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      英語世界
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      Jazz and Philosophy
      發布時間:2018年04月01日     王強 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Jazz and Philosophy

      爵士樂與哲學


      By Douglas Groothuis[1]

      文/道格拉斯·格魯秀斯


      Philosophy warms to[2] jazz, but not as much, perhaps, to rock or blues. We can talk through the night about rock and blues, and it may be fun. But just how philosophical can we get about rock and blues – even with the help of a few smart friends and a few adult beverages? Rock is the rambunctious and electrified child that came out of the blues, and the blues are a way to make pain bearable and even enjoyable, once the music does its magic on us. But jazz seems to be more amenable to reflection. It swings[3]; it improvises; it mystifies even as it mesmerizes; its initiates[4] are few, but militant; it is vibrant, but sometimes elusive. It seems that the best rock drummers draw heavily on jazz: Ginger Baker (Cream) and Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix), making their time keeping[5] more fascinating. (Let’s not bring up John Bonham.)


      哲學對爵士樂頗有好感,而對搖滾和藍調恐怕就有所不同了。搖滾和藍調能讓我們津津有味地聊個通宵,可是,即便邀得幾位機敏過人的朋友,再來上幾杯酒助興,又能從搖滾和藍調中找出多少哲學內涵?搖滾源自藍調,是藍調桀驁不馴、激情澎湃的孩子。藍調則如魔法,一旦起效,可以慰藉苦痛,甚至轉苦為樂。然而,更能發人深思的似乎還是爵士樂。它節律翩然,即興而發,令人如癡如醉,而又倍感神秘;它曲高和寡,內行寥寥,卻個個斗志昂揚;它節奏強勁,樂聲洪亮,卻又時而低回婉轉,隱約難辨。那些最出色的搖滾鼓手,包括奶油樂隊的金杰·貝克,吉米·亨德里克斯體驗樂隊的米奇·米切爾,似乎全都大量借鑒了爵士樂(至于約翰·博納姆,我們就不用再提了吧),以使其鼓點節奏更加引人入勝。


      [1](1957— ),美國丹佛神學院哲學教授。

       

      [2] warm to 喜歡;感興趣。

       

      [3] swing 搖擺。爵士樂的重要概念與特征。

       

      [4] initiate 內行。

       

      [5] 對節奏或節拍的把握和控制。


      Philosophy is the discipline of finding meaning and truth through reasoning. It aspires to find the essence in the messes of things and to thrust that essence in our face saying, “So what?” – as did Miles Davis on Kind of Blue. “What is justice?” asked Socrates, when everyone knew – but no one really knew – the answer. “What is jazz?” is much the same: we all know, but do we know? The great philosophers lived and died without swinging (as far as we know). Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine[6], may have written about music, but not jazz music. That would have to wait for centuries. Jazz had a centuries long gestation.


      哲學是通過推理來探究意義、尋求真理的學問,旨在從雜亂無章的事物中發現本質,然后把它拋在我們面前,大聲質問:“那又如何?”邁爾斯·戴維斯在他的專輯《若憂若藍》(又譯《泛藍調調》)中正是這樣做的?!罢x到底是什么?”蘇格拉底曾如此問道。答案人人知曉,卻又無人真正知曉?!熬羰繕返降资鞘裁??”的問題與之大同小異:人人都知道,又未必真知道。就我們所知,偉大哲學家的一生從未有過爵士樂之搖擺。蘇格拉底、柏拉圖、亞里士多德、圣奧古斯丁等哲學家或許有過關于音樂的著述,但并未談及爵士樂。那尚須幾個世紀的等待。爵士樂的誕生也同樣歷經了幾個世紀的孕育。


      [6] (354—430),古羅馬帝國時期天主教思想家,歐洲中世紀基督教神學、教父哲學的重要代表人物。

       

      Like many things, we may come to jazz without articulated intellectual questions. We are not usually in the classroom, but at the club, or auditorium, or sitting in front of our sound system. We listen and are moved. Or not. That is, we feel an immediate response, whatever that may be. Pat Metheny’s response was love at first listen[7]. He did not have to work his way into jazz. It found him. In my late teens, I was drawn to jazz-rock fusion, but still only picked up the crumbs from the dinner plates of jazz. It boggles my mind to[8] think that I had a vinyl album of A Love Supreme, in my senior year of high school – along with my Deep Purple, Yes, and Jimi Hendrix. But I seldom played it. It was beyond me at the time, but not beneath me. It had to wait for me to catch up – and I did.


      和諸多事物一樣,我們在走近爵士樂的時候,未必能口齒流利、思維連貫地提出理性而深刻的問題。接觸爵士樂通常也不是在教室,而是在俱樂部、音樂廳,或者坐在自家的音響系統前。我們傾聽,我們感動,抑或無動于衷。也就是說,我們感受的是對音樂一瞬間的反應,不管那反應究竟如何。帕特·梅思尼的反應是一“聽”鐘情。他不必刻意尋找通往爵士樂之路。爵士樂找到了他。我十八九歲的時候就已癡迷爵士樂與搖滾樂的融合形式——爵士搖滾,但依然只是享用了爵士樂一盤盤美味佳肴中的一點點碎屑而已。一想到我居然在高中畢業前一年就擁有了《無上之愛》的黑膠唱片,和我收藏的深紫樂隊、吉米·亨德里克斯體驗樂隊(當然少不了它)的作品放在一起,我的頭都是蒙的,實在難以想象。但那時我很少把它拿出來播放。不是它不夠好,而是它超出了我當時的水平。它得等著我,等著我迎頭趕上——我趕上了。


      [7] 第一次聽就深深喜歡。love at first sight(一見鐘情)的擬作。

       

      [8] sth boggle the mind 使人無法想象;使人難以接受。


      Since then this philosopher[9] has come to savor this music, a distinctively American art form (but not limited to America). But what is philosophical about jazz? Yes, some jazz men are philosophical: John Coltrane supremely so. But that is not all I mean.


