"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
"To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening."
"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: 'The only proof he needed of the existence of God was music.'"
“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
“I believe that the only excuse we have for being musicians and for making music in any fashion, is to make it differently—to perform it differently, to establish the music’s difference, vis-à-vis our own difference.”
"Learning to play music is a long exercise learning to be kind to yourself. As your fingers stumble to keep up with your eyes and ears, your brain will say unkind things to the rest of you. And when this tangle of body and mind finally makes sense of a measure or a melody, there is peace. Or, more accurately, harmony. And like the parents who so energetically both fill a house with music and seek its quietude, both are needed to make things work. As with music, it takes a lifetime of practice to be kind to yourself. Make space for that practice, and the harmony will emerge."
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
"Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. The sound of a truck at fifty miles per hour. Static between the stations. Rain. We want to capture and control these sounds, to use them not as sound effects but as musical instruments. Every film studio has a library of "sound effects" recorded on film. With a film phonograph it is now possible to control the amplitude and frequency of any one of these sounds and to give to it rhythms within or beyond the reach of the imagination. Given four film phonographs, we can compose and perform a quartet for explosive motor, wind, heartbeat, and landslide."