Day 290- Some deep thoughts from Charlie Haden

Tonight I worked with a student who may be one of my new favorites.  You can tell he’s into the bass, and he responds well to teaching.  I like when they come into the first lesson “tabula rasa.”  I get to create habits rather than trying to undo them.

On a completely different subject, but one dear to my heart, I’ve found a new mantra, articulated with simple perfection by one of my top-five influential bassists, Charlie Haden.  (If you have Spotify, click here for a blog-post soundtrack).  I had the honor of having an afternoon hang with Charlie in Ithaca a few years ago, which also happened to be the day his bluegrass record arrived in stores.  As I’m listening to his latest gospel-inspired record with the late Hank  Jones,  (recorded 3 months before Hank passed away), I can’t help but contemplate its significance.  If I were to add anything to the quote, it would be that being involved in any musical experience does change my perception of the passing of time, and of “the moment.”  Daniel Barenboim states that music “quickens” time, but I choose the view that music makes time relativistic, precisely in the sense that time is altered based on the viewpoint of the observer (or in this case, the performer or listener).  I feel like my thoughts are drifting into this realm after this weekend’s performance of Einstein on the Beach by Phillip Glass.  I certainly felt that time was REALLY SLOW watching this opera.  I wonder if I aged ever so slightly faster than the performers on stage. 🙂

This is quickly getting over my head, so I’ll just give you the awesome quote from Mr. Haden:

“I learned at a very young age that music teaches you about life. When you’re in the midst of improvisation, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow — there is just the moment that you are in. In that beautiful moment, you experience your true insignificance to the rest of the universe. It is then, and only then, that you can experience your true significance.”- Charlie Haden

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