, , , ,

Mike Janzen - Nudging Forever coverI’ve been listening to Mike  Janzen’s Nudging Forever CD fairly steadily since getting a review copy about a month ago. And much of that time has been spent figuring out how to review it.

Because it’s been a challenge to find a way to describe something I find is indescribable.

Nudging Forever combines the beauty of a classical string orchestra with the excitement of the Mike Janzen Trio (Janzen on piano, George Koller on bass and Larnell Lewis on drums), with the occasional mellow tones of Kevin Turcotte’s flugelhorn added in. All of which creates an aural delight for music fans of all genres.

The concept of Nudging Forever took root after a “season of tremendous busyness” says Janzen in the CD’s liner notes. A line from Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God – “when we play we nudge the border of forever” – stuck with Janzen, as did the dream of a collaboration between a jazz trio and string orchestra.

Nudging Forever is an aural delight for music fans of all genres

The CD has been built around the liturgy of hours used in Benedictine monasteries during the 12th and 13th centuries: Vigil (night watch), Matins (morning prayer), Prime (first hour or around 6 a.m.), Terce (third hour or 9 a.m.), Sext (sixth hour or 12 noon), None (ninth hour or 3 p.m.), Vespers (evening prayer or 6 p.m.) and Compline (night prayer around 9 p.m.).

This seems to have given Janzen a framework with which to compose the songs on Nudging Forever. The pianissimo piano and strings depict the quietness of the night watch found in the opening track of “Vigil” while a livelier pace is set with “Time Painting,” the CD’s sixth track built around the activity of Sext.

Perhaps my personal favorite is “Matins” which starts with the sound of rousing strings before slowing to a more settled pace set by Janzen’s piano – similar to someone waking up and settling into their daily routine. As would be expected in following the liturgy of hours, the last song “Devotion” strikes a meditative tone in completion to the day and the CD.

In the liner notes, Janzen notes the difference between two Greek words used to define time: chronos, or measured time, and kairos, or the quality of time. I suggest you take the chronos time to listen to Nudging Forever because, in the end, it will prove to be well-spent kairos time.


For more information on Mike Janzen and Nudging Forever check https://mike-janzen.squarespace.com/

To listen to the Arts Connection interview where Mike talks about the Nudging Forever project, check: http://tinyurl.com/zldjat7