When I was younger, time seemed to be an unimportant factor in almost all aspects of life. I did things, took the time that was needed for them and looked what happened. If a new area of interest opened up, I followed my urge to explore more about it without thinking twice about how to arrange my life around it. If a problem occured, I always found the required amount of time to solve it.
But times changed, and the world as well. Everything got digitalized, fast, sometimes, I believe, even faster than the inner timing of us humans. More and more often I had the feeling that if I don't actively choose to do something to slow down the flow of this new reality, I would be automatically drawn with it, like a river bringing me along without asking.
In music, time is omnipresent. In the smallest musical universe (micro-timing) and in the long run, in the 10.000 hours it takes to learn a musical instrument, in the never-ending development of music itself. The most impressive moments I have experienced in music are the ones where time ceases to exist. Haven't you felt that as well? I have a favourite saying:
"Music doesn't take time, it takes place in time."
This is true. And, furthermore, it can help us in all other aspects of life. Listen to how Yo-Yo Ma flies timelessly between the phrases in the Bach Cello Suites. Experience how impossible it is to say, after Arvo Pärt's Fratres, if 3, 10 or 30 minutes have passed since the piece began. And listen to the best, bravest and most important solists of all time - how they wait, how they dare to be that risky tiny noch behind the orchestra, to how Glenn Gould slows down the Brahms first Piano Concerto. Steals the time...from whom? The universe? The composer himself?
My theory is that, if done correctly, we can steal the time back from The Man Who Collects Time, that bad grey-shaped evil wizard shamelessly collecting it while smoking his cigar. And the place where we can learn this is in the small phrase, the micro-cosmos, in the eight-note pause between phrases, the C Major chord unexpectively resolving not to a f minor, but to a D flat Major. That's where the secret lies. The small hole in the matrix, in the big picture we call our reality. Music.