The Silence between the Notes


a place that lives in your heart

The pause before the most important events in our lives reflect the purest sense of living in the present. The silence begins with a beautiful sigh that comes from deep within. It is almost primal in its source but so melodic that it appears like a Johnny Hartman siren song.

The silence between the notes gives more credence to its content.  Accentuating the tonality of the verse while espousing the significance of its craft underscores the virtuosity of the author or composer. Within this context we can imagine places, times, events, and people that have shaped our lives and helped create our destiny.

Every composer uses this silence between a thought as a slight pause represented by the counting of beats in a measure with no notes.  The  comma, period, or new paragraph as authored by a writer usually highlights an important transition in the poem, story, or any other type of composition. This silence or pause becomes as important to the reader or musician as the note or the word.

In a symphony it is not unusual to count out measures when you are not playing, until the entrance of your instrument. This musical bridge brings a new layer of tonality enriching  the other instruments and adding depth to the score. Seeing string bows at the ready to enter the composition is like watching the child wait for the rope to reach a certain angle upon a certain beat to jump into the fray. Then they are as one as the movement becomes a beautiful symbionic orchestration.

I walk in the forest from time to time listening for the birds to begin their calls. Other animals join in or listen enraptured by their countenance which gives a clue as to their disposition. Each measure of silence inbetween the calls represents a quiet refrain from voice as predators stalk their prey.

Seasons determine the type of calls in the wild. Each animal listens to the silence (whatever season it is) between the notes, to determine location and intent. In March and April the frogs are in full voice (mainly at night) while the Tom turkeys during mating season can be heard calling the hens to their lair.

As in all mating rituals fights break out to determine the victor that will bed the female of the species. Colorful and focused, the fights can last many minutes before the victor is declared. Musical and poetic pieces can be a direct result of both the visual and auditory responses as witnessed in nature. Attempting to duplicate the majesty of the audio and visual in nature has been a lifelong endeavor for countless authors and musicians.

Tribes through-out history have an almost telepathic connection with nature. This begins with listening to the silence between the notes to understand the clear and present danger, or the cry for help when an animal is wounded. Each volume or tone can be attributed to a particular animal as they communicate with each other. Learning these communication signs in nature can sometimes determine life or death.

As with authors and composers even artists feel the blank canvas, raw piece of wood or stone, can bring attention to the colors and theme of the painting, drawing, or sculpture. Knowing how to use that which you leave to the imagination or that which you leave untouched is as important to the piece as the rest of the represented theme.

The silence between the notes therefore is captivating. Silence in conversation improves your understanding of the subject without interjecting. Learning about the calls in nature, the tone of a voice, or the rapture of a jazz riff heightens your understanding of connection.  The silence around you in-between the notes, connects you with the most important aspect of humanity which is the observation of others to further understand yourself.