It was a rainy morning that had turned into a lovely afternoon. You know the sort of day I mean. Wet streets that reflect the sunlight with enriched tones, trees with rain water droplets hanging from every leave. The air, cleared by nature and perfumed by the ozone coming from the warm wet grass of the park next door, while the cleansing wind felt slightly cooler from caressing the surface of all the wet buildings that surrounded us.
As usual, I was painting and listening to some jazz.
It was Kind of Blue, in vinyl, playing this time on an old record player rather than my usual garb. A gift from my late dear aunt Frances whom, after passing away, had left for me to enjoy.
I remember sill that at first I could not get it to work. It was a portable Phillips record player in bright red which packs like a little suitcase. Very cute, very shiny, and very silent.
I thought to myself, “Where will I be able to find someone to fix this?”
It was, after all, more than 40 years old. So I gave it a try myself. As it happens, and as I fiddled with it for a while, I realized that it didn´t work simply because it had never been plugged in since purchased. It was brand new, seals untouched, warranty still in the box. Simply the contacts had rusted over the years from inaction.
A bit of cleaning and suddenly, I was off and running. The slightly tinny sound of the small speakers did not bother me. I had my huge Yamahas for everything else. This was the right sound for special moments.
And this was one of those special moments. As artists, we all – consciously or not – try to achieve some kind of immortality. Or at the very least, surpass our own life time by leaving behind something that may allow us to achieve a kind of “longevity” of sorts through our artistic works.
I envy – in a manner that is more healthy admiration – the fact that movie actors and musicians through image and sound can achieve this much more easily than us.
To me, listening to any of these recordings is like being in my house one moment, then I turn Kind of Blue on, and next thing I know, I am pushed into some type of time travelling gizmo. All of a sudden I am in 1959, standing in a corner of a studio while these guys, most of them long gone in 2016, come suddenly to life.
They look at each other, some smile, others concentrate while puffing smoke, others chew gum and read their music. Suddenly the voice behind the glass taps and says “Take one!”, and off they go. As I listen they are alive, they are immortal, they are playing “live” for me once again and they are great at it.
It is that very personal, very emotional connection, the one I use in my painting. It is a combination of admiration, melancholy, and happiness. My synesthesia helps along the way, and it all translates into colors and shapes, and hopefully feelings transmitted at a distance.
So I was painting and I thought to myself “This day” is “That day”. The wet trees, the sun coming through, Miles´ trumpet pushing the clouds, Evans keyboard giving a soundtrack to the wind, Cannonball and Coltrane caressing the grass, Chambers putting rhythm to the bounce of every rain drop, and Cobb simply reminding us of the summer storm that was quickly receding in the background.
And here is “That Day”.
The result of that beautiful rainy morning, and sunny afternoon, in which a great “live” band and myself just spent the time painting together.
Until next time!
©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera