Day 183

Day 183:  Rehearsal with the OSO.  Better on the Janacek.  The Shotakovitch Symphonic Dances is a wonderful piece too.  Haven’t heard the Puckett yet…wanted to wait for the performance, but I’m sure it’s killer.

After months of academic work and studying, I’ve forgotten how much fun it is to play, composer, and listen to music that I want to, rather than NEED to listen to.  This got me thinking about the idea of choice in music.  Not choice in music as in John Coltrane vs. Britney Spears, rather the choices you make as a musician during the production of music.  What bowing should I choose?  How loud is mezzo-forte? Which articulation is best here?

Every nuance in the performing or composing of a piece is, to me, where the beauty lies in the musical work.  You choices derive from your musical taste.  Musical taste can be guided, but it is difficult to teach.  It is difficult to teach because it is self-referential and deeply related to choice.  As human beings, choice is our “inalienable right.”  This is the basis of our country’s political system, our lifestyle decisions, and our preference for art.  Consequently, this is why I find “jazz” so fascinating and fun, especially as a bassist.  For every beat of a tune, I have to make a choice.  Sometimes my note choices are conservative, and sometimes, if I’m feeling rascally, they’re a little more outside-the-box.  It’s always fun to see where these choices take me.  My only hope at the end of the gig is that my bandmates like my choices too.

Here’s what I HAVE chosen to listen to today.  My good friend Jason Treuting is playing drums.

“Bad Mango” by Dave Douglas and So Percussion.

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