Deep Listening

I often tell my students to “listen deeper”. The more you practice, the better you get IF you are listening to what you’re doing. It starts out simply – listen to your tone, your intonation, your rhythm. The more you listen, the more you hear aspects of your playing that are possibly not what you intended. You carry this further into dynamics and phrasing and articulation. There is no end. You can always listen deeper and hear more things to improve. And then you carry this out into the world and you notice more of the world around you – the tone of someone’s voice, a color in the leaves, a bird call you never heard before, the sound of a bicycle going past your house.

But enough of that – there’s always the Deep Listening Bot on Twitter to stir your imagination.

The Age of Aquarius?

Was reminded of this song this morning:

Which got me wondering if we were there yet. Hmmm, looks like you can take your pick –

Although if this IS the Age of Aquarius then I’m afraid that this interpretation listed (among others) in Wikipedia is probably the correct one:

  • Proponents of medieval astrology suggest that the Pisces world where religion is the opiate of the masses will be replaced in the Aquarian Age by a world ruled by secretive, power-hungry elites seeking absolute power over others; that knowledge in the Aquarian Age will only be valued for its ability to win wars; that knowledge and science will be abused, not industry and trade; and that the Aquarian Age will be a Dark Age in which religion is considered offensive.[12]

And this page has a nice collection of quotes about the Age including this one:

Many religions speak of the End of Days. It refers not to the end of the world, but rather the end of our current age – Pisces, which began at the time of Christ’s birth, spanned two thousand years, and waned with the passing of the millennium. Now that we’ve passed into the Age of Aquarius, the End of Days has arrived.



What do those who struggle against power do when they seize power?

What does the revolutionary do when the revolution triumphs?

Why do those who call for independence and freedom take away the independence and freedom of others?

And is it sane or insane to believe, as so many around us apparently do, in nothing?

Questions for all of us as posed by the main character in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel “The Sympathizer”. A book about a man of two minds – something I can relate to.

It Is My Firm Belief

That anyone considering a career as a soloist be required, as part of their musical training, to spend, at minimum, a full year accompanying others. The whole range – from young beginners playing their first “Twinkle” recital to the most picky and demanding diva.

The Source of Wisdom

“The source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today.   The source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us right at this very instant.”

                                      – Pema Chodron

The 5:00 AM Thought of the Day

God has no ego. Only man has an ego which is what totally separates him from God. When you tell me something is an offense to God, what you are really telling me is that your ego finds it offensive. God is all seeing/all knowing and takes offense at nothing. Christians, Muslims, Jews take note: Stop your ridiculous bickering and senseless killing in the name of God.

People who make a difference

Every one of us has come in contact with someone who, even though he or she may be a total stranger, says or does something in such a kind and considerate way that it brightens even the darkest moments of our lives. Little acts of kindness. These days we need much more of that to counteract all the negativity and finger pointing and divisiveness in our society.

For many years our jazz trio has been playing once a month at the General Store Cafe in PIttsboro, NC. We had decided to take a break from it for a while so last night was our last scheduled night there. For the past couple of years we’ve been greeted by, fed by, and just generally made to feel welcome and appreciated by bartender Kyle Allred. Last night there was a woman we did not know working there who informed us that Kyle had died in his sleep on Monday. He was 53.

I hardly knew Kyle and never saw him except for our once a month visits to the cafe. But he was one of those exceptional people who, no matter how they’re feeling themselves, always make you feel appreciated and cared for. We were all stunned and saddened to hear of his death. It really changed the atmosphere that night. We opened the set with the beautiful J.J. Johnson tune “Lament” in his honor. I had planned on recording the show that night but got so distracted by the turn of events that I forgot to record the first set. But I did get the second set and I think this tune pretty much captured the low key mood of the evening. 

There’s an online obituary for Kyle here.

The Bernie Petteway Trio will perform next at Cafe Beyu in Durham, NC on Friday, November 12. 9:00 PM until midnight.