The below text provides a para-form for a line of enquiry or research program that I think you might be interested in in-essence if not pragmatically. It should be noted that the enquiry is immature in that a great deal is presumed in absence of empirical research. The research project gravitates around the idea that Jazz aesthetics and the ideologies that sustain Jazz as a practise may have applications outside of a musical context. Not only could this be true pragmatically but it may already be true within the history of the arts. As it stands the presence of jazz within the other art-fields is not easily accessible which leads to the thought that this subject, and the repercussion of applying a jazz theory/aesthetic within other art-forms, is difficult to quantify.
What I am trying to get at are the purposes or theories underlying either the notation and the architecture of the notation or the acoustic phenomena as it is experienced through music in flow. This is because the affect of music upon creative thinking, i.e. the visual/sensory manifestation of ideas into “work”, cannot realistically end exclusively be with those pieces that are made whilst listening to jazz (or music) or are weighted upon the idea of creating a response that might have lead to a discourse of intentions through two different expressive mediums. If this were to be the case then non-musical art would have a serious short-coming in the way of being unable to really engage with musical form and also the critical applications of jazz within the existing musical canon. This seems like an unrealistic probability to me. There are visual art forms that I know can appropriate methodologies from jazz, for example film can use time signatures to orchestrate the manner in which an audience is lead through the film. This itself could immediately be applied in two different ways – in terms of plot or in terms of camera changes. Another application of jazz may exist in the way in which a track is composed acoustically, for example sounds that are particularly discordant with an underlying track may be comparable to abstract painters, maybe Roberto Matta Echaurren, maybe the abstract expressions like De Kooning or Pollock? If such a parallel could be made within this context, as dismal a proposition that might be, then it is equally plausible to make a parallel between the architectures of jazz pieces and perhaps more symbolist works because then it is then a matter of coherence, juxtaposition, contrasting, and this is the same in any spectacle. Whilst a performative approach might seem the more logical angle to approach this work I know almost nothing about theatrical performance so I can’t comment.
Something that strikes me as I write this is that a good spectacle will direct the viewer’s gaze around itself, like how the hands might guide attention around ones body (with the accompaniment of other movements, subtle and overt). This observation could lead to the conclusion that even a painting can have a timescale, i.e. the amount of time it takes for ones eyes to navigate the work and then how long it takes the mind to comprehend it. If it is too abstract then most people leave it be, but this is true for jazz too, music is subject to the same dialectics of taste. If we take this as our timeline then we can make a comparison to the timescale of a musical piece, as much as it is compressed one ought to be able to create a narrative that functions in a particular way to guide the expectations of the viewer: could that become a tasteful experience if what is expected is becoming the audience? How does that work in Jazz circuits? Does one play into the predefined ways of playing or try to subtly remove things that might be categorically defined as being ‘limiting’.
I know that nothing from the above could be taken as a revelation, the intention of this was purely to open up a subject that could be explored in the future.