Tag Archive for: music


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.

Website for Musicians to Distribute their Own Music

My name is Derek Dearden and I have been running my own business, developing software and designing computer systems for over twenty five years.

I would have claimed to be entirely content with my life – after all, I could generate a comfortable income doing work that I enjoyed and arranging the structure of my day to suit myself. But the reality was that most of the projects I was spending my time on did not really satisfy me.

When I was listening to a friend of my son playing a piece of music that he had composed, I suddenly thought “This is much better than a lot of the music you hear on the radio or can buy in the shops, but what chance does he have of breaking into that world? And how poor a deal would he get if he did?” I realised that with today’s technology, it would be possible for people like him to put their music in front of a Global audience. I created the idea of a website where musicians could just put up their music and it would be available to all the world. I saw that it would be possible to offer this without creating an artificial scarcity for the sake of the publishers’ inflated profits, and that there could be a simple and fair scheme for channeling the income back to the musicians. What would have been predictable before I joined this Program was that this would have remained merely a nice idea that I was sure I would do “someday”. With the training, the coaching and the support that it provides, I got my website – beatbiz.net – up and running within three months of joining and I’ve now got about a hundred musicians from all over the world contributing to it and hundreds of visitors every day; and this is only the beginning!