This performance of James Falzone‘s heartfelt composition “It Felt As If Time Had Stopped” is rich, not only with beautiful harmonic interplay between Falzone’s clarinet and Russ Johnson‘s trumpet, but also with significance.
The piece was originally penned by Falzone in dedication to a close friend who lost his wife, an experience the friend described to Falzone with the words “it felt as if time had stopped.” In its constitution, this piece is deeply sentimental, and KLANG‘s performances of it have always powerfully conveyed such sentiment.
The standard arrangement of the tune opens with a mournful melodic counterpoint between Falzone and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, followed by a chilling solo by Adasiewicz, then out on a second vivid counterpoint section between clarinet and vibraphone. Needless to say, an absence of Adasiewicz’s vibraphone would create massive voids in every aspect of the composition.
On January 22nd, 2013, Jason Adasiewicz was unable to perform because his wife’s water broke earlier that day and his new child, Penelope Mae, was on the way. Thankfully this did not prevent KLANG from performing “It Felt As If Time Had Stopped.” Falzone graciously dedicated the tune to the new Adasiewicz baby and trumpeter Russ Johnson thoughtfully interpreted the vibraphone charts, as the group’s collective infusion of cheer and optimism imbued the grief-conceived piece with an entirely new meaning in an entirely relevant context. Quite remarkably, these expert players turned a contemplation of life lost into a celebration of new life.