April 22nd, 2003

When we conetmplate death and the impermanence of life, our minds automatically begin to take an interest in spiritual achievements, just as an ordinary person becomes apprehensive when seeing the corpse of a friend. Meditation on death cuts off attraction toward the transient and meaningless activities.

-Dalai Lama



June 26th, 2002

If you consider the Law of Biological Amplification, cannabalism looks to be a very bad idea.



"If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It's no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty."

-Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged



December 10th, 2001

I am the past and Schoenberg is the future. Therefore he must be right.

-Gustav Mahler



July 23rd, 2001

"Thinking is a man's only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willfull suspension of one's consciousness, the refusal to think--not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgement--on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict 'it is.' Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality...."

From Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged.



May 23rd, 2001

"A Russian astronaut and a Russian brain surgeon were once discussing religion. The brain surgeon was a Christian but the astronaut was not. The astronaut said, 'I've been out in space many times but I've never seen God or angels.' And the brain surgeon said, 'And I've operated on many clever brains but I've never seen a single thought.'"

From the book, Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder.



November 26th, 2000

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you in action, and because there is only of of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost."

-Maratha Graham



October 31st, 2000

"Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness." -Aaron Copland



September 10th, 2000

"The statue is already in the stone, has been in the stone since the begining of time, and the sculptor's job is to see it and release it by carefully scraping away the excess material"


This quote lies in juxtaposition with any art. I think of it in terms of improvising. I've been giving a lot of thought on how to unlock the creativity people are innately born with and I plan to post further material on this subject.



May 29th, 2000

No matter how Useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value. This can be illustrated by the Chinese story of The Stonecutter:

There was once a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day, he passed a wealthy merchant's house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he though. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that is was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he though. "I wish that I could be the wind!"

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it--a huge, towering stone. "How powerful that stone is!" he thought. I wish that I could be a stone!"

Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the stone?" he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.

-From Benjamin Hoff's, The Tao of Pooh.



February 15th, 2000

"If you are able to free yourself through expression in music, it must be jazz. And even the greatest players are only fortunate enough to experience that freedom for a couple of minutes at a time. Jazz is the only music in the Western world in which the most risk yields the greatest results."

-Kieth Jarret



December 17th, 1999

Without technique there is no art. Yet technique is part of the service economy; it does not manufacture goods but facilitates their production. When technique becomes an end in itself, the result is music reduced to scales, chords, arpeggios, trills, octaves, leaps, and other tools of the piano garage. In place of musical ideas and their elaborations, a sequence of skills and formulas is presented, the packaging of the ideas of substituting for their content. Technique then becomes wholly methodical, a set approach to a set list of technical problems involving all pianistic materials, and thus further away from the ideal of servicing the musical imagination.

-Russel Sherman



October 13th, 1999

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

-Thomas Edison