What If You Could Do Something In Your Free Time That You'd Always Dreamed Of?
By Gavin Aung Than / zenpencils.com
Jul 23, 2015

James Rhodes is a British concert pianist. Largely self-taught, Rhodes has released five best-selling albums and is known for his refreshing performances that ignore the usual formality and tradition of classical music. Rhodes never performs in a suit, holds his concerts in non-traditional venues and entertains the crowd with stories about famous composers and how they affected his own life in between pieces. You can watch his insane talent on display in a number of videos on his YouTube channel.

The passage used in the comic was taken from a column Rhodes wrote for The Guardian in 2013. It’s one of the most fantastically motivating articles I’ve ever read and I highly recommend you read the entire piece.

Classical music quite literally saved Rhodes’ life. As a child, he was sexually abused for a number of years, which left Rhodes both mentally and physically damaged. Mental health issues stopped Rhodes from taking up a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and he stopped playing piano entirely for 10 years. Throughout all of Rhodes’ pain, music was his one saving grace. Writing about one of his favourite pieces by Bach: “That piece became my safe place. Any time I felt anxious (any time I was awake) it was going round in my head. Its rhythms were being tapped out, its voices played again and again, altered, explored – experimented with. I dove inside it as if it were some kind of musical maze and wandered around happily lost. It set me up for life; without it I would have died years ago, I’ve no doubt.”

During his years away from the piano, Rhodes worked a corporate job which he was miserable in. On his decision to finally start playing piano again: “Only when the pain of not doing it got greater than the imagined pain of doing it did I somehow find the balls to pursue what I really wanted and had been obsessed by since the age of seven – to be a concert pianist.”

RELATED COMICS: A lifetime of learning. It costs nothing to encourage an artist. The calling.

– Rhodes’ memoir Instrumental was released recently, but only after he was made to suffer more anguish over his childhood abuse. The British Supreme Court removed an injunction that was preventing the book from being released. You can read more about the case here.
– Rhodes is also on a personal crusade to save music education in schools. After his successful TV series Don’t Stop The Music aired in Britain last year, which followed Rhodes’ quest to collect old musical instruments and refurbish them for use in schools, there’s now an American version looking to get help funded on Kickstarter at the moment. Hello, is anyone in Australia reading this?
– I’ve never really been exposed to classical music, besides from Looney Tunes cartoons, but I have been listening to Rhodes’ Soundcloud page a lot while working on this comic. I’ve especially been playing this Beethoven piece over and over again.
– Thanks to Lara for sending me the article.


James Rhodes in Action

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
What Happens When You Rebel Against the Herd
Sofo Archon · 15,461 views today · Are You Truly Living Your Life? You live, but are you living the way you want to live, or the way others want you to live? You choose, but are your choices based on...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 13,303 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 8,668 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong
6 min · 4,175 views today · What causes addiction? Easy, right? Drugs cause addiction. But maybe it is not that simple. This video is adapted from Johann Hari's New York Times best-selling book 'Chasing...
Artificial Ethics and the Search for Intelligence
5 min · 3,339 views today · How to stop a robot turning evil.  It's 2027 and Mental Endeavours Ltd has a problem with their flagship robot Günther. How do you program an intelligent machine not to...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 3,218 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
The Coming War on China
John Pilger · 2,425 views today · A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an...
Murdoch and Trump, Sitting at the Tee, S-C-H-E-M-I-N-G
Frankie Boyle · 2,238 views today · Say what you like about Donald Trump but he's already done things people said were impossible, like made Twitter worse. Looking back, the Harambe situation is the closest...
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 1,459 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 1,434 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Two Ways to Build Global Community
Dan Hind · 1,219 views today · A platform co-operative approach to information, rather than the models of Facebook and legacy media, provide reason for optimism, writes Dan Hind.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,117 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,063 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
What Would It Take to Stop the Raids?
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective · 864 views today · Responding Effectively to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attacks
Philippine Vigils Against Vigilantes - The Reign of Terror in the President's War on Drugs
7 min · 794 views today · The war on drugs waged by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken more than 7,000 lives since its inception. It took the killing of a South Korean businessman by police...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 759 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
System Change Will Not Be Negotiated
Nnimmo Bassey · 747 views today · We frequently hear calls for system change, at public mobilisations, in conference halls and even in negotiation halls. The calls come as slogans, they come in anger and they...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 664 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Simple Social Experiment Shows We Are More Than The Boxes People Put Us In
3 min · 664 views today · We live in a time where we are quick to put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 577 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
What If You Could Do Something In Your Free Time That You'd Always Dreamed Of?