      從那時起,我這個研究哲學的人就開始細細品味起爵士樂這種風靡世界但最具美國風情的音樂。說來說去,爵士樂的哲學性到底指什么?沒錯,有些爵士樂演奏家本身就深邃睿智、通理明哲:約翰·克特蘭就是個極好的例子。但我要說的還不只于此。


      [9] 作者自指。鑒于作者為神學院哲學教授,譯為“我這個哲學家”并無大礙。但考慮到中國讀者的接受習慣,轉譯為“我這個研究哲學的人”,以避“自吹自擂”之嫌。


      Like philosophy, jazz summons us to attend carefully to itself. Just as you shouldn’t read philosophy in a hurry, you shouldn’t listen to jazz casually – that is, if you want to find the center and get immersed in the vibe. It draws you in and keeps you there. Is the singer a little behind the beat? Did Charlie Haden play the same note through several choruses[10] on the recording, Last Dance with Keith Jarrett? It seemed odd, but fit perfectly. Of course it did. It was Charlie Haden.


      爵士樂像哲學一樣,要求我們專注于其自身。讀哲學書不能浮光掠影,同理,聽爵士樂也不能散漫隨意——我是說,尤其當你想得其要義,沉浸其中,并與之產生共鳴的話。它深深吸引著你,使你難以自拔。歌手是不是沒有跟上節拍?查利·黑登在專輯《最后一支舞》中為基思·賈勒特伴奏的時候,是不是在多個樂段中使用了同一個樂調?乍一聽似乎很奇怪,其實完全沒問題。當然沒問題,因為那正是查利·黑登的風格。


      [10] chorus 在爵士樂中指樂段,由多個小節構成,在演奏中可多次重復。重復時一般會即興發揮,以避免完全重復。又稱副歌等。


      Further, Aristotle wrote that “Philosophy begins in wonder.” I wonder over and ponder the relation of the mind and the body, the relation of God to the world, the relation of unity and diversity (to be more abstract). When I introduced Pat Martino at Dazzle[11] recently, I quoted Aristotle and added, “Many of us wonder how Pat can play like that.” Pat tells me that his playing is “pure emotion” and comes from a higher source. On the same note[12], many of us wonder over the emotion and aspirations flaming out of John Coltrane’s music – particularly A Love Supreme. Music comes from musicians and their instruments. But is that all there is to it? Does the structure of music exist apart from its performance? Eric Dolphy was recorded as saying that the music flies off into space and is[13] no more. Was he right, or is that music retained in some sacred vault beyond our memories or recordings?


      此外,亞里士多德曾寫道:“哲學始于困惑?!蔽覍σ庾R與身體、上帝與世界,以及更為抽象的統一性與多樣性之間的關系深感好奇,時常陷入沉思。我最近在丹佛的戴茲爾俱樂部向大家介紹帕特·馬蒂諾的時候引述了亞里士多德的話,并且說:“我們很多人都很好奇,帕特何以能如此演奏?!迸撂馗嬖V我,他的演奏是一種“純粹而強烈的情感”,源自更高的層次。與此類似,我們很多人同樣不明白為什么約翰·克特蘭的音樂——尤其是他的專輯《無上之愛》——能迸發出熊熊燃燒的強烈情感與渴望。音樂來自音樂家以及他們的樂器。但是否僅此而已?音樂的架構能否獨立于演奏而存在?據記載,埃里克·杜菲曾說過,音樂一旦飛入空間,便從此消散,不復存在。但還有一種說法:音樂依然存在——既不在我們的記憶中,也不在唱片里,而是不朽于某種神圣的密室。究竟哪種說法對?


      [11] 爵士樂與藍調音樂俱樂部,位于美國科羅拉多州丹佛市。

       

      [12] on the same note 同理。本義為“以同樣的曲調”,基于隱喻衍生出“更多;類比;推理;并列”等義。

       

      [13] =exist 存在。


      Like any philosopher, I could go on, but this is an essay (a short solo), not a book. Perhaps that book needs to be written. However, I will go on listening philosophically to this philosophical music: jazz. Please join me in this performance.


      像其他研究哲學的人一樣,我可以繼續談下去,但這畢竟只是一篇文章,或者說“一段小小的獨奏”,并不是一本書。這樣的書將來或許有必要寫。但現在,我要繼續以哲學的耳朵來欣賞這飽含哲理的音樂——爵士樂了。請和我一起來聆聽吧。


      (譯者單位:華北水利水電大學外國語學院;譯者曾獲第八屆“《英語世界》杯”翻譯大賽英譯漢優秀獎)

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