by Laurence Hughes
Composer Laurence Hughes tries to express what it is like being an ‘incorrect’ creative artist in Britain today – the ‘wrong’ sort of person, with the ‘wrong’ political and cultural views, writing the ‘wrong ‘ kind of music. Perhaps he can be seen as speaking for the many other composers and other artists in the same situation?
Today I am 70. So that’s that, then
I would like to thank the music world for its magnificent (NON) celebration of this auspicious occasion. And for its touching (NON) appreciation of my 40 years + of effort, resulting in some 200 musical works of all types (mostly unheard) and literally millions of notes. And for the hugely encouraging (NON) performance of any of my music whatsoever in public since 2014.
After a certain amount of success in the 1990s, with performances in this country and abroad, broadcasts of my music, commissions, and music for TV films, not to mention years of freelance music journalism for the national press and BBC radio, since the cultural revolution of 1997 the last 25 years has seen a steady downward slide, until I have reached my current state of being a complete ‘non-person’ in the music profession. I am not even mentioned even in passing in a single reference work/site on British music.
Of course I realise that as an elderly white male I, and many other composers like me, absolutely deserve to be ‘cancelled’ like this, as just punishment for our white/gender ‘privilege’, and our cruel oppression of composers from other backgrounds, etc, etc. In the brave new world of 2020’s Britain people like us are surplus to requirement. The desire to contribute, even in a small way, to a great tradition is now redundant. In any case, that tradition is largely dead now as the result of the ideological deformation of our arts and culture.
I would also like to put on record my massive appreciation of the Remainer resistance and sabotage, followed by the Covid police state, which put an end to the energy and optimism that should have resulted from our leaving the EU. I and thousands of others worked for years and sacrificed time, money and in some cases our friends and reputations, to try to restore a sovereign democracy based on individual liberty, a small state, freedom of speech and common law rights. Instead we now have a ‘banana monarchy’ in which increasing surveillance and ‘social credit’ measures are dominant, everything is run by an unaccountable liberal-left ‘technocrat’ elite, and where opening your mouth if you have ‘incorrect’ views risks ruining your life.
To cap it all, in my 70th year I have personally experienced the arbitrary authoritarianism of the modern British state when I was recently shockingly and humiliatingly arrested at gunpoint and criminalised for completely innocuous activity. I have watched my country become a ghettoised, divided society full of half-educated, obese, obedient, brain-dead sheep who merely live to consume, believe everything they hear in the media, and are quite happy – even eager – to have their basic civil and human rights trampled under foot, in return for ‘safety’ and instantaneous Amazon deliveries. It is a country in which I now feel a complete stranger most of the time. And just to complete things, the Queen – the last link with the country and way of life I grew up in and felt part of – died. I was hoping she’d out-last me.
The disappointment and disillusionment is now complete. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing left to aspire to or strive for. I just can’t be bothered any more. I have had enough. What a massive waste of time and energy!
In case anyone would like to contemplate the futility of human effort, some 150 of my musical works (including symphonies, major choral works, etc.) – only about one third of which have ever been performed – are available on the Score Exchange site, here:
Thank you for your attention (if any).
Laurence Hughes is a composer and former freelance music journalist and broadcaster
Today I am 70. So that’s that, then
No longer young lads, just old men
I did my bit throughout life
All its brought me is bloody strife
Starting out is such great fun
Imagining accolades to be won
It won’t be me that ends up broke
And definitely not me as one of the woke
When young and with no cares
Life is yours to dash and dare
You think that life will be
Never ending harmony
If we could go back now with hind sight
We’d probably give it much more bite
Take more chances every day
And let fate steer our way
But here we are at this great age
The final curtain on life’s great stage
I’ve learnt to love my rocking chair
Watching the world without a care
A cup of tea and an afternoon nap
To give that up I’d be a sap
I’ve paid my dues that is true
Time to view my life anew
That was one of the saddest post I have ever read, but it does bring to light the tragic reality of a failed culture that is so nihilistic and provides less than nothing of value anymore.
Fwiw it’s worth your wind quintet is lovely. A hint of Buxtehude I think?
And in your quinet, more than a few shades of English folk music, I think.
Never give up, Lawrence. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Clearly yous till have much to say, musically, and there are people out there (out here) ready and happy to hear it.
Tongue out of cheek now………
Lawrence , I had working holidays in Britain 3 times (in 1969, 1972 and 1975). I am Australian.
Then in 1969, ( 2 years) was the most wonderful time of my life. Britain was still very British and it was refreshing. People were respectful and polite. Everything was in order, it was clean and above all it was very safe.
It started to change a tiny bit by 1975 (my last working holiday but still wonderful).
In 2007 my sisters and I brought our mother to Britain to show here where we had lived and what a beautiful place it was. I didn’t recognise London at all. My heart broke for what was lost. Where had the quintessential Englishman gone?
They say that progress is good but when you have the value of hindsight to actually see what has been lost, it is dastardly.
This is lost on the people of today who mind numbingly go about with their little electronic attachment so totally glued to their attention, they would rather die than lose it.
They are swapping freedom for convenience and will wake up down the track in chains “owning nothing and happy”……..and eating insects and bugs! And of course it will all be our fault.
Your life has not been a waste of time and energy. It cannot be a futility of effort if you enjoyed doing it. Satisfaction in one’s career is a wonderful thing. You are creative and leave a beautiful legacy of music. Not many can say that. Many great works are not recognised in a creators lifetime but someone will come across your works and your accolades will be in history. Not instantaneous for you now but something to think about.
We of this age can only sit and watch the “sheep” ruin their lives while we of the “incorrect views” try to keep our mouths shut without ruining the last few years we have on this planet.
I personally will find that a bit hard to do. I probably will be going out disgracefully but still as a lady !
You know Lawrence , there are so many of us out there all around the world. We are the grey army with nothing much less to lose. Hold your head up as I think we can be proud of our lives.
Happy Birthday Lawrence.
Thanks very much for that – it’s interesting to hear a sympathetic perspective from outside Britain, confirming that what I feel about the place today is not just some kind of bizarre personal aberration! The problem with music is that if it isn’t performed and heard, in a way it doesn’t really exist, which is extremely frustrating. My only consolation is that at least I TRIED to do something creative with my life, and I did have some exciting and fun times – I just feel sad it’s all ending in disappointment and disillusion. But as I said, so many others must feel the same.
You have not been wasting your time. If you had spent your life writing for the approval of the sub-human leftist vermin that have now taken over the world, that would have been a wasted life. Their approval is a badge of shame. Be proud that they despise you.
Hahahaha. Sound a little bit depressed. Maybe stay out of the news some.
Not familiar with your music but sometimes movie music makes the movie. Maybe stick with that for awhile.
LAURENCE. A huge apology for spelling your name wrong above. Our minds are racing so fast these days we just assume as we are reading. It is rather lazy and unforgivable. As they say stop and smell the roses (to take it in correctly). Sorry Laurence.
Thanks for all the kind comments on this – I hadn’t expected any! I just wrote this originally as a personal statement on social media, and was dubious about having it published here, but I suppose if it acts as a warning to people about the way our country and culture have been completely subverted, it could conceivably do some good.
You have no need to be disappointed Laurence. You are a success and have every right to be proud, and you are still young with everything to live for. I am enjoying listening to your music while I work!
6th. October is my birthday too! Congratulations on your age, fellow Libran.
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