New Track Added: No Escape -- Yet. BeBop Chill Hop? Maybe not.

Here's the new track, added to the "Jazzy Music" page: No Escape -- Yet 

As a jazz drummer, here is what I know: The listener’s job is to always know where “1” is (the downbeat of the measure), and the drummer’s job is to make the listener lose it – or at least make it difficult enough that it requires a heightened level of alertness. Jazz has a great and long tradition of demanding this type of acute listener participation, though there are also many examples of this that stretch back to Beethoven, Bach and even earlier.  

From time to time, I’ve heard a strain or sub-genre of Hip-Hop that uses a kind of “glitch” beat. Of course, it’s not a glitch. It’s just a rhythm that is syncopated in a non-traditional way. This calls to mind the syncopations of jazz as they developed. If you listen to Be-Bop jazz now, you will certainly notice the syncopations. But it’s hard to imagine what these rhythms sounded and felt like when they were new – and aggressively pushing the envelope of what existed then. (Ditto for many of the harmonies and melodies.) So Hip-Hop is the new Be-Bop? I’ve no idea (though the phrase does sound good…).  

Well all of this has just about nothing to do with why and how I wrote No Escape – Yet. But, as after-thoughts, these ideas seem somehow to be connected to something I find very intriguing: the idea of seeing Music as its own creature, with its own evolutionary agenda.  

People use music for many purposes, including political, cultural, mercantile, or functional (such as falling asleep, staying awake, setting a mood for an activity, etc.). But from Music’s own “point of view”, these purposes are little more than a means to spread out its influence, like those burrs that hitch a ride on animals to spread out. In its way, Music eventually rebels against being confined to a particular purpose because it has its own life and agenda that transcends any purpose to which it may be put. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that, ultimately, Music will serve its own purpose: to express itself and grow, and evolve – like any force of Nature.  

I just aspire to be a good servant. And this is my latest offering.

1 comment

  • Kendy
    Kendy
    I think you will appreciate this if I can share it well enough, and it’s connected to what you said about the listener. I was teaching a group of 23 eight and nine year olds about the concept of rests in music and trying to help them all stop playing their recorders at the same time for a quarter rest. I wanted them to feel how powerful the silent space is in music. When they succeeded one boy, who really has a lot of problems attending in the classroom, said immediately “ I heard it!” And we marveled at how you can actually “ hear” the silence!!! Some of the other kids got it, too.

    I think you will appreciate this if I can share it well enough, and it’s connected to what you said about the listener. I was teaching a group of 23 eight and nine year olds about the concept of rests in music and trying to help them all stop playing their recorders at the same time for a quarter rest. I wanted them to feel how powerful the silent space is in music. When they succeeded one boy, who really has a lot of problems attending in the classroom, said immediately “ I heard it!” And we marveled at how you can actually
    “ hear” the silence!!! Some of the other kids got it, too.

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