Now, a moment of silence followed by the unmistakable skipping sound……

of a ride cymbal played by Paul Motian.

implying a vision of time, shaving off little bits of time and spinning them out into separate orbit, defining the pulse so as to encourage every possible option. each strike opening into newness. opening up everyone within range. opening everything.

this accomplished at pianissimo, with no excessive force, and no screaming “look at me.” and crucially no guessing. all clear, all smudges intentional. hear one measure and you experience time as a force to be respected and harnessed and worked with. time as something absolute and at the same time endlessly mutable. time refracted through a complex language of pings and chops, an entire orchestra of colors and sonic variations eminating from one humble cymbal. never just a flat stock ping but a palette of them, each signifying slight, microslivered difference while still connected, by sometimes thinnest of threads, to the almighty downbeat.

we have lost not just a visionary musician but an entire orientation, a way of shaping and coloring music. probably gone forever. a taste of it is here.


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