Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dream Teams part 2

This is my second apology: I was going to write a post the follows Dream Teams part 1 the following day, but did not realize it woul
d be a lot harder to write than I'd thought. I have the second part now, and I hope it sparks some thoughts in you. As usual, feel free to comment when you do.

I wasn't particularly fond of jazz until I met an aficionado who became my husband. I've listened to a whole lot of different jazz styles now and the thing that intrigues me most is the process of improvisation, which is at the heart of jazz. I want to be a fly on the wall during rehearsals, to see how decisions are made and to witness the interchanges among musicians.

I got that wish come true partially, while watching a DVD of the recording sessions by McCoy Tyner, for an album he created with such guitars greats as John Schofield and Bill Frisell. (And drummer Jack DiJonette: how cool is he?)

These musicians don't plan everything out, they t
alk in short hand, and they trust that their fellow musicians would respond. How they end up with their music is still a mystery to me, but I was drawn to how they worked together.

In the bonus feature of Across the Universe, a movie based on Beatles songs, the director talks about the movie-making process as being fluid and dependent on the actors' responses. She has an initial idea, and she tosses it out and everyone fleshes it out and experiments with it. Some of the results I am not sure about, bu
t a couple of them turned out to be very moving, at a guttural level. I don't think a carefully scripted, well-rehearsed scene could evoke the same reaction.

Whether the players are musicians or martial arts practitioners or movie makers, when a group of them, who are passionate about an idea, have the experiences and skills to try them out, and who respond to the energy created
by their fellow creators: BOOM!

[Hello Fire 1 by doozzle at Creatvie Commons]

My life as a writer is lived mostly in solitude and I like it just fine. Sometimes, though, I do miss the intense conversations I used to have with fellow piano pedagogy geeks when we taught at our little white building in Kingston, NJ, conversations that left me exhilarated and hyper-alive.

But even though I work in solitude, I don't live in a vacuum. And like most writers, what I write, fiction or non, is based on real experiences, reactions to people and events, and life and truth and beauty as I perceive them. People who are intentional about living and have passions and dreams are usually willing to share them when the moment is right. I just have to learn to recognize those moments.


Nandini said...

We thought of you this weekend, Yat-Yee, when we watched Forbidden Kingdom. It was awesome! I just realized we didn't watch the bonus features, so we'll do that before returning the dvd.

You're so right about improvisation ... not that I know much about jazz music. BTW do you know about jubalbandi (in Indian classical music) when two musicians (usually one percussionist) challenge each other in a sort of dual solo? It's amazing.

Nandini said...

argh, typos ... jugalbandi, i meant ...

Yat-Yee said...

No, I don't know about jugalbandi, but it sounds like something that can be a lot of fun, especially if the two are evenly matched.