by Avis Cardella
I think of H as a jazz magician. When he speaks about jazz, it’s easy to get the feeling he’s conjuring some kind of magic. Get him to recommend some LP’s and you’ll feel like you’ve gone to nirvana. He’s that good. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with agrees.
It must be linked with his past. He had a jazz bar back in the 70’s, where he spun the records, booked the live acts. Even Max Roach once came to him and said, “Thanks for the music!”
Why does H listen?
Maybe it has something to do with his father’s “radio furniture” that had the built-in turntable. “The first time I heard jazz was on that radio,” he says.”It inspired me to buy records.”
From that point on, records became a portal to the world of the performer, as well as a passion.
So much so that the lament of a former girlfriend—“ The only thing this guy reads is record sleeves!” —reverberates through time.
“But when you read record sleeves you know more, “ H explains, in his own defense.“ You go deeper into the experience. At a certain point, you do put the sleeve away and just listen. And I listen because I love music.”
For O, the pleasure of listening is linked to the senses. The aural experience, he says, is just as important as tasting, smelling, or feeling. Listening, quite simply, makes him happy.
Recently, O has been listening to Iranian, Mesopotamian, and Middle Eastern folk music.
“It started by trying to recognize if this culture was a part of me, “ he offers, tracing this eclectic mix. “ I looked at the music and thought; maybe it opens the door to memories. I believe in reincarnation.”
But I have to laugh when O explains that this particular exercise does exclude one style of music, “Dixieland,” he says. “I can’t listen to Dixieland. It makes me tired and stressed!”
It seems American culture might not figure in his past lives.
Doors to memories, portals, magic, going deeper into the experience… Who among us can truly explain what happens when we listen?
It brings to mind something the astrophysicist Carl Sagan expressed: The effect of using your ears is the easiest way to achieve teleportation.
Thank you H and O!