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Software Engineer Turns Musician

My name is Ian Sykes and I am a 39-year old software engineer. Although I have played electric guitar since the age of 15, before I participated in any Landmark courses I had not played in a rock band. Indeed I used to tell people that I didn’t want to play in a band, professing that I was not talented enough to do so and that “I did not want the hassles that accompany fame”. What was actually the case was that it had been my dream for years to play in a band but I’d been too confronted by a fear of being in the limelight.

By the time I started the Team Management & Leadership Programme (TMLP), I had gained experience of playing in a rock band, formed as my project from Landmark’s “Communication: Performance & Power” (CPP) course. That band, a trio comprised of myself and two other musicians I’d met on the CPP course, had come to an end when the bass player (who was also one of the lead vocalists) had returned from the UK to his native Northern Ireland. But not until after we’d played a gig at London’s Imperial College.

During TMLP I set out to either join or create a new rock band playing Britpop and indie music, rehearsing within 30 minutes drive of where I lived. I was convinced that forming this band would be far more difficult than it had been to form the first one because I knew that, this time, other Landmark graduates were not eligible to be band members; I would have to pitch myself on the “open market”. Nonetheless, within about three months the band, comprised of myself and four other musicians, was complete. We were rehearsing variously at three venues, each of which was within 30 minutes of where I lived, most of the music we were playing was indie or Britpop and the sound that we made collectively was inspirational. From this I saw that I can ongoingly be fulfilled throughout the rest of my life by creating whatever I set my mind to.

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