A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 59: Words About Music By…

“Music is a world within itself”, Stevie sang. Musicians share a common bond but have such different ways of expressing it. Here are some quotes from famous musicians, describing music, their experience of it, their perspectives and opinions. I was struck by what vast variety of commentary there is here yet such a unity of spirit. It made me think that Beethoven would totally get Henry Rollins, and vice versa, or that Leonard Bernstein would have loved to work with Lady Gaga.

Enjoy musicians’ words about music…

“Music is a safe kind of high.” – Jimi Hendrix

“Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.” – Ludwig von Beethoven

“Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.” – Stevie Wonder

“Music is such a balm. Always has been. It’s such a heartbeat, like blood thrumming through the womb. That’s why music appeals to people.” – Al Jarreau

“Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.” – Elvis Presley

“Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light.” – Claude Debussy

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” – Johann Sebastian Bach

“I believe that music is a spiritual language. My everyday self is pretty mundane and boring, but when I’m making music it allows for me to communicate a kind of transcendence that I can’t communicate otherwise.” – Sufjan Stevens

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

“Music is a lady that I still love because she gives me the air that I breathe. We need all sorts of nourishment. And music satisfies and nourishes the hunger within ourselves for connection and harmony.” – Cat Stevens

“The music is the message, the message is the music. So that’s my little ministry that the Big Man upstairs gave to me – a little ministry called love and happiness.” – Al Green

“Once a song’s out there, it’s no longer mine. And that’s the whole purpose of music: to belong to people.” – Sade Adu

“The reason I play music is to touch people – for selfish reasons, as well. It feels good to make someone else feel something, whether it’s a kiss, a painting, good idea or it’s a song.” – Dave Matthews

“I’ve always felt music is the only way to give an instantaneous moment the feel of slow motion. To romanticize it and glorify it and give it a soundtrack and a rhythm.” – Taylor Swift

“Normally, things are viewed in these little segmented boxes. There’s classical, and then there’s jazz; romantic, and then there’s baroque. I find that very dissatisfying. I was trying to find the thread that connects one type of music – one type of musician – to another, and to follow that thread in some kind of natural, evolutionary way.’ – Jerry Lee Lewis

“I try to give to my music the spiritual quality, very deep in the soul, which does something even if you are not realizing it or analyzing it – that’s the duty of the music.” – Ravi Shankar

“…what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.” – David Bowie

“I don’t care much about music. What I like is sounds.” – Dizzy Gillespie

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.” – Andres Segovia

“God had to create disco music so I could be born and be successful.” – Donna Summer

“Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music.” – Nina Simone

“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” – Tom Petty

“I think music is the most phenomenal platform for intellectual thought.” – Annie Lennox

“It doesn’t matter the kind of music, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cowboy hat or a yarmulke. I don’t care if it’s outer space or pop, the spirit is the same.” – David Lee Roth

“I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise.” – George Gershwin

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” – Louis Armstrong

“I hope to refine music, study it, try to find some area that I can unlock. I don’t quite know how to explain it but it’s there. These can’t be the only notes in the world, there’s got to be other notes some place, in some dimension, between the cracks on the piano keys.” – Marvin Gaye

“As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.” – Yo-Yo Ma

“Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.” – Ludwig von Beethoven

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” – Leonard Bernstein

“If architecture is frozen music then music must be liquid architecture.” – Quincy Jones

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me – like food or water.” – Ray Charles

“Why be in music, why write songs, if you can’t use them to explore life or an idealized vision of life? I believe a lot of our lives are spent asleep, and what I’ve been trying to do is hold on to those moments when a little spark cuts through the fog and nudges you.” – Rufus Wainwright

“One person’s roar is another’s whine, just as one person’s music is another’s unendurable noise.” – Henry Rollins

“What’s great about music is it takes so many kinds of people, including me. Everybody is in a different place.” – Jewel

“What I’ve discovered is that in art, as in music, there’s a lot of truth-and then there’s a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment. It’s the moment that the audience falls in love.” – Lady Gaga

“Music is gathering. Taking our scattered thoughts and senses and coalescing us back into our core. Music is powerful. The first few chords can change us where no self-help books can.” – Jane Siberry

“Music is always a commentary on society.” – Frank Zappa

“Music was your real passion, this thing you held dear even above family. It was this relationship that never betrayed you. Once it became your job – this thing that was highly visible, this thing that became about commerce – that’s when you were holding onto music like it was a palm tree in a hurricane.” – Eddie Vedder

“Change is an internal thing. Different things happen or transform, and music and art is a documentation of that.” – Matisyahu

“I found music to be the therapy of choice. I guess it is for a lot of people.” – David Byrne

“They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” – Charlie Parker


Fearless Predictions for 2016

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Everyone else is doing it so why not me? (That phrase has never led anyone into any problems in life, right?). Here are my fearless predictions for the New Year, 2016…


In the Year 2016…

Donald Trump will win the Republican Presidential nomination. In a brilliant counter move, the Democrats will nominate a turnip up as their candidate. The vast majority of Americans will vote for the turnip for president, soundly defeating Trump because, in the words of common American voter Merle Quackenbush of Iowa, “Voting for the turnip leaves a much better taste in my mouth.”

In further attempts to destroy Christmas, Starbucks will issue a Holiday cup with an image of the Kardashian family acting out the Nativity scene.

As the War on Christmas rages on, the faithful will be driven to celebrate in underground bunkers to avoid the Secret Santa Police.

In a groundbreaking discovery, historians will uncover the truth that the U.S. constitution’s phrase “the right to bear arms” was originally written as “the right to bare arms”. However, the Supreme Court will rule that, due to public safety and aesthetics, licences must be issued along with a two-week waiting period to any overly hairy people wanting to buy tank tops, sleeveless tees and halter tops.

The NHPA (National Hirsute Persons Association) will be formed to combat the Supreme Court decision. Their slogan: “You won’t get my spaghetti straps from me until you pry them from my cold, dead, hairy fingers!”

Mark Zuckerberg will give away millions of dollars of Facebook stock if you LIKE this blog post and SHARE it with your friends today!

Canada will built a giant wall along its border to keep out any Americans who think we say “oot” and “aboot”.

In an unexpected move to counter their threat, the coalition against ISIS will switch from bombing missions to much more effective photobombing missions.

And BOOM! Lots of people will say stuff and then go BOOM! afterwards.


Taylor Swift will post a picture of herself on Instagram doing absolutely nothing interesting. It will get 1,756,890 likes. BOOM!

There will be a horrible play call in this year’s Super Bowl which will be reported with more angst and anguish than the botched Bay of Pigs invasion.

Tom Brady will no longer have to field questions about his inflated and/or deflated balls.


I’m not actually spoiling anything, just predicting you’ll see this a lot in random places, often about things you could care less about. But, dang it, that ***SPOILER ALERT!!! will force you to care!

The follow-up to the popular Man-Bun will be the Man-Cinnabon: Hair done up on each side like cinnamon rolls! Rockin’ it Princess Leia-style!

The world will move on from Metrosexual and Lumbersexual to the next great fashion style for men: Wookiesexual! Rockin’ it Chewbacca-style!

After what seems like a decade, the U.S. presidential election campaign will come to an end. Life will go on. The turnip will be considered the best Leader of the Free World in history. But Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber will still be out there. My advice? Stay in your bunkers, people, just to be on the safe side.

Those are my fearless predictions for 2016! BOOM! Happy New Year, everybody!