I am thinking today about space. Not outer space, but space in music, and I suppose space in life. Why? The universe often brings ideas together for its own purposes. My amazing and talented partner Diane is busily purging our belongings. I approve wholeheartedly. Belongings have never meant much to me, apart from a few instruments. The house is starting to feel bigger without all the detritus.
I also just listened to David Gilmore's solo in Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). Improvisors, if you want to learn about leaving space in your solos, listen to that! So many interesting things, all over two chords. In fact, pretty much any solo by Gilmore is with a listen. Great melody writers are hard to find. I myself tend to throw as many notes into a solo as possible, and hope for the best. I amaze myself with how many ideas can mean so little.😏
As with most things, art imitates life imitates art imitates life....I let my life get too cluttered with ideas, plans, goals, objectives and , ya know, wants. I fill up time with all of that noise, and I don't let things breathe. I guess that is what music is....filling up time with noise. However, the very best at music, and I suspect life find ways to take a second to contemplate the good before they move on. I have always been terrible at that.
As an educator, I have always been a projects guy. I do big things with great students, and before the applause is fading I am contemplating the next big thing. This, it occurs to me, robs both my students and myself of the tremendous reward of introspection, and the learning experience of space. Sometimes it helps just to say "wow, what was that?".
Also as an educator, I tend to push hard at students to comprehend, move ahead and think about 'constant forward motion." Not only is this antithetical to research, it is just bad for the soul. Now that I am a student again, I am really enjoying just taking a moment to sit and think about what I have been sitting and thinking about. It is cathartic.
So, today I am going to listen to Comfortably Numb, and think about why I might need less furniture in my office. I am going to think about teaching, and learning and writing, and I am going to allow myself some space to do so. I am also going to listen to some Mozart. He also thought about space in music, although he also loved the relative chaos of lots of notes.
Lately, anything I talk about would be empty without a Thile reference. Chris Thile is accused of using too many notes all the time. I think that he may have taken that to heart, because the stuff he is doing lately, at least to my ears has more space. However, however many notes he uses, that all sound right me, so some folks seem to have all the luck. 😁
In music, and in life we all need a little space, if only to appreciate what we have already heard. But seriously, go listen to a Gilmore solo, like, now.
Another brick in the Wall (part 2)
Thile-Too Many Notes