He was a boisterous, pallid, nimble, wide-awake, jeering, lad, with a vivacious but sickly air. He went and came, sang, played at hopscotch, scraped the gutters, stole a little, but, like cats and sparrows, gayly laughed when he was called a rogue, and got angry when called a thief. He had no shelter, no bread, no fire, no love; but he was merry because he was free. [Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862), Volume III – Marius; Book First – Paris Studied In Its Atom, Chapter XIII, Little Gavroche.]
Giving a person space to move is an important element in the development of independence. Only when someone is free to act and to choose can a he acquire the skills necessary to independence.
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Solo Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, bwv 1010: (6) Gigue
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Roscoe Mitchell is an avant-garde jazz saxophonist and composer who emphasizes interplay between and among voices, and in particular the free space each voice has to express itself. We could see this in parallel to John Cage’s vision of music as sound in time and space. He sums up his musical philosophy: “Music is 50 percent sound and 50 percent silence. If one sits down and listens to nothing but silence in a very quiet place, it's very intense. So, when one interrupts that silence with a sound, one must make sure that the sound has the same intensity as the silence.” This quality stands out in his work:
- “Dots/Pieces for Percussion and Woodwinds”
- “Sextet – Sound”
- “Duets with Anthony Braxton”
- “Conversations I”
- “Conversations II”
- “Duets with Tyshawn Sorey and Special Guest Hugh Ragin”
- “Far Side”
- “Not Yet”
- “Live at ‘A Space” 1975”
- “Bells for the South Side”
- “Littlefield Concert Hall Mills College”
- “Songs in the Wind”
- “Sound Songs”
- “In Walked Buckner”
- “Nine to Get Ready”
- “Kirili et les Nymphéas”
- “After Fallen Leaves”
- “Distant Radio Transmission”
- “The Flow of Things”
Approximately three decades before modern free jazz emerged, woodwind specialist Sidney Bechet, along with trumpeter Louis Armstrong, developed the art form known as jazz. With its American roots, and its emergence from the blues, American jazz is characterized by the wide latitude the performers have not only to interpret the music but to rewrite it as they perform it. Nevertheless, early jazz exponents, such as Bechet, adhered closely to melodic lines, which their progeny in the free jazz idiom did not always do. Therefore, the work of these early jazz masters illustrates the value of latitude.
- Sidney Bechet collection
- King Oliver collection
- Fletcher Henderson collection
- Jelly Roll Morton collection
Virtually everything in jazz illustrates the idea of latitude. Here are just a few artists and albums from later eras:
In the genre commonly called “classical music”, contemporary composer John Corigliano has contributed works that evoke images of free space and latitude:
- Winging It: Improvisations for piano
- Chioroscuro for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart
- Fantasia on an Ostinato
- Kaleidoscope for two pianos
- Etude Fantasy
- Landowski, Symphony No. 3, “des Espaces” (1965). The composer explains: “This symphony . . . by its deliberately broad and developed thematic structure, seeks, apart from any literary idea, to find a musical pulsation that allows an evocation of the wide open spaces on Earth, and even those inner ones sometimes imagined in our dreams.”
- Weinberg, Clarinet Sonata, Op. 28 (1945)
- Arnold, Viola Concerto, Op. 108: 1. Allegro con spirito; 2. Andante con moto; 3. Allegro vivace.
- Raga Misra Tilang (Mishra Tilang) (performances by Sharma and Hussain, Narayan and Prasad, and Sultan Khan)
- Andrea Tarrodi, Piano Concerto No. 1, “Stellar Clouds” (2015) (approx. 27’), refers “to journeys of heavenly ascension . . . with grand sculptural shapes and finely hewn effects of timbre and texture. Listeners must decide for themselves whether the astronomical titles are helpful.” As the concerto title suggests, the music creates a sense of space.
- Chris Reyman, “Koan”: Who’s To Blame; Horizon; Free One; Beauty’s Edge; No Sfa Fro Her; Anthem; Free 2.
- “Barry Harris Plays Todd Dameron”
- Matthew Shipp Quartet, “Not Bound”
- Matthew Shipp & Sabir Mateen, “SAMA”
- Raül Refree, “El espacio entre” (2023) (43’): “Each piece functions like a specific image or disposition translated into sound. The short evocative song titles provide interesting interpretative angles.” The album title means “the space between”.
- Torrey Peters, Detransition, Baby: A Novel (One World, 2021), about a transgender woman, her ex-husband, and the cisgender woman he impregnated: on how there are many ways to parent and live.