The Angeli Symphony of Stuart Sharp

The Angeli Symphony of Stuart Sharp

May 09

Stuart-Sharp

Stuart Sharp

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Important Links:

Stuart Sharp’s Website
Stuart Sharp on YouTube

You can listen to portions of Stuart’s sympathy by loading his website and allowing the audio file at the top of every page to play.

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Experience: I Dreamed A Symphony, Then Composed It
By Stuart Sharp
As told to Emily Cunningham
The Guardian
May 18, 2013

Original Link

I grew up being told I had all the musicality of a brick. I couldn’t read or write a single note; music just didn’t feature in my early years. Instead, my life followed a traditional path – I married my wife, Jo, at 21 and our daughter Emma soon came along. We were expecting another baby when things took an awful turn.

During labour, the contractions stopped and the doctor couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat. He performed an emergency forceps delivery, but there were terrible complications. Our baby died and Jo suffered serious injuries during the birth. Her life was in the balance and she needed major surgery.

I was devastated beyond words. I felt like giving up, but I had to hold it together for both Jo and two-year-old Emma. I felt utterly crushed and empty when I went to bed that night.

But as I fell asleep, I had a wonderfully comforting dream. All I could hear was music. When I woke up, I couldn’t stop replaying it in my mind. It wasn’t just a simple melody, but a symphony. And somehow I could identify each instrument and every note.

It felt very odd suddenly to have this awareness, and I wanted to see if I could make something of it. But I was working as a cook in a rural pub in Leicestershire and couldn’t just drop everything.

Jo and I never discussed the death of Ben, our baby son – it was just too painful – and we focused instead on bringing up Emma and our new daughter, Kate, whom we adopted shortly after Jo had recovered. Without an outlet to process what had happened, the music in my dream was a way of grieving for Ben, and the longer I put off recreating it, the more frustrated I became.

I felt desperately trapped and unhappy, and started to drop hints to Jo. “I think I could be a great composer,” I’d say. Understandably, she thought I was deluded. I don’t blame her – I couldn’t even read music, let alone write it.

I loved my wife and children, but I really wanted to see if I could be a composer. Jo reluctantly agreed to let me go to London and she gave me six months; I would keep in contact regularly.

I had nowhere to stay and ended up living in a squat, earning a few pounds here and there. One day I sat on a bench outside BBC Television Centre and a man stopped to chat. He was a musician called Anthony Wade and after I told him my story he listened to the very rough recording I’d made using a guitar I’d bought for 50p. He was amazed by it and told me that it could be magnificent if it was orchestrated, but that would take hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This was a blow, made doubly worse when I discovered that Jo had met someone else. I was devastated, but it made me even more determined to achieve my goal. I set myself the task of earning enough money to hear my symphony played by an orchestra. It took 15 years of working 20 hours a day as a business consultant, but finally I was able to search out Anthony Wade again, who was dumbstruck to discover the homeless person he’d chatted to had raised so much money.

He helped me put together a demo tape and put me in touch with the conductor Allan Wilson, who was initially deeply sceptical. After he listened to the demo, he told me that I had done the equivalent of brain surgery without going to medical school and that it could be a masterpiece.

Allan booked the Philharmonia Orchestra and finally, more than two decades after my son’s death, I would get to hear the music played as I’d dreamed it. As the musicians arrived at Abbey Road Studios, my heart was pounding so much I could barely stand it. I had sacrificed so much to arrive at this moment. Then the baton was raised and I heard my Angeli Symphony for the first time. I was incredibly moved. It was like seeing the birth of a child, as the notes were released from my dream at last.

The orchestra gave me a standing ovation after it was over, but I was so overwhelmed that it was hard to appreciate it. Fifteen years on, I have written another four symphonies: somehow musical ability has been released in me. I will never forget that first one, though – I still can’t quite believe I wrote it.

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Homeless Man Becomes A Millionaire After Writing Hit Symphony… With No Musical Training
Daily Mail
October 1, 2009

Original Link

A self-trained musician who slept rough on the streets for a decade has been hailed a genius after writing a symphony.

Stuart Sharp, 67, saw a vision of the musical masterpiece in his mind after his baby son Ben died 35 years ago.

He could not read or write music but the tunes were so vivid he was determined to turn the ‘imaginary’ sounds into a symphony in memory of his lost child.

But the dream led to problems in his marriage and eventually divorce. He ended up homeless and broke on the streets of London.

But Stuart’s persistence eventually paid off and his 40-minute masterpiece has now been recorded by The Philharmonia Orchestra (of London).

Stuart’s Angeli Symphony has been described as a work of ‘genius’ by music experts and is to be played in the Royal Albert Hall.

Stuart said: ‘My son Ben died after medical complications at birth and my wife was very ill in hospital. I was in so much trauma you can not imagine.

‘Then on the night of Ben’s funeral I had a vision of soothing, beautiful music and it gave me great comfort.

‘I could see the whole orchestra playing and as I watched I could see all the individual notes being played on the different instruments.

‘After that I would often hear the music and I could remember it all very vividly.

‘The tunes were always very real, very beautiful, sometimes as if the angels were really playing to me.

‘I did not know what the notes were and at times I doubted my sanity, especially as I am an atheist.

‘But I came to understand that it was music for my son and I could see it on stage one day.’

The romantic symphony, which is filled with string instrumental sections, has astounded professional musicians.

‘Stuart’s vision for his musical work was remarkable and it’s quite astounding that a non-professional musician has come up with something of this quality,’ said Alan Wilson, conductor of The Philharmonia Orchestra (of London).

‘I guess it’s a bit like someone attempting brain surgery without ever going to medical school — genius.

Stuart, from Leicestershire, married his childhood sweetheart Jo when he was 21 and their daughter Emma was born in 1974.

But when his son Ben died due to medical complications at birth the family were wrenched apart.

Jo was in hospital for over a year and Stuart was left to care for their daughter and work full time as a pub chef at the Red Lion Inn in Sibbertoft, near Leicester.

When Jo finally came home the couple adopted a baby called Kate but Stuart became depressed and unhappy.

‘I was drinking like a fish, a bottle of whisky a night and I knew if I continued I would end up dead,’ he said.

‘Instead I explained I wanted to follow my vision and create a great orchestral piece.

‘My wife was not happy about it, she thought I had gone mad and needed therapy, but it was something I needed to do.’

Stuart left home and lived on the streets for nearly 10 years, taking casual jobs and living off scraps. His weight dropped to just eight stone.

But he was determined to follow his dream and bought a 50p guitar which he used to strum the melody in his head.

One day while sleeping rough outside the BBC’s Television Centre he met jazz musician Anthony Wade, who offered him a place to stay and helped transcribe the music.

In the years that followed Stuart turned his life around and became a self-made millionaire through a career in sales and property.

‘By 1994 I was rich and had a huge home in central London and I decided to buy a recording studio so I could finally realise my dream,’ he said.

‘I tracked down Anthony and he couldn’t believe how much I had achieved.’

It took several years to write the symphony, which will be a soundtrack for a documentary film about his life story, which is now being filmed.

‘It took many years to get the tunes out of my head, but I managed it and since then I have written 30 more pieces,’ said Stuart.

‘The Philharmonia Orchestra gave a standing ovation after they played it, but it still feels strange to think I wrote it.

‘I think after Ben died I died and became a different person.’

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The Snow People: An Anthology
By Stuart J Sharp

snow-people

Amazon Description:

‘The Snow People – an Anthology’ is the only autobiography in literary history to be released with its own theme song, an associated symphony, an accompaniment in poetry, and a classical play.

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The Angels Paperback
By Stuart J Sharp

the-angels

Amazon Description:

“When he was as young as three years old, Stuart encountered spirits of dead people such as Sally and her son James. This was during the cruel winter of 1947 when he witnessed snow fall for the first time. He called them snow people . His parents constantly worried about their young son who always seemed to be talking to himself in the early hours instead of sleeping. He kept such nefarious activities secret from friends for fear of bullying. As time went by his younger sister Hilary became aware of Stuart’s strange connections and saw for herself his incredible abilities, that manifested over a short period. Was it just his vivid imagination, as his father thought, or was it real? Stuart was known as a dreamer and failed his eleven plus and left school unqualified. He preferred to live in his dreams where he felt safe. The power of such dreams provided him with a constant source of guidance and went a long way to support him through a dysfunctional, impoverished background. Only when he allows himself to follow his own path and ambitions does he find determination and purpose which lead him to great personal achievements and successes in exciting new pastures.”

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1 comment

  1. This is a wonderful story! I love hearing of someone who is given a gift like this, as he was given a symphony as a gift. Hearing of how long it took him to bring his symphony to fruition is inspiring to me, as I keep plugging along to bring my own dream to life.

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