Space between the Notes

Sometimes when I am playing live, I notice that I am filling every meter, every beat with sound (melody). When I slip into this mode, my melodies become staccato, tempo driven and relentless. I then consider ideas that others showed me about music and even paintings. There is a need for moment of silence in the melody, just as there is a need for absence of color, absence of form, void. Why?

Without the void, we cannot define the creation (the beginning point). Have you ever noticed that when we talk, eventually we need to breathe? I suggest it is God’s way (design feature) to help us remember the value of silence. Have you ever considered the purpose of punctuation, the real purpose? I believe punctuation causes the written word to imitate our breathing habits when we verbally converse.    I am suggesting the pausing and breathing gives life to the context and subtleties of the words we select when communicating.

Next time you are talking, and a bit bored with the conversation, pay attention to the way the person talking breathes between phrases and sentences. The slight breathing is often a comma, a little deeper and we have a semi-colon. When you breathe deep, it is a period or even a paragraph. The connections seem clear as day to me.  I suspect the learned community might take issue with me on this matter, but for me, the simple solution is often the right solution.

Within the gaps, between the musical phrases, the pauses and junctures of our silence, the power of our ideas emerge. Silence gives us freedom to withdraw from trouble, to accommodate noise with grace, to gradually wrestle with and accept truth, to identify things that are right from things that are wrong, and to mediate.

The brief silence used musicians in melodies help the mind rest. The pause is a form of stillness. Why this much thought on the obscure spaces between the melodic prater of a guitar?  The stillness provides a peaceful respite for our minds. It is that simple.

Perhaps we fill our days with noise and events to avoid silence. The troubles of the day, they pull on our mind, filling our opportunities for silence with a storm – it becomes difficult to be at rest. For as a man thinks (calculates) within his heart, so he becomes.  We should guard our hearts,  for everything we do flows from the content of our heart.  I guess Solomon got it right after all (Proverbs 23:7, Proverbs 4:23).

The solution? Allow the melody to breathe. If there is no silence, then there is no time to appreciate and embrace the beauty of the melodic phrase. The void between musical phrases helps the musician and the listener gives definition to the creation.

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