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January 31, 2013

The Sight of Sound

Anthony Braxton Composition Figures
I've been spinning a lot of Anthony Braxton lately.  To me his music is quite physical to the point that it can be visual.  I have a background in art which lends me to be a visual person for the most part.  I originally gravitated to Jazz because it seemed to contain a visual aesthetic to me.  Which makes sense because one of the first Jazz albums I ever listened to was Charles Mingus' The Clown.  It contained "these greens and yellows, and all of these oranges."

It's not just in The Clown, but I have always connected Avant-Garde Jazz with Post War / Post Modern Art.  Conceptually and metaphysically this makes sense.  Musicians like Steve Lacy and Ornette Coleman have always made a big visual presence in my imagination.  Lacy, for example, seems to construct shapes with every lick he plays on the Soprano.  And obviously the name of this blog is derived from Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come, but along with musical notes I hear shapes too.  

Can sound be seen?  Can sight be heard?

Here are a few Jazz pieces that create colors, lines, and shapes in my mind.  Some are mathematical and controlled, while some are chaotic and organic.  You can decided for yourself.