Sixteen Hours

02010-06-11 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

I am a little surprised by the great response Sixteen Hours has been getting. To me it didn’t seem to be the kind of piece people would get into. Here is the story about that piece:

When I wrote the music I was thinking about watching the moon, or looking into somebody’s eyes. Those timeless moments when we are just there, in the moment, or perhaps lost in the moment. When time seems to stop, when life seems suspended in mid-air. Reverie… the state of pleasantly being lost in ones thoughts – from the French rever, which means delirious. Or maybe we are not really lost then, but found? I think there are two kinds of reverie, perhaps. One is a numb mindlessness, the other an active observation of the stillness.

I came up with the verse part first, that’s what I call the section the song starts with, and it felt active, lively, like a street mid-day. Then I worked on the chorus which, although it feels slower, is the same tempo as the rest of the song, just a different sub-division of time: quarter notes instead of triplets.

When I brought the piece to one of the February rehearsals I called it Viewing the Moon and the working title quickly became Moon. In the hands of the trio the verse turned into a great groove, a loping gait, a bounding stride, people crossing a street, antelops running across the savanah, a ballet of movement, a great big water fall.

After we recorded the music I started to work on titles, but I couldn’t come up with anything I liked. One evening, while listening, I thought about how the song structure might resemble a day. A day interrupted by two periods of suspension or reverie or meditation. A day has 24 hours, but we sleep for a third of that time. So I decided to call the track Sixteen Hours.

Jon’s bass solo in the second half – see this earlier post – is fantastic. The three of us really enjoy performing the song.


  1. Guy


    Just wanted to mention that rêver means “to dream”. Mind you, some people do have delirious dreams…

    Take care,

  2. Adam Solomon

    Also one of the most technically interesting songs on the album, I think. The way the “verse” switches between arpeggio and picado to get that rhythmic gallop is a lot of fun.

  3. Ottmar

    Thanks Guy. My dictionary claims that “reverie” comes from the old French “rever”, which meant “be delirious”. Maybe the meaning shifted over time or maybe my dictionary is dubious.

    Adam, yes fun to play. We are adding new parts to that piece, for the live performances… always fun to see a song grow. Also, been playing some of the picado in double time, for a little spice…


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