The Release of a Whole Note

Casey - Darien, Connecticut
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

I believe in using music as an outlet for creative and emotional expression. As Louis Armstrong said, “The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago” (Ward 288). Music lets an individual use emotion from memories to discuss events without the obligation of words.

After getting home I sit down in a white wooden chair placing my 1961 Martin Magna between the supports of my legs. I take a big breath of warm summer air and blow a long C, letting it resonate throughout the room. Once I am out of air I take another quick breath and move to a D. This series of long extended tones are called long tones, aimed to strengthen the tone of each note. After I am done warming up I start improvising, using a scale sheet located on the floor.

It is not long before I turn off the lights, and continue playing without the aid of the paper. My improvisation starts slowly and melodically like a ballad or slow theme song. From here my ideas and patterns become more abstract creating a tune that has no specific direction or theme.

One of the most legendary saxophone players, Charlie Parker, once said,

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” (Ward 131) This quote exemplifies how I look at music. I believe that in order for an individual to be successful and happy through music he or she must use real life experience.

As I continue my heart races faster and faster. As the tempo increases my hands become covered with my own saliva, my mouth quivers, and my lower teeth begin to dig through the first two layers of skin. When my lips give out I take a minute to catch my breath, wiping the mixture of sweat and tears from my face. Relieved, I feel as if someone was listening to each maneuver trying to learn about the inner me.

Music gives me an opportunity to counterbalance the structures of my everyday life. It helps me say things that I can not or will not say in normal social outlets, and it never tells me that I am wrong. In music the individual can’t be wrong because there is no authority figure breathing down your neck making sure that they get the last word. There is no ego to be boosted no position to be filled and that is why I believe in the power of music.