When You Freeze Under the Spotlight and All Eyes are Upon You

ambient music jeremy de tolly safety self-regulation transform your voice vocal liberation Aug 24, 2022

I walked onto the stage with my body vibrating with fear.

Bright spotlights on me, I could barely see the audience.

I sat down at the huge, shiny black Bosendorpher grand piano.

Took a long, deep breath.

I was shaking.

I was about to play the first song from my then new solo piano album, ‘Piano Nocturnes Volume One’, but my hands were like icy claws, rigid with fear.

Music press, friends, fans and family were all there in the audience.

I played – and it was like playing piano with frozen sausages for fingers.

My playing was wooden, not my best.

In the midst of a lot of breathing and trying to be deeply present, I felt clumsy and scared through much of the gig.

It was the first time I'd played piano live in front of an audience. And I just want to give a shout out to those of us who freeze under the spotlight or when in front of a group of people.

It can be a visceral, full body experience.

At the time, I didn't know what to do. I didn't have the tools to unwind that.

Nowadays, I know how to move out of that freeze response and return back to a sense of relaxation, which honoured the spirit and feeling of this album much more.

Piano Nocturnes Vol 1 is enormously spacious. It's more about the space between the notes and reflects a time of peace in my life.

Luckily the album doesn't sound at all like that first live performance!

I hope you like it, have a listen to the album here. Let me know if you like it.

It's good for falling asleep to (I still fall asleep to it every night), working to or genuinely feeling a little bit more peaceful.