Wednesday, January 16, 2008

to have a dialogue

For sometime now I have been pondering something I heard a few months ago in a random moment in class. We were talking about the importance of music and this came to be: the definition of jazz means to have a dialogue.

And so I have been sitting on this. Music having a dialogue. The layers and textures filter emotion and meaning. We tell stories with beats, rhythms, and harmonies. Miles Davis's Kind of Blue has been playing pretty frequently as I study. There is something about this record that blows me away. The simplicity and the complexities interweaving itself throughout the record. The piano and trumpet speak to one another, not in a call and response kind of way, but a dialogue of emotion. The drums slice in that tiptoe in and out of the conversation, sometime taking command while most of the time is just in the background guiding.

I wish I had better words to express how I feel but I think the music tells it's story. I love that there are no lyrics in jazz. You command the story, you insert your story into the charts, you make the meaning, and you let the emotion take you on the journey.

I don't know why that phrase, to have a dialogue, has been so important to me lately. I have been carrying it in the other forms of music that I have entered into lately. Every time I listen lately I am trying to understand the full scope of the conversation. What is each piece trying to tell one another and then what is the whole trying to say to the listener? Somedays I think hard about this and then there are other days when I just put the windows down, drive on the freeway as fast as the cars ahead of me will let me, and sing horrible pop songs. The conversation is no longer necessary, it's just commanding my emotions for a moment.

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