Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Rhythms of Life

I’ve often compared life well-lived to music well-played, but now I’m feeling this as something more specific. As follows: 


Teaching—the Jazz Tune: Teaching music at school, each new class in the schedule is a jazz tune, with each individual class a particular song with its own melody and chord changes.  Every day, you improvise through the changes, never playing the same notes twice. 


Travel—the Symphony: Your life at home has its opening themes which are then developed. Just before you’re about to travel somewhere, all the themes are re-capitulated, you check them off the list and wrap all themes together in a grand cadence, pack upcoming themes into your suitcase and hit the final chord of the first movement as you close the lid. An interval of silence as you drive or train or fly to the next location, then open the lid and the 2nd Movement begins. The next stop on your itinerary? The 3rd Movement. And so on.


Sheltering-in-place—the New Age composition. One chord, washy pleasant notes with no tension, just ambient sounds that don’t go anywhere. 


Sheltering-in-place with kids—Free Jazz: Listen to Pharoah Sanders' solo on John Coltrane’s Meditations album and you’ll understand immediately. 

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