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Refections on Perspective. Based on "Giant Steps" by John Coltrane

This is the first time that I´ve created a set of instructions to read a post.

Here they are: 

  1. If you haven't listened to John Coltrane´s song Giant Steps go and do that right away. Do not continue reading if you haven't or you'll miss the whole point 
  2. Read the post and watch the video
  3. Listen to the song again 

Now to Perspective; here's a quick definition: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. 

Time for a little story that led to this post. I was driving back from an airport and listening to some music with somebody (I will get to that person later on) and then one song by Flying Lotus came on. 

One thing led to the next and we ended up talking about his relationship to John Coltrane and that led to a conversation about John´s genius and impact on Jazz and on music overall. Then there was excitement as a new song started playing, of course it was Giant Steps. After hearing a couple of seconds or so of it, there was a very detailed explanation of how this song came to be, how complex it is, what it did for music and how impactful it continues to be. This is where my perspective shifted, acquired deeper meaning and I was able to understand an outstanding piece of music and an historic one for that matter. 

I was now able to see what the author meant at the time of composition, and it opened me to a wonderful world that I didn't know before, the magic and genius behind music writing. I immediately started to appreciate the tempo, the rhythm, te complexity and the meaning behind every single key stroke of the almost awkward piano improvisation, and this is where this idea landed for me; how important the right perspective on ANY given situation, experience or event is required for a true understanding of such happening. 

I reflected on it for almost a day, going over what it meant for me and for the World around me; how much we can be led astray by a misconceived perspective and how everything is subject to evaluation beyond the neutrality of reality as it is, and since we are helpless before our need to interpret and filter it in order to "function" and "survive" the acquisition of this perspective shifts ability became highly important to me. 

Without it we are bound to experience a rigid life due to inflexible views about the world, ourselves and the rest of the people. 

With it we are able to ignite intelligent shifts of perspective in order to gain a wider vision of a situation thus creating new solutions or a greater understanding, or even the acknowledgment of our own biases and blind spots. Overall quite useful. 

 

This is what led me to write this one, to remind you that there isn't an absolute about anything except the whole (which goes way beyond our mental capacities of comprehension) so in order to be more loving, creative, intelligent, successful, empathic, kind, productive, effective and all of those things that we say matter in life an open and curious attitude towards life is needed and it requires a constant shift and reimagining of perspectives which therefore will affect preconceived notions, beliefs and so on; thrusting us into a never ending process of betterment (so to speak) or at the very least less stiffness towards ourselves and our life. 

 

Now watch the video and go back and listen to the song again. Enjoy!

PS The person next to me is a soon to be great pianist and hip hop lover (Samuel Melgarejo). Stay tuned because you'll be hearing from him soon enough. Gratitude note for the explanation and the inspiration. 

Love, Milan P. 

 

 Photo Credits: 

Photo by Konstantin Aal on Unsplash