This is the website of Clement Jewitt, PhD: composer, writer, etc.


My Lifeclementportraitsmall

Born in North London early in the 2nd World War, my earliest clutch of memories are of bombs exploding, glass flying, houses reduced to rubble, the church down the road spectacularly burning. The nursing home where I emerged into daylight was bombed flat shortly after my mother left it with me. Several families lost members then.

However, this is not going to be a complete biography, though maybe I’ll write one: who knows?—not before I’m ninety though.

Life was a bit quieter after the war, and I grew up with Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally) as my childhood stamping ground, local schools for discipline (did they succeed?), public libraries to satisfy curiosities, and the streets and Highgate Woods for bonding with mates (who were they, I ask myself?—memory fails). That was my life until Dad started building the family home in Kent south of London, when school holidays were filled down there helping him with the build, on a rural site where a previous house had been. [We heard about the ghost from a brickie during one of those working vacations, but that’s another story…]

Skipping forward three decades, I had married, four loved children had arrived and thrived, we are living in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, and I continued living there after the divorce . . .

I had studied architecture on leaving school, but didn’t finish the course (the pull of the art school was strong—more females there), eventually became a librarian, migrated from there to early work on library automation, and was elected to the Institute of Information Scientists.

And then, in my mid-forties, after ten years with a small innovative high-tech computer company which collapsed when the bank grew nervous, a couple of years later I am personally in the same bind in the role of Consultant (to ICL, the Technical Directorate of the European Communities, and others, but not enough of it). Fortunately the bank manager pulled the rug before I would have lost my house—wise man!

So, redundancies again. This was another existential shock, following the earlier crash of Oriel Computer Services and more personal crises connected with marriage breakup and related matters. These traumas gave me the opportunity to ask myself what did I want to do with the rest of my life? Always ready to turn a corner when matters crumbled, quite another personal strength beckoned.

Throughout my life there had always been some connection with music making, including choral singing, beginning with church choirs in boyhood. As an adult, founding and directing amateur early music groups centred around recorders occupied attention, at about the same time learning to play and perform on the classical guitar, which I then taught informally for many years. During an earlier period of redundancies I had experimentally tried composing for my own guitar or recorder playing, at first to fill vacant hours. But then I was hooked—this was what I really wanted to do. But first I had to go back to earning, for my children were not grown: hence the consultancy project.

Now, though, all employment options were gone: ‘ageism’ prejudice saw to that, and the consultancy had not worked sufficiently well, albeit better than average. So I felt free enough to concentrate on what I now loved. I was continuing a journey in, a trajectory of, what I focussed on and worked at, from the materiality of architecture to the intangibility of music.

A strong interest in how sound and music is received by body, mind and spirit has lead to investigations in acoustics, physiology and transpersonal psychology.  My PhD, from Birmingham Conservatoire, investigating the application of a post-Jungian model of the psyche to creative endeavour, included writing the extended song cycle The Night Sea.

I regard music as essentially an act of friendship. An abiding interest in the musics of India and Indonesia has found some expression in my works.  Some side studies connected with musical work are mentioned in my PhD dissertation, the most important being a natural development out of a long standing psychological attitude and study focussed particularly on the work of C.G.Jung and successors. Consequently I am interested in the now current consciousness studies astonishingly appearing within mainstream materialistic science.  The rest, as they say, is history.

But not quite. My curious mind repeatedly fails to focus undeviatingly on a single endeavour, as the wide range of books on my shelves testify. Early interest in our fellow animals and other forms of life found a focus for a while in anatomy, physiology and ethology, now superseded by an ecological world view verging on deep ecology (in a wood, I am a different person—the green man!). A counterbalance, or perhaps necessary accompaniment to all that, was and still remains a keen interest in occultism in all its forms, viewed for many years as essentially a variety of props for that mysterious capacity, or force, known as intuition.

This (in the view of some) heterological bundle of interests led to my membership of the Scientific and Medical Network (SMN)  where I have found a fellowship of similar minds, not a few greater than my own.

And now, from around 70, I find that yet another occupation appears to be opening up, to my somewhat bemused eyes: as healer, channeling energies through my hands, backed by the astonishing powers of the archangel Metatron.  I am humbled by this gift, presaged though it was by my growing awareness of the sometimes profound effects on others of my usages of singing bowls, and of my improvisational music played out-of-doors, in woods and parks, at celebrations of the Wheel of the Year and other events, over the last decade.

However, I came to the decision that the Metatronic, and related Shamanism studies, were in actuality support for my creative activities - I am not therefore set up as a healing practitioner.

Further to that, and unforseen, at 75 I am now married, to the remarkable Margaret Koolman, who I have known for several years.  Now I like to think that I am following the Russian composer Shostakovitch on the marriage front: first one good enough, producing children, second short and destructive, third in advancing age mellow and beautiful, hopefully into dotage . . .  !

We are not done yet!  Late in 2016 an epiphanic realisation came to me following a period of dissatisfaction with my own work (writing music and words): I realised that there was still something missing in my life - interactivity with others.  Yes of course there has been quite a lot of group work: attending and running workshops and courses, with Music & Psyche colleagues and, thinking back, on quite a large number of weekend and longer experiential and learning courses.  But through all that my sense of isolation kept me from any deep relatings with all the people I encountered.  Though very few of them would have realised that I was not fully engaging with them . . .  No, I now realise I need something more, so in the Autumn of 2017 I embark on a counselling course with the highly regarded Gloucester Counselling Service.

An interview of me speaking about my musical philosophy, by Christian Bodhi of Ability of Love TV in March 2008 appears on Youtube.


photo: Margaret Koolman