The Difficult Pause

The Difficult Pause

Some pauses seem somewhat improper. Or misplaced. Perhaps simply because they seem a little too long to qualify as short musical pauses. They are longer than short but shorter than stepping back.


 I generally find it more natural to contribute audibly than inaudibly.
But I could use more pauses.
Pauses make repetition more interesting.
Or perhaps that’s variation.


I believe it is related to continuum and coherence. The pauses I am talking about seem to me, in the moment on the stage or in the studio, to be counterproductive in the collective building of the continuum. But listening back to recordings of such situations, I realise it is not necessarily true.


It is as if time passes at a different pace when I am onstage.
Or perhaps it is when I am listening back on a recording afterwards that it feels different?

Perhaps it is related to the act of performing in front of an audience?
Does time pass at a different pace whenever there is an audience?
Does my performance pulse confuse my perception of time?


I don’t know. It is almost physical. My body does not allow me not to play, or at least it doesn’t allow me to play pauses that are longer than short. Sometimes it doesn’t allow to play pauses at all. Not even short ones. It must be related to trust and responsibility.  


While I am in performance mode, it is very hard to tell
exactly when a short pause gets too long.
And if it gets too long, it is too late.
So, to be on the safe side, I use (too) short pauses.
Or no pauses,
because the short pauses are almost too short to qualify as pauses.


Listening to recordings of my playing with Huntsville or Dans les arbres, I often think I could use more pauses. Or that we could. Perhaps even should. But what would that do to the building of our continuum? And which is the more important, pauses or continuum? The easiest answer, and perhaps the most obvious one is “both”. OK, but how to combine them? We could devide among the band members, or combine it, time-wise. Or both. But what would that do to the collectivity? Why am I asking such questions? Just try it out! See what happens! 


Note to self: allow more pauses. Longer than short