"Two compliments. First: The beginning and the ending of your improvisation really got to me. I felt you were actually saying something. It was deep. Thank you for taking your time between each phrase. And for what you shared with each tone. Second: I fucking love your shoes!"
HOW did he react?
He smiled. His eyes said: I got that you got it. His voice said: "Thank you."
HOW did I feel?
Yesterday I went to a big band concert. At some point Nils played a solo.
His sax in his hand he stood in front of the band. Before they'd partied their lives away. Crazy African rhythms, stunning brass. Now they slowed down.
Nil's turn. He closed his eyes. And remained silent. The band played on. Nils waited. Finally he took up his instrument and played two, three notes. He paused again. Every breath he took in quiet made his space grow bigger. And every note he did play then was an actual statement. He didn't keep the audience in suspense on purpose. He took his time.
There were no hip tunes, no fancy colors, no crazy scales. It was just him. And his presence.
Before I had been lying in my chair and enjoying myself, my feet dancing, I'd had a great time, the band was exquisite. Now all of a sudden there was a light switched on inside of me. Nils playing was paralyzing. I moved to the front of my chair. I didn't want to miss a single tone. And see his face. He'd pressed a button labeled "Listen." And I did.
ANYTHING ELSE (thoughts on the project, changes, observations?)?
PS I was too far in to think of taking a picture of him playing. But he agreed to take one afterwards :) And one of his shoes of course. They rock.