Hearing Others in Qualitative Research
Chapter 3. A Relational Ethic of Listening
A RELATIONAL ETHIC OF LISTENING
On the wall in my office there is a framed black-and-white close-up photograph of Davis. It is the same photograph that was in the bar where I first began improvising on trumpet. In the picture Davis’s eyes are closed, his hands are placed on either side of his face, and his lips are pursed. His tightly closed eyes suggest the trumpeter is deep in thought, or is perhaps, listening. His fingertips on either side of his face appear to be conjuring a melody or a solo. The muscles of his mouth suggest an embouchure that has been developed and disciplined through countless hours of practice and performance.
On the shelf in my office there is a crumbling red brick sitting in a small, but growing, pile of red clay. One side of the brick is covered in a peeling layer of white paint. The edges are rough, the corners are jagged, and otherwise there are no identifiable markers of the brick’s origin or significance as once belonging to a building where Davis performed. On another shelf sits a row of books regarding Davis including his autobiography, a biography, an edited collection of essays, and a book of transcriptions of his solos.
On my computer there is a digital library of music with over a dozen Miles Davis albums. The music on these albums demonstrate the shifting musical styles of Davis, they capture both moments of live...
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