I often like to listen to music with my eyes closed. That way I can live inside of the music, turn it into pictures in my head, instead of being anchored in reality. With live music though, closing your eyes can make you miss important things. The faces of the musician’s, their communication with their instruments, any movement that fits with the music. I haven’t seen a lot of live music, until recently I’d only been to one other concert (See here, http://ideasorlando.com/blog/discovery-tangible-music/). I was recently in New Orleans with my dad. He’s a musician and general music lover so he took me to Preservation Hall to hear some jazz. I like music a lot, I really do, but I don’t know a whole lot about a whole lot of genres. I kind of just find songs or artists I like and get attached to them. (Unless we’re talking about musicals which is a whole different story.) Anyway, I was cool with it cause I like going places and seeing performances. I am not a particularly patient person though and I have an anxious mind that gets very easily distracted, so I was kind of nervous that without lyrics I wouldn’t be able to focus on and actually enjoy the music, but I proved myself wrong.
The hall looked like a beautiful set that had been dressed by an amazing props crew, but real. Having been a props mistress myself, I adore that kind of thing. (I know, I probably talk about my theatre history too much but it’s what I’ve got, okay?) The textures and colors were all complementary yet layered and the objects were all set perfectly. It looked absolutely lived in and loved. Like the best set one could hope to produce. But not a set of course, or not the kind with flats and platforms, a real live place. And It was so small! I’ve performed in small black box theaters before, but this wasn’t a black box, it was literally a room. I was sitting on the floor in the front, and I could have reached out my hand and grabbed a musician’s foot.
I don’t really know anything about jazz music and have not spent much of my free time listening to it, but even with my limited experience I could tell that these guys were good. Really good.
It was obvious that the band knew what they were doing, and that they were having an absolutely great time. One of the guys who I was sitting closest to would make little comments to the others sometimes. And all of the instruments got their solo moment. More of a duet really, the instrument and the musician. I don’t know, something about it just seemed like the instruments were meant to be living organisms, like creatures from Alice in Wonderland, objects come to life. They worked together with the musicians, like partners.
The music itself was, I don’t know, I’m writing this days after I actually heard the music which was a truly terrible decision on my part. I remember it but not the way you remember something that happened an hour ago. I’m not living in the echoes of it. But from where I am now I remember it as bright and smooth and knowing and loving and alive.