In a former life (1990-2000) as a music therapist working in a school with children with Autism I encountered a very bright, but very remote young boy. My job was to engage with this child using music as part of the overall stream of therapeutic services offered to our clientele.
This boy would be dropped off at the music room where there were many visual stimuli and manipulables to play with. I used a technique called “mirroring” which I learned about through the work of Nordoff and Robbins. I watched his movement and improvised on the piano matching his movement rhythmically and resting when he was static. The goal was for him to become aware of an “other” (me) through non-verbal communication and share in the interaction as a kind of game where sometimes I got to lead.
On this one occasion, he was left off and I “followed” him on the piano. After about 15 minutes of this, I could see he was becoming agitated by my relentless pursuit and he turned away from me and said in a very loud voice “Laisse-moi dans mon monde!”. I was shocked because this child had not previously shown much verbal skill apart from pointing at the various pairs of fluorescent lights that lined the ceiling and pointing at each and saying “ça s’allume” if the lights were on or “ça s’allume pas” if they were off.
Not one to let it go at “Leave me in my world”, I asked him “what was in his world?” and he turned to me and smiled and said “des belles images”. This was a turning point for both of us. I respected his wish and I stopped mirroring him and started to play something beautiful for myself while continuing to watch the boy play. As I played I thought: “I’d like to be in a world where there are beautiful images” and I thought about the number of times I have been pulled out of my reverie by something mundane like an alarm, or a parental obligation. I started to question what I was doing which was to pull people into “our world” which ran contrary to my raison d’être as an artist which was to create beautiful worlds out of my imagination.
Many years later I was trying to learn “The Heart Of The Matter” by Don Henley. The opening guitar chords are similar to the chords of “Free Falling” by Tom Petty: Henley’s has a melody based off a D chord followed by and an A7sus4 chord where the voicing was root, fifth, octave root, fourth, and the seventh on top. I kept missing the exact voicing of either the first or second chord. My fingers were used to the Tom Petty. In frustration I looked at my mistake as I would instruct a student to and realised I kept playing the D with the fifth(A) in the bass. I played the D/A and improvised a little melody which was similar to both Henley and Petty. Cool! I knew a new song was coming! Then the bell rang (I was on a break at school) and I thought “Laisse-moi dans mon monde!” as the kids raced into my class.
I had some help with the French grammar from a colleague just to make sure of the conjugation, etc.
By the time I got to record this in a real studio (Boutique de Son) my voice was not quite recovered from a head cold and I could not sing the highest note to my satisfaction so I tuned my Martin D28 down a whole tone and sang it in C rather than D.
Laisse-moi tranquille Laisse-moi tranquille dans mon monde Un jardin de sérénité Laisse-moi tranquille dans mon monde La vérité à éviter Toujours l’été Ton monde n’importe rien pour moi Je n’ai pas de lien avec toi Chez moi je reste maître et Roi Rien de mauvais, de beaux portraits Dans mon palais De belles images Dans les nuages Douces berceuses Pensées hereuses La paix existe dans mon monde Mon jardin de sérénité Laisse-moi vivre dans mon monde Il est parfait De tout beauté Ma vérité Ma vérité.
For those who may not understand French, I have included a translation
Leave me alone in my world a garden of serenity leave me alone in my world reality is to be avoided and it’s always summer your world means nothing to me I have no connection to you at home I am master and king nothing is bad, there are beautiful portraits in my palace beautiful images in the clouds soft lullabies and happy thoughts Peace is present in my world my garden of serenity let me live in my world it is perfect and beautiful my reality my reality