pair of them and be glum.

Perhaps it has something to do with the intensity life acquired following the attack on Nick that allowed them appreciate life and living with greater awareness and engagement. I have learned a lot from my sons. I do not know where their joy stems from. Nick, however, would tell you the source of the lunacy in a single, oft–used word. “Genetics”.

Hobbit as pillion

Son as rider, Hobbit as pillion

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Life, Love and Laughter, Spirituality, Surviving brain injury, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Being random

  1. Running Elk says:

    Genetics? Random? Wanders off eating pizza… 😉


  2. E.H. says:

    I enjoy the window into your world. It especially delights me to hear your exploration of new music. 🙂


  3. Leisa says:

    I so enjoyed this! *giggles*


  4. GrowlTigger says:

    Just read this again, first time was the other day. I like to listen to mixed music or mashups from time to time, often they involve ‘classics’ from the 70s and 80s that I know and love. It is a skill I have not attempted, but I agree it is a creative art. 🙂


    • Echo says:

      I never used to think so.. like many of my generation, if it is digital, it isn’t art…etc, etc… But watching how it is done, seeing what goes into it, I admit I was wrong. 🙂


  5. I missed this post! Can’t think why, other than it wasn’t listed in the reader, have noticed it happens to some blogs I’m following, posts just don’t appear! Seeing as I’m an avid reader of your Daily Echo now, I’m most upset!

    All this mixing stuff does interest me a bit, but I think I’d prefer to do it all on a computer, I’ve had my fill of record decks in the 70’s and 80’s, I think I’ll leave that to the past! But I do love mashups and some remixes. I found a remix of Fade To Grey on You Tube and it’s got an amazing base to it! As depressing as that song is, that was my most favourite song at thirteen, and to hear it revived, creates an illusion of youngness in my 40 something mind!! 🙂

    And it’s good that your sons as adults enjoy doing something together now and then. Do you think they will still be mixing when they are pensioners!? 😀


    • Echo says:

      Yes I find a lot of stuff goes missing from the reader too since it was changed.

      The mixing is interesting.. Alex uses vinyl, Nick uses digital music. While i might have been prepared to admit a certain skill with vinyl, I wouldn’t have seen it with the digital until Nick started with it. His coordination isn’t.. or wasn’t .. good enough for the vinyl, so this was a way forward.

      Yet Alex, who has been mixing for years, adored the digital decks.

      My sons are quite close and do spend a fair bit of time together, which is lovely.Long may that continue.

      Mixing as pensioners? Hey.. why not 😉


  6. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing says:

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing.


  7. I love that your sons are creative, and it is no surprise to me. I used to work in the music industry and so am very familiar with mixing desks and have even sat at one so this post jogged some memories


  8. macjam47 says:

    Sue, there is nothing more wonderful than watching one’s children or grandchildren as they do something new, creative, or inventive and watch the love pass between them while they work or play.


  9. dgkaye says:

    Brilliant entertainment! You are blessed to have these wonderful sons. And um, so I’m thinking Nick has inherited your singing voice? LOL 🙂


  10. What a wonderful piece, Sue. You should be rightly proud of them. Long may the randomness continue!!


  11. Abbie says:

    I only just found your blog, and if there wasn’t a great reason to follow you (there are several), the picture of “Nick in a box” made me think of the SNL/J. Timberlake tune. 😄
    I see I have some reading to catch up on. ❤


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