Last night I saw Herbie Hancock perform. It was actually kind of amazing. I should note that I felt pretty amazing before the concert even began. I was freshly showered, dolled up and slightly tipsy from the rum and cokes that we were drinking before hand. Then we walk into the convention center, sat down in our seats and I allowed myself to be overtaken.
Usually when I hear jazz, my evil school background comes back and I start analyzing everything. “Oh, that’s a dim9 chord—and yes, he just resolved it but then he turned it around and is transitioning into a Dmajor key—but only for a second because he just played a ii…..” etc. Annoying, right? Yea- for me, too. But not this time! I was bound and determined to not let my stupid schooling get in the way, so I let my old career do it instead. So, while listening to Herbie free-style on the piano I tried to imagine what movie he was scoring.
It seemed to be following my life.
Quitting/”retiring” from my old job in software. The anxiety that I felt leaving that old life behind. Knowing that I won’t come back “the same hobbit, if at all” was all perfectly matched with each passing-tone in the right hand.
The random melody going in and out of emotion perfectly matched my travel adventures… Sometimes, admittedly, drawn out and seemingly never ending—other times fast and quick, mimicking how I feel when someone speaks Spanish to me. Wanting so desperately for them to slow down (just a smidge!) so I can catch up, breath, understand the cascading melodies.
He flowed in between pieces- taking only a moment for a brief applause- a quick inhale- before diving back into the story of my life. (Because, honestly, this whole thing is about me and MY life. Duh.)
The last piece was about love. Finding it, falling in it, growing and experiencing it. There were two people having their first kiss, holding hands, not knowing how they felt for each other because of that terrible awkwardness of “does he like me?” mixed with the “do I actually like HIM? Or just this feeling?” The dynamics of his hands expressing the uncertainity, assurance, truths and mistakes and…. loss- or doubt. One of the two. Either which way, the pain, the questioning. The longing for ANY ANSWER AT ALL. All the notes are wrapping together and the turmoil of the left hand not fully syncing with the right until, finally. The resolution.
The answer. A short pause before striking a quarter-note Cmaj7 chord.
That’s it. That’s the answer. That’s the end. Simple, elegant. A perfect reminder that relationships are about the chaos, the journey, not the end. That we should enjoy what we have because (as cliché as this sounds), the end will be quick and will come up faster than you think.