We never really know how things will turn out. We’d like to think we do, but it’s really not so. In fact, even the captains of industry and the cone heads of academia don’t know what will happen just 5 years in the future.

This can be good news or bad news. Kinda depends on what kind of a person you are: an optimist, or perhaps not so much.

I’m a jazz musician. I play the piano. Except for a few distractions along the way, it’s how I’ve made my living and it’s been the thing I return to again and again – every single day. For more than five decades.

If you don’t know, being an improvising musician is a combination of study and practice of physical and mental patterns, combined with an ability to lose oneself in the moment when creation is allowed to occur. It’s in these moments that the miracle happens – when we transcend the patterns we learned and practiced. Something else happens that is unexplainable.

It’s called magic.

We jazz players are not unique. There are others that do similar things. Basketball players and emergency doctors come to mind. They practice and study their art, and then – in the moment – make choices that others would probably not make. They reach into the unknown and are right more often than they’re wrong.

This site and podcast are dedicated to this real-world magic that happens every day.

I’ve been thinking about all of this for many, many years, and I’m going to start sharing some of my thoughts with you – via this podcast. Podcasts are probably the coolest idea that technology has provided in recent years. They don’t bug you or interrupt your flow, and can be enjoyed anytime you like – or not.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the conversation, and I invite you to subscribe. It’s available through all the usual channels, or right on this site under the RSS feed.

Thanks for tuning in.

Ben Dowling, March 1, 2019


Time Remembered

This episode reflects on how time is interpreted and used—similar to the transcendent flow experienced by the improvising musician—and how we can apply this model to our lives and to our work in the world. http://jazzmetaphysics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/JazzMetaphysicsTimeRemembered.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

Stories and Pathways

Our stories define our experience. We look further into how our internal narratives affect how we perceive time, the mechanics and balance of improvisation and what that requires. The continuing conversation about the basics of Jazz Metaphysics… http://jazzmetaphysics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/JazzMetaphysicsStoriesPathways.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

Taming Our Technology

If we want to have a more intimate relationship with the moment (and therefore everything and everyone in our lives), we must address the elephant in the room: Our phone. http://jazzmetaphysics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JazzMetaphysicsTamingTech.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS


Ben Dowling – pianist, practitioner, technologist, creative

“I like simplicity, elegant harmony, transcendent melody, groove. I like efficient code, minimalistic design, excellence embodied in form. I honor all people, all colors, all Nations. I love projects that are bigger than just me. I love teams, bands and people searching for something greater. I love boiling that down into it’s essential juice and sipping it slowly.

I am the piano player. I’m a rhythm section guy, giving it all to make the whole music work. Everything I do: composing, playing, producing, product design, synthesis programming, has all taken place to serve the creative whole. I try to operate at the highest frequency I can and do good work – regardless of the form I’m working in. I desire to see a state change in the world and that commitment is hopefully reflected in the work I do and – at my best – in the life I live.

That’s basically it.”