Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 120                       My Ride  humor of the incident. I was hit by a State Senator as she was exiting from the Capitol Garage. I was in a bike path and had the right of way. After I flew over the hood of her car, I landed on my chest and stomach. As I lay face down on the ground, letting my body parts check in to let me know if they were unhurt, the Senator came running out of her car yelling, 'Are you hurt, are you hurt, I am a Sen- ator.' I often wonder what she thought her station in life would have mattered if I had been more seriously injured. If anything, the incident has made me more aware that rich or poor, famous or unknown, highbrow or not, a moment of inattention can have disastrous consequences for some- one whose only protection from the pavement is the fabric clinging to his or her skin.    I arrive at work and chain my bike to a rack in a secure cage. Walking to my office building I feel like some astro- naut venturing back from a flight in space, helmet tucked under my arm connected to my pack by a single wire for the headlamp. People who know me have become used to the sight. Others often take a second glance. I mingle with my coworkers some of whom are getting off the light rail train at the station outside our main entrance. Others are coming from the garage. They head to their offices and I make my way to the showers and my locker. As I dress for the day, I share my experiences of the ride with my cyclist coworkers. We comment on the briskness of the morning, the brightness of colors of the sunrise, whether or not we saw anyone, and sometimes we share any near misses we may have had with anyone with whom we share the road.
 Roadkill  Jeff Younger      When setting out to write a thematically appropriate jazz tune for Traffic Life, a few basic characteristics of modern day traffic immediately came to mind. Parallelism, angu- larity, perspective and stasis/motion found their way into the form and both melodic and harmonic content, proving to be an interesting and fruitful set of concepts with which to begin. The visceral experience of being caught in traffic, a more detached bird's eye view, and wisps of philosophical musings on rhythm and technological development round out the more abstract inspiration and intent within the mu- sic. In performance, Roadkill will swing, fast and relaxed, revealing an odd beauty in its angularity and purposeful peculiarity.    The form is AABA, and as though looking down a stretch of highway toward the horizon, each section is shorter in duration than the one previous. The first two A sections are 32 bars in total, the B section half of that, 16 bars, and the final A section 8 bars, half the length of the B section. The harmony in the first two A sections is fairly static, with parallel structures moving every four bars. In the B section, the harmonic rhythm and contrast increases, but seems to stall over the section's final 8 measures. For the final A section, we return to the first chord of the piece and the                                            (continued on page 124)                             121

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