In the beginning, when clouds were God’s breath, and buffaloes roared without fear, and time was uncounted except by death and birth and the sky darkening, there was performance. And it was never counted as special or apart because it was and it was what happened and without it we thought there would be drought and insufficiency and possibly war when you wanted peace, or peace when you wanted war. So we moved and shook and spoke in sequences of unidentified languages and evoked harmony in ourselves and terror in our enemies. And we urged ourselves good fortune and bonded with each other and reinforced ourselves as tribe of reindeer or mountain or lyre bird.
You are enriched by all the music you know by heart; it becomes a part of you. –Nadia Boulanger
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember: amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. –Anonymous
The Earth without Art is just “eh”. –Anonymous
A problem is a chance for you to do your best. – Duke Ellington
Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five. - Joel Hildebrand
The way to succeed is to double your error rate. – Thomas J. Watson
My primary orientation is as an artist, and what that means is that I make things. I don’t make things in order to make money – I make things in order to communicate, reflect, meditate, and connect with people. It’s a personal practice. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s a social practice. And that’s really the foundation of everything I do.
–Jazz pianist, composer, and MacArtur fellowship winner Vijay Iyer
Musicians educated with improvisation at the center will have a better developed ability to think musically —to deeply understand music as well as be better prepared to interpret written scores.
R. Keith Sawyer
I’ve been giving my Improvisation for Classical Musicians class for over a decade now, and it is gratifying when out of the blue comes some echo from an alum from the class relating to me something about how they have used improv in their lives. I received this note the other day from cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt:
Certain people are very mental. They need to have rules and concepts and directions and scales and theory in order to play. But that’s not what music is about. Music has the same significance as beams of light coming out of the clouds and giving information to plants. Every note should be like a beam of light. You’re giving information to the listener, and you’re reminding them they also have light and significance. That’s improvising to me. The other stuff is just like going ‘da-da-da-da-da.’ It’s nothing” – Carlos Santana