Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Pause That Refreshes

By Stanley Yoshizaki, Pearl City.
Some of the best musicians on Oahu, I’m told, play fewer notes than you actually hear.  They play in such a way – and leave enough space – that your mind fills in more. A musician deals with the absence of sound as much as he deals with sounds. Artists know that negative space carries weight. It is not simply an absence of content. The "white space", as it’s sometimes referred to by graphic designers, IS content. And it’s not just the forgotten stepchild of a composition… it is a first-class citizen.

"Perhaps the most radical redefinition of music would be one
that defines 'music' without reference to sound."

This silent thing deserves as much (if not more) focus as the apparent subject of the work. Comedians say that "timing is everything." But by "timing", they almost always mean "the pause." The PAUSE is not merely a void between the Things That Matter. Many years ago on Oahu, there was space between all the music played at dances. Tune up and prepare themselves mentally for the next. It was a most welcome absence of music, a time to absorb the prior rendition, which of course, enhanced your appreciation of the music that followed.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

To this day, that pause is what refreshes in live music. You prepare yourself mentally to dance a rumba, which is somewhat different than the Swing that was played before. Disk Jockeys did the same thing in those days when using the one disk, one song. And they knew enough about taking that break. The customers could take the opportunity to kibbitz, enjoy the happy scenery about them and had the time to take another sip.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Anyone remember those days on Oahu? Different but Happy Times. I leave this space for the readers to reflect, process, and be conscious of the meaning of our music and our dancing.

"Social Dancers suspect that dancing is not an expression of the body,
but of the heart, mind and soul."