Apr 18, 2009
Just a Moment
Went to see a jazz trio called “Fly” last night: Mark Turner (saxophone), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jeff Ballard ) drums. Their performance reminded me how much I love improvised music played by intuitive and gifted people who know how to spontaneously combine harmonic complexity and dynamic subtlety with a searching and startling lyricism.
Just as we’re taught that a line contains an infinite series of points; music, for it’s part, shows us the infinite divisibility of time. The limits of this division are set, on the one hand, by the frequency of tonal or rhythmic variation attainable by the musicians and, on the other, by the patience, attentiveness, and perceptual acuity of the audience.
Events apparently never exhaust the between of instants, which always allows for ever more vanishingly brief happenings. By contrast, a moment is not a measure of time, but a state of consciousness. Music, like the music I heard that night, ebbs and crashes around this moment of awareness causing us to ask not how soon is now, but how long?
Image Courtesy of overdrive_cz.